How to steal a billion in taxes
12:57 PM on 04/15/2013
This year, the U.S. government will again fail to collect billions of dollars in taxes from corporations and wealthy individuals who have moved their income into tax havens. And the United States won’t be alone; in fact, as much as $20 trillion could be squirreled away in offshore tax shelters around the world.
Some of that money resides in well-known offshore destinations such as the Cayman Islands, but a significant chunk of is also hidden within America. Thanks to the legal frameworks various states, the country has come to be considered a major shelter for other people’s money, with states like Delaware and Wyoming taking the lead.
Hundreds of thousands of businesses are incorporated in Delaware, where corporations take advantage of the state’s forgiving tax code and disclosure laws. In fact, the number of corporations housed in Delaware exceeds its population, and has cost other states roughly $9.5 billion tax revenue over the past decade, according to a 2012 New York Times article.
The people who have sheltered their money in Delaware include disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and Russian arms smuggler Viktor Bout.