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04 Jun 14 Tide turning on tax haven use

AUSTRAC’s funds flows analysis for 2012-13 shows that less money is flowing from Australia to the 13 tax secrecy jurisdictions of interest to the Project Wickenby task force.

AUSTRAC’s analysis of funds flows in 2012-13 shows that:

  • the net value of funds flowing into Australia from tax secrecy jurisdictions was $13 billion - incoming transfers were worth $60 billion, while outgoing transfers were worth $47 billion
  • there is far less money flowing to tax secrecy havens than five years ago, with a decrease of 13% in the value of outwards funds flows from Australia to tax secrecy jurisdictions in 2012-13 compared to 2007-08
  • the value of outwards funds flows to six of the 13 tax secrecy jurisdictions decreased by more than 30%, for example: Liechtenstein (55% decrease); Vanuatu (51%); and Jersey (30%).

The Commonwealth Minister for Justice, Michael Keenan, has said that the AUSTRAC data highlights the effectiveness of Project Wickenby in exposing the abuse of overseas tax and secrecy jurisdictions: Minister for Justice media release 3 June 2014.

Since 2007 AUSTRAC has been providing financial intelligence to the ATO and other Project Wickenby agencies to identify people promoting or participating in tax havens.

So far, Project Wickenby has raised more than $1.8 billion in tax liabilities. It has also led to substantial sentences for those promoting abusive arrangements involving tax havens.

Project Wickenby combines intelligence from a range of agencies, including the ATO, AUSTRAC, the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Crime Commission.

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