EXPOSED: The South Africans named in the Paradise Papers
More than 500 SA individuals and companies are named in the 13.4m records exposed in the ‘Paradise Papers’, the latest trove of offshore tax haven leaks, raising afresh questions about the morality of tax avoidance, good governance, risk and the most efficient ways of structuring tax regimes
Leona Helmsley, the American real estate mogul who died a decade ago, was reviled for her infamous throwaway line that "only the little people pay taxes". The release this week of the Paradise Papers — the widest leak yet of secret records from more than 19 tax havens, as well as those of two of the largest offshore firms — illustrates that her sentiment is perhaps more on the money than ever before.It’s a leak that has bust open the myth that if you stash your cash in Guernsey or the Bahamas or Mauritius, no-one will know. The largest number of records emerged from Appleby, a 119-year-old law firm that helps clients reduce taxes and obscure assets.The Paradise Papers were obtained by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and more than 380 journalists in 67 countries, including amaBhungane and the Financial Mail in SA. In all, 13.4m records tipped out, embarrassing no less than US President Donald Trump (exposi...