AuthorDavid Kerzner, David W. Chodikoff
Illegal tax practices such as tax evasion cost governments billions of dollars
in lost revenues. Countries like Canada, the United States, and the United
Kingdom rely on the ability to exchange information with tax havens and
other countries to administer their tax system and combat tax evasion. A
country that allows the rich and elite to hire professionals to hide their assets
of‌fshore so they can escape paying their share of taxes risks that its people
will question the fairness of the government’s revenue authority. More than
that, allowing of‌fshore tax evasion to go unchecked may call into question
the very legitimacy of the government’s taxing function and send a signal to
all taxpayers that it’s okay to cheat.
As explained in this book, where there is bank secrecy, there is often
a convergence of evil: international tax evasion, global f‌inancial crime, and
international terrorism. As Professor Arthur Cockf‌ield observes in his study
of the 2013 “big data” leak by the International Consortium of Investiga-
tive Journalists (ICIJ), of‌fshore service providers such as trust and f‌inance
companies take advantage of tax haven secrecy to help individuals engage
in global f‌inancial crime. Commenting on the guilty plea of BNP Paribas in
2014, US District Attorney Cyrus R Vance, Jr recognized that such shared val-
ues in the international community as human rights, peaceful coexistence,
and a world free of terror are dependent on the enforcement of our laws and,
in particular, on a banking system that is not permitted to be a conduit for
criminal activity. The string of global banking scandals from 2008 to 2015
and from UBS to HSBC connotes a code of conduct observed by executive
leaders that runs counter to such values, and is neither moral nor right. The
2016 announcement by the ICIJ of the Panama Papers, an additional leak

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