mobile menu mobile search

Mauritius named among ‘world’s worst’ corporate tax havens

Mauritius named among ‘world’s worst’ corporate tax havens

A new report names and shames 15 of the ‘world’s worst’ tax havens, with the Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius coming close to bottom on the list.

Charity organisation, Oxfam, said that business is dodging tax on an industrial scale, depriving governments across the globe of the money they need to address poverty and invest in healthcare, education and jobs.

The international group has compiled a list of ‘the world’s worst corporate tax havens’ – “extreme examples of a destructive race to the bottom on corporate tax which has seen governments across the globe slash corporate tax bills in an attempt to attract business,” Oxfam said.

The organisation’s researchers compiled the ‘world’s worst’ list by assessing the extent to which countries employ the most damaging tax policies, such as zero corporate tax rates, the provision of unfair and unproductive tax incentives, and a lack of cooperation with international processes against tax avoidance – including measures to increase financial transparency.

 Top 15 ‘worst’ tax havens:

# Tax haven Region
1 Bermuda Caribbean
2 Cayman Islands Caribbean
3 Netherlands Europe
4 Switzerland Europe
5 Singapore Southeast Asia
6 Ireland British Isles
7 Luxembourg Europe
8 Curaçao Caribbean
9 Hong Kong Asia
10 Cyprus Mediterranean
11 Bahamas Caribbean
12 Jersey British Isles
13 Barbados Caribbean
14 Mauritius Africa
15 British Virgin Islands Caribbean

Oxfam pointed out that many of the countries on the ‘world’s worst’ list have been implicated in tax scandals.

For example Ireland hit the headlines over a tax deal with Apple that enabled the global tech giant to pay a 0.005 percent corporate tax rate in the country. The British Virgin Islands also recently featured in international news as it was revealed to be the home to more than half of the 200,000 offshore companies set up by Mossack Fonseca – the law firm at the heart of the Panama Papers scandal.

Read: How much it costs to move to Mauritius

Oxfam noted that tax dodging by multinational corporations costs poor countries at least $100 billion every year.

The charity stressed in its report that tax havens are only part of the problem. Countries across the world are slashing corporate tax bills as they compete for investment.  The average corporate tax rate across G20 countries was 40% 25 years ago – today it is less than 30%, Oxfam said.

The use of unproductive and wasteful tax incentives is also ballooning – particularly in the developing world. For example, tax incentives cost Kenya $1.1 billion a year – almost double their entire national health budget, the charity said.

When corporate tax bills are cut, governments balance their books by reducing public spending or by raising taxes such as VAT, which fall disproportionately on poor people, it said. For example, a 0.8% cut in corporate tax rates across OECD countries between 2007 and 2014 was partially offset by a 1.5% increase in the average standard VAT rate between 2008 and 2015.

Oxfam called on all governments to improve tax transparency by requiring all multinational companies to publish financial reports for every country in which they operate.

Read: How many South Africans have bought property in Mauritius


BusinessTech's Staff Writer is directly plugged into the South African Internet backbone, and spits out press releases and other news as they receive it. They are believed to be cl...
TAGS: Headline
Join the Conversation
  • Khalsa Singh

    Give poor Mauritius a break………… rather focus on those top 10 european culprits.
    Thats the headline you should be running with

    • Nhlanhla Henry Dladla


  • Born-again-Atheist

    Screw TAX. Governments are bloated & wasteful. Who wants to pay TAX & prop up their defense budgets etc?

  • Craig “CrAiGiSh” Dodd

    The amount that I get Taxed every month for all MY hard work, should be a crime on its own.

    • Mikhael Rowe

      That make you and I “tax havens” my friend.

  • Hof

    Maybe if the goverment did not force a Tax bill , labour law, BEE, EE, BBBEEEEEEEEE, bad electricity, bad water and bad security onto us, we would to be looking at Mauritius.

  • Aristophanes

    Good for Mauritius. At least it gives businesses in SA a chance to escape the clutches of the latest Failed African State while still servicing their clients here and in Africa!

  • Sky Captain

    What a load of tripe!

    How about this: These corporations that are “depriving” the poor government of their “deserved” taxes are employing hundreds of thousands of people in some instances. The contribution to the economy of the countries where these people reside is huge. Apple, for example, does not pay poor salaries and the disposable income of their employees adds great value to the bottom line of many other businesses and traders. Now why should the government take 30 or 40% of their profits?? If the government was super efficient and lean, only doing what they are supposed to do constitutionally, then it would be a different matter and they might need 5 or 10%, but as it is, it is a bloated self-serving machine that doesn’t have enough public accountability as it is. And now Oxfam wants to ensure it gets more money! For what? Are they fools or being shills for big government?

    Governments don’t have to build roads. Or provide telephone or postal services. Or run a national healthcare scheme. If they are efficient at doing it, then let them do it. But if not, let private enterprise do so if they do a better job. It’s the meddling of government in private affairs that the biggest problem. In the US it has taken on fascist proportions!

    If Mauritius figures out a way to attract companies to be based there, then good on them! Let the “loser” countries, like South Africa, figure out how to compete with what they offer corporations. That’s the way to deal with this. It’s not a simple matter to have your corporation based in Mauritius, it’s takes fancy footwork and care to do so. If South Africa didn’t have such a bureaucratic red-tape laden environment, their corporations wouldn’t be attracted toward Mauritius. But as it is, when the current SA government is trying to get its greasy paws into every business that generates a profit, for the sole purpose of lining their its gravy-train pockets, and does it all in the name of black economic empowerment, then good on the corporates that head over to Mauritius.

  • YouDontEvenKnowMe

    High corporate tax is the reason for companies moving to these so called tax havens, even Trump recognizes the solution of lower corporate tax incentives

  • AnotherView

    This makes it the BEST tax haven

  • disqus_GwC1Q0nZYD

    rubbish article…

  • Muaaz Asmal

    Dear Mr Staff Writer,
    Please make an article on this rather:
    TAX in whatever form, be it income / VAT etc is not for the benefit of any country.
    Rather it is used as the presidents / governments pocket money!
    TAX is one of the biggest crimes in history and most people are asleep!

    • AfricanAfrikaner

      Without tax there would be no economy. Because we have a bunch of aholes running the country, it doesn’t mean that taxes are to blame for this. It’s rather the aholes and the idiots voting for them that should be blamed. Tax is the single most important aspect to running a country. Without it there would be no water, sanitation, infrastructure, etc.

      • Muaaz Asmal

        Agreed on the need for tax . However there is no such thing as VAT and etolls and many other forms of tax as income tax from millions of people at such a high rate is more than enough!

Join our newest FREE BusinessTech newsletter today!