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Tax Havens

Far from constituting a negligible or transitory phenomenon, tax havens—or offshore finance centers—are deeply embedded in globalized capitalism. Despite their often small size, tax havens have managed to capture a significant share of global financial flows. However, defining a tax haven is not straightforward, as a competitive reduction in corporate taxation was already practiced by the U.S. states of New Jersey and Delaware in the late 19th century. Acknowledging a country’s right to determine its own rate of taxation, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) thus distinguishes between (a) countries with a generally applicable tax rate that is lower than those of other countries, (b) countries with a tax system that offers preferential treatment to specific industries, and (c) countries that impose no ...

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