EDITORIAL: An issue that taxes us all
The Paradise Papers highlight questions on the fine line between tax avoidance and tax evasion
Hot on the heels of last year’s Panama Papers come the new Paradise Papers, a data leak of 13.4-million documents mainly from a leading offshore law firm as well as from the company registers of 19 tax havens. The queen of England makes an appearance, with investments worth about £10m in Channel Island-based funds. So do rock stars and multinational giants such as Apple that have used tax havens and efficient structures to minimise their tax liabilities in their home countries. This time, SA is up there with the names of more than 500 individuals or South African-registered companies emerging in the papers, which provide details of tax structures in jurisdictions such as Mauritius and the Channel Islands. South African names include high-profile individuals along with pharmaceutical giant Aspen, which has set up shop successfully in Mauritius, as did Spar, which chose to house its Swiss business there.