God save the Queen…lots and lots of money.
In a new round of leaked documents it has been revealed how the ultra-powerful and rich, including the Queen and her private estate. How do they invest millions in cash in offshore tax havens?
While tax avoidance is not illegal it can be seen as quite controversial. It can create quite the political discussion, including should the government do more to curtail the use of tax havens. And one of the most used tax havens is located in Bermuda, where the rich go there not for the sandy beaches, but for the tax havens which gives them complete secrecy and zero percent tax rates.
How have these secrets been discovered? Seven million documents have been leaked. The leak has been dubbed: The Paradise Papers. It contains some of the biggest names in Britain.
The Dutchy of Lancaster, who handles the investments for the Queen’s estate, has stated on the record that all of their investments are legitimate. But legitimacy is not the real question here. Should not at least the government leaders invest in their own countries to benefit the people they govern? Or is that too much to ask an elected official?
In the United States, President Trump’s Commerce Secretary Wilber Ross, stated on the record that he walked away from many business holdings totaling hundreds of millions of dollars. However, in the investigation in the Paradise Papers it has been discovered that is not true. Mr. Ross still has an investment stake in a shipping company called Navigator Holdings. One of Navigator Holdings major clients is a company called Sibur, which is a Russian mining company.
Mr. Ross maintains he never owned majority shares of Navigator Holdings as somehow that absolves him of any possible wrong doing. It is important to focus that he stated no majority holdings, however, having holdings at all raises some red flags.
In the UK, Lord Ashcroft, could find himself in quite a bit of hot water. The papers reveal that he invested over $200 million in a tax haven in Bermuda. He could be liable for tens of millions in taxes. The trust which was set up for Ashcroft was called The Punta Gorda Trust.