Over the past 24 hours newspapers have been full of reports regarding what has been termed the biggest document leak in history.
Up to 11.5m documents have been covertly obtained from the Panama based offshore law firm Mossack Fonseca. The trove of secret records show how the global elite use offshore financial structures to avoid tax liability.
12 world leaders are amongst 143 politicians who have been exposed including Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Iceland Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson and Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko.
While of course using offshore structures to reduce tax liability is not necessarily illegal, these revelations show what seems to be a great deal of illegality.
The allegations are mainly around the illegal creation of shell companies that hide the beneficial owners. A variety of other illegal instruments and strategies are also seen to be in use in the document haul.
While a great deal of interest and publicity has been generated by the release of the Panama Papers it is important to understand that there is a vast array of perfectly legal methods of reducing your tax liability particularly for expats and offshore residents.
For a full assessment of your financial circumstances and requirements by Chase Belgrave please get in touch.