Capital Beyond Walls: The History of Money Escaping to Tax HavensCancelled
Kathleen Fitzpatrick Theatre
T: (03) 8344 1521
From the perspective of several decades of history, what can be done to keep lawyers, wealthy individuals and multinational corporations from stashing away money in offshore tax havens?
When mass-based income taxes were first introduced during and after WWI, tax havens immediately followed. From the 1920s on, both corporations and individuals used tax havens to escape the tax man. Especially during the 1960s and 1970s, a game of cat and mouse ensued: lawyers and accountants found loopholes in existing legislation and used such loopholes to shift profits and wealth offshore. Governments would then move to plug said loopholes and seek to crack down on tax avoidance and evasion, until savvy professionals found new methods of making money escape behind legal and other walls erected to curb tax haven abuse. During these years, Australians discovered the promises of tax haven business in Nauru and the New Hebrides.
After several decades of attempts to curtail the use of tax havens, what means do governments have for stopping the flight of wealth and profits to tax havens?