haven vs. heaven - the super-rich cash in on early paradise

Sandy beaches, sky-blue seas or just a lack of natural resources?

When we think wealth we imagine banks, busy stock floors, fast cars and clean cocaine. Scratch beneath the surface and see that the world's uber-rich keep their funds far from their wallet.

Like any process in this world, there are shortcuts; loopholes if you will. So where should we stop on our voyage to an untouchable income?

First stop, Luxembourg.

Hosting Amazons official European headquarters, Luxembourg is especially attractive for those looking to keep a hold of their once taxable income. With a subsidiary developed, their local laws offer nothing short of privacy and secrecy when handling your money.

With funnelling profits being the key to any good tax avoidance scheme, their 1% in and out fee allows corporations to cash in on huge tax savings.

Now for the sun and sand, Mauritius.

12 hours is a long flight, never mind the heat. For just £1,499 anyone with a computer, signature and love for money can get their hands on a legally listed company slap bang in the middle of the Indian Ocean without even packing your bag. Within 5 business days, you're trading and on your way to some of the best tax rates the world has seen. Far away from the stern eye of HMRC or IRS many individuals and corporations send their finances on holiday, bathing in a 15% corporate tax rate.

And finally, Switzerland.

When it comes to tax, Switzerland is a weird one. On one hand we see the 'Lump-sum' tax scheme as attractive, allowing businesses to somewhat fly under the metaphorical radar but on the flip side we see Switzerland as being very proactive in adapting its ways to keep its head above the water in the forever growing flood of tax haven accusations and leaks. In 2017, Switzerland was listed on the 'Grey-list' for tax havens. Not the blacklist but not the white either. After adapting their processes to suit those in power, in May 2019 they were in the clear.

All of this begs the question, does Switzerland really mean for change or are they simply a player in a much larger game, and an experienced one at that?

With the push for harsher wealth tax on the super-rich and more transparency surrounding the financial affairs of the world's elite, can we really expect there to be a change for good or are these all cogs in a much larger engine driving the world's economy?

Until the state of play is changed, the game will play on.