Wealthy individuals may have been hiding as much as $32 trillion offshore at the end of 2010, according to Tax Justice Network, a U.K.-based organization that campaigns for transparency in the financial system.
The estimate is almost three times the organization’s last estimate of $11.5 trillion in 2005. Fewer than 100,000 people own $9.8 trillion of offshore assets, according to the research, carried out by former McKinsey & Co. economist James Henry.
There is a “huge black hole in the world economy” of untaxed private wealth, Henry said in a statement. “The lost tax revenue implied by our estimates is huge.”
The amount held offshore means that 139 countries with external debts of $4.1 trillion at the end of 2010 would be creditors to the world, if as much as $9.3 trillion of cross- border holdings of their wealthiest citizens were taken into account, according to the research.
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