There are so many tax havens across the world. And tax evasion is a serious issue as the working class are forced to pay taxes but the rich escape. International organizations like UN have the power to impose sanctions and restrictions, but why aren't they imposed on tax havens ?

  • The working class don't pay a huge share of taxes anywhere because they don't have a huge share of income or wealth. Mostly tax evasion is a contest between one affluent group of taxpayers and another. For example, in the U.S. tech companies use havens to reduce income by a lot, while big box retailers and grocery stores reduce their taxes with tax havens very little. The burden is shifted not to the working class but from the tech sector to the retail sector. The Wal-mart owner's family subsidizes Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, etc.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Apr 4, 2018 at 18:58

1 Answer 1


The UN can only do what its member countries want; it can't act independently. There are also the 5 "veto powers", who can individually kill anything they don't like.

More broadly:

  • Tax havens could be frozen out of the world economic system quite easily. Central banks and national regulators could simply insist that their national banks do no business with banks in tax havens.

  • An important method of laundering money is via a shell corporation registered in the USA. Delaware is often mentioned in this context, as it is an attractive place to incorporate for a number of reasons, and it doesn't require a company to declare who "really" owns it. Offshore bank accounts are only one part of the laundering and evasion ecosystem.

  • Many rich people are also politically influential, or even politically powerful in their own right. One might speculate that they are using this to block reforms that might threaten their wealth.

The broader ecosystem is an important factor here; money laundering is rather like the Internet: it's very good at finding routes around censorship.

  • 2
    "it doesn't require a company to declare who "really" owns it." This is true of almost all U.S. states, Delaware is not special in this regard. And, non-U.S. companies incorporated in tax havens are actually usually preferred because U.S. corporations are taxed on their worldwide income, while almost all non-U.S. corporations are not. You are right, however, in that there are many ways that tax havens could be shut down and that lack of political will to do so is the main factor.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Apr 4, 2018 at 18:56

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