28 Apr 2017

Role of advisors and intermediaries in the schemes revealed in the Panama Papers

Willem Pieter De Groen

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The use of offshore entities that facilitate money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion undermines the fair distribution of the tax burden in onshore jurisdictions. The Panama Papers shed some light on the activities that are usually conducted in secrecy, with the disclosure of information on 213,634 offshore entities in jurisdictions such as the British Virgin Islands, Panama and the Seychelles. This analysis assesses the role of advisors (tax experts, legal experts, administrators, investment advisors) and intermediaries (law firms, accounting firms, trust companies, banks, etc.) involved in the phases of the identified decision-making cycle (advice, creation, maintenance, enforcement).

This document was prepared for Policy Department A at the request of the Committee of Inquiry into Money Laundering, Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion and is republished on the CEPS website with the kind permission of the European Parliament. Willem Pieter de Groen is Research Fellow at CEPS.