Wednesday, September 28, 2022

USA - A Tax Haven

 Titled Billionaire Enabler States: How U.S. States Captured by the Trust Industry Help the World's Wealthy Hide Their Fortunes, the new report from the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) estimates that the United States is host to $5.6 trillion in trust and estate assets belonging to super-wealthy elites, both foreign and domestic.

"The concept of the 'offshore' tax haven has very much washed ashore," says the report, which exposes how 13 U.S. states "shield the fortunes of the world's richest people."

According to a summary of the report:

  • The "Biggest Enablers" are South Dakota, Nevada, Alaska, and Delaware, which the report calls "the shadow states in the darkest corners of the wealth management industry";
  • The report names Tennessee, Wyoming, and New Hampshire as "Bad Actors" that actively aid and abet the wealth defense industry; and
  • The report identifies Rhode Island, Ohio, Missouri, Illinois, Florida, and Texas as "Emerging Enablers" that are becoming key tools for trusts to shield hidden wealth.

"Thirteen U.S. states are in a race to the bottom to weaken trust oversight and manipulate the rules to attract billionaire tax dodgers and money launderers," Kalena Thomhave, co-author of the report and researcher at the Program on Inequality and the Common Good at IPS, said in a statement. "The wealth of nations is hidden in states like Wyoming, Delaware, Nevada, and South Dakota."

"Trusts are key to this story," states IPS. These financial vehicles make it possible to camouflage ill-gotten gains, enabling a small number of billionaires to elude public scrutiny and taxation, with negative consequences for billions of people worldwide.

By providing a place to park illicit wealth abroad, roughly a dozen U.S. states are helping kleptocrats from around the world "avoid accountability at home," the report explains. They are also enabling ultra-rich Americans to dodge federal taxes, "cheating the U.S. out of revenue with which it could combat poverty or invest in infrastructure."

New Report Reveals How 13 US States 'Shield the Fortunes of the World's Richest People' (

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