n Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - Exposing and curtailing secret offshore tax shelters : the tools and the enablers. A call for vigilance in South Africa

Volume 44, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



In order to minimise global tax exposure, taxpayers involved in international trade often invest in low tax or offshore tax-haven jurisdictions which promote secrecy in investors' financial affairs. Often this secrecy prevents other countries from finding out and thus taxing the business actives of their residents who invest in those jurisdictions. In this paper the schemes involved in secret offshore tax shelters are exposed. It is argued that although the international community has come up with some measures to curtail offshore secret tax shelters and although some countries have enacted legislation to prevent the resultant tax loss, there is still a lot of revenue lost by many countries due to the secrecy involved. Considering the recommendations of some international bodies and other countries' initiatives, this article analyses the effectiveness of South Africa's policies in addressing this problem.

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