Panama Papers firm doesn’t actually know who most of its customers were
When people say we need transparency around this, you can kind of get where they're coming from...
Remember the Panama Papers? A bunch of documents that came out last year revealing how much money was hiding in tax havens around the world?
Turns out the company behind it still doesn't really know whose money most of it actually was.
What it means: Recap: The press got hold of 11.5 million documents showing that everyone from the Prime Minister of Pakistan to David Cameron's dad to Lewis Hamilton had some funds in 'tax havens' – places with lower tax rates where you can put your money if you don't want to give the tax rate you're owed to the government at home.
Since then, the UK government has started 66 investigations into cases revealed by the leak, and thinks it'll recover about £100m back in taxes; Germany's already got £123m from theirs.
To the customers, that 'confidentiality' was their USP; they paid for the service of keeping their money abroad, quietly. But that's exactly what tax justice campaigners are against: they say being rich shouldn't give you the right to decide whether or not you pay the tax rate your government has set for you, given that choice isn't available for anyone else.