Report: Super Rich Hiding $32 Trillion Offshore, Preventing $280 Billion in Tax Revenue

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July 23 2012 3:15 PM

Report: Super Rich Hiding $32 Trillion Offshore, Preventing $280 Billion in Tax Revenue

Don’t place all the blame on Mitt Romney for evading taxes with offshore accounts—his money is just part of a vast trove of loot being hidden from tax officials.

A new study says the world’s super rich are hiding close to a whopping $32 trillion of financial assets in offshore tax havens, resulting in as much as $280 billion in lost income tax revenues. This global glut of wealth—not even counting gold, real estate, yachts, and other “nonfinancial” assets—is roughly the size of the Japanese and U.S. GDPs combined.

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A new report suggests that as much as $32 trillion in financial assets are being hidden in offshore accounts by the super wealthy in an effort to avoid taxes.

Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images

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According to Tax Justice Network—the group that conducted the study of World Bank, U.N., and International Monetary Fund data as part of a campaign to change policy on tax havens—giant global banks like Citigroup and Bank of America are complicit in a host of illegal activities to hide assets offshore.

It’s more ammunition for those arguing that the wealthy are stagnating growth by avoiding the reach of tax authorities—and a new reason to curse when you hit that old pothole.

Video by Paca Thomas.

Ben Johnson is the producer of Marketplace Tech from American Public Media.

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