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Paradise Papers: Uncovering Offshore Money

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Paradise Papers is a leak of financial documents revealing how the elite people deposit their cash in offshore places protecting them from taxes.

Another crashing story of leaked financial documents broke down in the media when it was known that Paradise Papers revealed how the elite population stored their money offshore to enjoy tax havens. It was reported that more than 714 Indian corporate houses and individuals have been stashing their cash offshore.

Paradise Papers are a journalistic investigation of financial documents leaked from law firms that include several journalists who have spent a year collecting the data. Firstpost reported that the details came from 13.4 million leaked documents that expose the tax abuse done by the rich and wealthy. The website also reported that most of the data came from Appleby, a Bermuda-based legal services provider and Singapore based Asiaciti, the firm that facilitated setting up of offshore firms with zero or low taxes.

The Indian Express published a report which stated that Yale University entered into an agreement with several Indian institutions including Jawaharlal Nehru University, University of Delhi, Ashoka University, and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). The Guardian reported that these files highlighted legitimate ways Appleby’s rich customers could minimize the tax they pay. It also stated that the files hold the ways to avoid paying VAT on super-yachts and private planes to complex structures designed to help the multinational companies.

The concern that these leaks raise is the insecurity people have for their money within their own country that compels them to dispose their money offshore. And more importantly, the ways in which the money has been offshored is considered legitimate. More than 700 Indians including the likes of Amitabh Bachchan make it to the list of Paradise Papers. The question is why do the countrymen need to send their money elsewhere to simply evade taxes? It’s natural that anyone earning tons of money wouldn’t want to pay off heavy taxes just because they are earning loads of money.

The government of our country will surely have noted this incident down. It would have been disheartening to see so many people offshoring their cash when the government is trying to persuade people to invest coming up with different schemes. It will now be interesting to see how the government responds to the situation by not only dealing with the people involved but also try to tackle the issue of money insecurity people have.


Feature Image Credits: International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

Karan Singhania
[email protected]

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