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8 Apr 2016

Noel Hudson, Tax Reconciliations, on Lawyers for Better Business (UK)

The Panama Papers: implications for lawyers and tax advisors

The Panama Papers are headline news in many parts of the world. Around 11.4 million pages of information copied from about 200,000 client files of international company formation lawyers Mossack Fonseca, reveal the real beneficial owners of clients’ offshore companies...Their homeland tax-collectors will check the clients’ tax returns against this information...[T]ax evasion is damaging...Advisors should focus on the homeland or source nations' laws – the tax haven's national laws are irrelevant...It is the laws of your client’s country of residence that apply – that is where the assets and profits are generated and it is the region that imposes penalties...Few OECD regions, apart from the USA, jail accountants, lawyers, bankers and tax-planners alongside clients whom they have assisted to evade tax. But this latest, largest leak will, I think...trigger tens of thousands of tax investigations under existing laws...