When you think about tax-havens, you probably think about Caribbean "treasure islands," the ex-colonies whose erstwhile conquerors set them up as dependent financial secrecy jurisdictions whose economies were doomed to be stunted forever.
But in truth, the most harmful tax-havens are "onshore-offshore," notorious jurisdictions like Delaware, Nevada and Wyoming, or, in the EU, Malta, Luxembourg, Cyprus and the Netherlands.
Uber may be an aggressive user of the Dutch system, but they're not the only one. Viacom-CBS evaded a $4b US tax-liability by pretending to license its IP to shell companies in "Barbados, the Bahamas, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Britain."
While this was a global affair, the Netherlands were central to the con, because of its 0.8% tax rate on foreign distribution revenues.
CBS jealously defended the pretense that a series of numbered companies with few (or zero!) employees were actually conducting its licensing and distribution business, firing at least one exec who tried to blow the whistle on the scheme.
The billionaire Redstone family - who controlled the company through most of this activity and whose scion, Shari Redstone, is its current CEO - dispute the careful, well-documented claims in the report, though they offer no evidence to contradict them.
Adrien Coquet/Noun Project (modified)
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