25 June 2012
Corruption, crime, and tax evasion in the form of illicit financial outflows cost the developing world US$1 trillion per year according to GFI research, with Mexico—the current chair of the G20—suffering more than half a trillion dollars in outflows over the past decade. Illicit outflows pose serious problems for developed Western economies as well, with Greece—the epicenter of the European debt crisis—hemorrhaging US$160 billion in illicit outflows from 2000 through 2009.
G20 leaders committed “to lead by example in implementing” the practice of automatic tax information exchange, and called upon other “countries to join this growing practice as appropriate,” a move lauded by GFI as a major step towards curtailing tax evasion.
“As long as G20 nations like the United States and others allow for the incorporation of anonymous shell companies, trusts and foundations, G20 nations will be safe havens for the corrupt proceeds of foreign leaders as well as terrorists, criminals, and tax evaders,” said GFI director Raymond Baker.