What are the Paradise Papers?

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The Paradise Papers is a special investigation by the Guardian and 95 media partners worldwide into a leak of 13.4m files from two offshore service providers and 19 tax havens’ company registries. The files reveal the offshore financial affairs of some of the world’s biggest multinational companies and richest individuals and set out the myriad ways in which tax can be avoided using artificial structures

In a 60-page report on tax structuring dated March 2011, PwC outlined a series of steps Blackstone could take to ensure its funds did not pay stamp duty on the purchase, to reduce its tax bill on the rental income it received while holding the property, and later to dispose of it without paying capital gains tax.

The first page of advice spells out the aim of the proposed tax structure, saying it “has been designed with a view to meeting the following key objectives”

They were:

  • To mitigate, where possible, taxes on the acquisition.
  • To minimise continuing income, corporate, withholding and other taxes in the UK, Jersey, and Luxembourg.
  • To implement a structure that provides for flexibility for additional acquisitions, separation, development, and divestment.
  • To minimise tax on exit from a UK, Jersey and Luxembourg perspective

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