Accountant explains the benefits of tax havens

By Christine Duhaime | April 7th, 2017

If you ever wondered how it is that lawyers learn about tax havens, it is from texts such as the series called “Tax Havens of the World”, written by Walter Diamond, who was an accountant at Deloitte and KPMG, and a prolific teacher of the benefits of tax havens.

“Tax Havens of the World” was updated annually until 2009, the year Mr. Diamond died. Surprisingly, Mr. Diamond started out as bank examiner but somehow wound his way into writing text books for lawyers for 25 years that promoted the use of tax havens to defeat law enforcement and government oversight.

In “Tax Havens of the World”, he writes of the many benefits and advantages of tax havens and summarizes each of them. He also writes about their usefulness and explains why lawyers, and corporations, among others, should use them. The key benefits, he writes, include:

  • to cloak foreign bank accounts in secrecy;
  • to shift investments without being taxed;
  • to give privacy to financial dealings and what your financial assets are; and
  • to have no government control.

The aim of “Tax Havens of the World” is to provide a “shopping guide” to select the best country to cloak one’s money and protect it from government control. Mr. Diamond remarked that tax havens were the target of unfair “virulent attacks” by governments and accusatory tactics by the FATF.

Each country highlighted by Mr. Diamond conveniently lists things like how to set up trusts versus foundations, how to set up companies, and the strength of its anti-money laundering enforcement, as well as what has to be disclosed to authorities if you park money in that jurisdiction.

Despite what appears to be the questionable legality of some of the advice to use tax havens to cloak banks accounts in secrecy and avoid taxes, Mr. Diamond’s text books are still available at law schools around the world. Including in British Columbia.

Mr. Diamond was obviously not a lawyer – otherwise he would have been prohibited from publishing such content – but also he entirely mis-comprehended the reach and power of global anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financial legislation which is to make sure we can un-cloak every dollar you park in a tax haven.

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