Tax evasion in new disguise? Examining tax havens' international bank deposits


Bank deposits in tax havens potentially hide illegal tax evasion. The October 2016 release of bilateral locational banking statistics permits us to illuminate three open issues in this respect. We find that the intended effect of additional information-exchange-on-request treaties vanishes since about 2010. This also holds for bank deposits from tax havens in non-havens. In contrast, new treaties based on the automatic exchange of information show bite. This suggests that tax evasion changes its disguise: it adapts to established information exchange treaties while tax evaders seem (partly) surprised by, and thus react to, new treaty forms.

Revision submitted: Journal of Public Economics

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