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Taxation

Tax havens like the Cayman Islands (one of the UK's Overseas Territories) are fuelling inequality which is keeping children like Morgan in poverty. Photos: Shutterstock (left), Sam Tarling/Oxfam (right). In 2015, the wealthiest 62 people on the planet owned as much as the poorest half of humanity and 1% now have more wealth than the rest of the world combined. One of the key activities underlying this extreme inequality is a systematic abuse of the global tax system. 

Through tax havens income and wealth is allowed to flow offshore, untaxed and out of reach from tax authorities and regulators. When individuals or multinational corporations place their wealth in tax havens, they can avoid paying taxes in the countries where they do business and where they make their money. This deprives governments of the resources needed for schools, hospitals and roads.

While some practices are illegal, many tax avoidance methods involve exploiting weaknesses in the system without breaking any laws. Oxfam encourages governments to work together to reform the international tax system and end the era of tax havens. If we are going to end extreme inequality and poverty, we must call on world leaders to end the era of tax havens and create a fair global tax system.