The world’s wealthy have shielded at least $21 trillion from taxes in more than 80 offshore jurisdictions, says the Tax Justice Network.
This means this offshore economy is large enough to significantly impact national income and debt ratios, and even domestic tax bases.
The Network pegged the amount between $21 trillion and $32 trillion in 2010.
The study found wealthy residents of 139 low-to-middle-income countries had accumulated between $7.3 trillion and $9.3 trillion in unrecorded offshore wealth since the 1970s.
The top 10 countries account for 61% of wealth, while the top 20 account for 81%.
This wealth exodus occurred while “many of their public sectors were borrowing themselves into bankruptcy,” says the study.
In 2010, those 139 countries had gross external debts totalling $4.08 trillion. But if those countries were able to tax the money in offshore accounts, these countries would have a surplus of between $10.1 trillion and $13.1 trillion.