Global Policy Forum

Tax Havens of the World


By Douwe Miedema

March 4, 2008

Germany's crackdown on secretive bank accounts in Liechtenstein has put the spotlight on tax havens combining low taxes, strict banking secrecy rules and an unwillingness to cooperate with other countries. Around 40 countries are still widely viewed as tax havens, according to international organisations such as the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) and the IMF. The Tax Justice Network (TJN), an anti-tax haven lobby group, estimates that global tax authorities miss out on around $250 billion each year because people hold money off shore, calling that estimate "extremely conservative".

Many off-shore centres are small states, and several are dependent territories of the United Kingdom, the United States, New Zealand or the Netherlands. Most countries on the OECD's list of tax havens have promised to adopt the organisation's standards for tax transparency. But Liechtenstein, Monaco and Andorra have not, and are therefore still on the OECD's list of uncooperative havens. A proposed new law in the United States, the Stop Tax Havens Abuse Act, also targets a large number of countries, while the IMF has its own list of off-shore centres in different stages of the Fund's monitoring process. Tax consultancies such as, which works closely with TJN, have their own lists.

Following is a table of countries that are on the respective lists of these organisations.

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