Offshore company formation, offshore banking, legal and tax consultancy are the industries that grows on peoples and companies need to maximize profits by legally reducing the amount of taxes paid for their investments.
Estimations shows that world's richest people and companies has transferred to offshore bank accounts and offshore companies in various tax heavens between $ 21 trillion and $ 32 trillion, an amount larger that the entire economy of USA. International offshore financial centers are the main beneficiary of these funds, offering in return to investors zero or low tax regime, asset protection, confidentiality and the safety of their funds.
The analysis was made by James Henry, former chief economist at consultancy company McKinsey, a well known expert on tax heavens, by studying data from Bank of International Settlements ( SIB ), International Monetary Fund ( IMF ), and private sector analysts.
At least 10 million people worldwide hold their assets offshore in various tax heavens and the amount of $ 21 trillion does not include non-financial assets like villas, art, planes or yachts. Over half of this amount is owned by less than 100,000 people.
However all these estimates are made from public available data and experts believe that the sum is higher and a larger number of people and companies are actively investing offshore. Statistics shows that in 2000 more than 500,000 offshore companies were incorporated worldwide in over 80 Tax Heavens. Jurisdictions like Hong Kong are in top with over 15,000 companies incorporated per year. British Virgin Islands ( BVI ) also have over 800,000 companies incorporated until now, most of them being International Business Companies doing business all over the world in almost any industry anyone could imagine.
From middle class people investing their economies to high net worth individuals, small companies and largest multinationals alike, everyone can use the benefits offered by tax havens and offshore banking.