Paradise Papers


Leaked documents of 13.4m files from two offshore service providers and 19 tax havens' company registries know as the paradise papers have been released, revealing how much wealth is stored off shore to avoid tax. 

Amongst the offshore wealth is 10 Million pounds worth of investment made on behalf of the Queen by the Duchy of Lancaster. Some of this investment was in Bright House, a company that charges high rates of interest on household goods for those who cannot afford to buy them outright. Last week Bright House was ordered to pay back £14.8m to its customers last week after the Financial Conduct Authority said it had not acted as a “responsible leader”.

Apple was also found to have moved parts of it's operation to Jersey, to avoid tax on $252bn. This move was after Apple came under scrutiny for their previous Irish tax avoidance system.

Conservative donor Lord Ashcroft is also under investigation for using an offshore trust to shelter wealth. With 13.4 million files, many more tax avoidance schemes are sure to continue to come to light. 

After the revelations, the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, appeared to suggest the Queen should apologise. “Anyone that is putting money into tax havens in order to avoid taxation in Britain, and obviously investigations have to take place, should do two things – not just apologise for it but also recognise what it does to our society,” said Corbyn.

Theresa May said that ‘HMRC is already able to see more information about the ownership of shell companies for example so they can ensure that people are paying their tax.’ 

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