Switzerland top tax haven, US at number 3
In the financial secrecy index (FSI) 2015 unveiled by the Tax Justice Network (TJN), Switzerland retained its top spot. U.S. was on the 6th position in 2013 and jumped to number 3 in the lastest report. According to TJN, Switzerland's banking secrecy was far from dead. Though there were several improvements but the average secrecy score had fallen to 60 from 66 (in FSI-2013).
Tax Justice Network International Secretariat Limited is an NGO based in UK. It is is an advocacy group consisting of a coalition of researchers and activists with a shared concern about tax avoidance, tax competition and tax havens. In July 2012, it had published claims that few wealthy individuals had deposits worth at least $21 trillion (£13 trillion) in secretive tax havens.
Financial Secrecy Index highlights places around the world that provide safe havens for tax evaders. It was a tool for understanding global financial secrecy, tax havens or secrecy jurisdictions, and illicit financial flows. It observed that world's biggest and richest countries were the main recipients of illegal money. European countries like Greece, Italy and Portugal were destroyed by decades of tax evasion, it noticed.
A tax haven is a country that offers foreign individuals and businesses little or no tax liability in a politically and economically stable environment. They also provide little or no financial information to foreign tax authorities.
A Tax Justice Network report estimated that the amount of black money deposited by 'global super-rich elite' in offshore accounts was 13 trillion pounds. The report suggested that the capital that flowed out of developing economies in 1970s could have paid off their debt. James Henry, former chief economist at consultancy McKinsey said in the report that money had leaked into countries like Switzerland.
India was ranked at number 45 and called as moderatively secretive. India accounted for slightly under 1.5% of the global market for offshore financial services, making it a large player compared with other secrecy juridictions. The report said that India uses appropriate tools for efficiently analysing tax related information . India has ratified the five-most relevant international treaties relating to financial transparency.