Rich Aussies scared back to bank deposits

In 2010-11, the volume of funds flowing back to Australia from 13 major tax secrecy jurisdictions increased for the first time since 2007-08, the year before the ATO's Project Wickenby crackdown on wealthy tax rorts began. Over the same period, flows to the havens slumped 22 per cent.

In dollar terms, flows into Australia from the tax havens are up $5 billion while flows out are down $12 billion – a net increase in money kept in Australia of $17 billion. The figures show Australians have largely been scared off doing business with our nearest tax haven, Vanuatu. An Austrac analysis of the 2621 Australian entities doing business with Vanuatu in 2004 shows that by 2010-11 only 11 per cent were still involved with the Pacific island nation.

But it is flows to Liechtenstein that have fallen most – by 79 per cent. Taxpayer fear of Liechtenstein partly stems from the ATO's possession of copies of secret account records stolen from LGT Bank, the wealth management arm of Liechtenstein's ruling family.

Source: The Age

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