Their countries allow them to make a lot of money over the population that uses and pays for their products and services. Still they don’t feel like giving back is something they have to do. Apple, Bono and Queen Elizabeth II are just some of the great names of personalities and companies cited in the “Paradise Papers” for having shifted money around the world to pay less taxes.
The focus on the rich and powerful’s fiscal life comes after millions of documents have been unveiled by the United States-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), creating an embarrassing situation for those involved. Here are some of the most well-known names cited:
- Apple technology giant took much of its offshore revenue from Ireland to Jersey, a tax haven in the British Isles, to adjust to toughening Irish tax legislation in 2015.
- US sportswear maker Nike has used a loophole in the Netherlands’s tax laws to reduce its tax rate to just 2 percent through two Dutch companies – compared with an average of 25 percent for European companies.
- The company of vehicles with drivers Uber and the manufacturer of Botox, the pharmaceutical laboratory Allergan, would have used methods similar to those of Nike.
- The “Paradise Papers” also revealed that Russian companies linked to the Kremlin have invested millions of dollars on Twitter and Facebook.
- The British Queen Elizabeth II, through the Lancaster Duchy, which provides her income and manages her investments, has invested about $ 13 million of her private money in funds in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda. The funds apparently were reinvested in a variety of businesses, including the controversial BrightHouse leasing retailer, which is accused of exploiting poverty.
Their countries allow these companies to make a lot of money over the population that uses and pays for their products and services. Still they don’t feel like giving back is something they have to do.
- The Queen’s son, Prince Charles, would have campaigned to modify some climate change agreements, without revealing that the Duchy of Cornwall, one of its sources of income, had just invested in a company based in Bermuda. would benefit from the proposals made by the heir to the British crown.
- United States Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross has 31 percent of Navigator Holdings shipping through a complex web of offshore investments. Navigator Holdings has a lucrative partnership with Russian energy giant Sibur, linked to the inner circle of President Vladimir Putin. Russia is subject to sanctions from the United States.
- In Canada, Stephen Bronfman, the chief fundraiser and senior adviser to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, heir to the Seagram’s fortune, has moved $ 60 million into a tax haven in the Cayman Islands.
- The Brazilian ministers of Finance and Agriculture and Livestock, Henrique Meirelles and Blairo Maggi, respectively, had their names linked to offshore companies in tax havens.
- The Colombian singer Shakira, who lives in Barcelona, was domiciled in the Bahamas for tax reasons and would have transferred her copyrights to Malta and Luxembourg, some 31.6 million euros, according to the French newspaper Le Monde.
- U2’s lead singer Bono appeared in the revelations for holding stakes in a company in Malta that would have bought a Lithuanian mall in 2007 through a holding company in Lithuania that may have violated tax law through optimization techniques.
Watch here a great video explaining the Paradise Papers.
Some of the Digital giants are also targeted by the US Congress for using their platforms to spread Russian rumors during the United States presidential campaign in 2016.