A guide to Europe's tax havens

They are costing the EU billions each year, but where are the tax havens and what do they offer?
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The Independent Online

ANDORRA

The Haven
One of the world’s smallest independent nations, with a highly secretive tax system. Highest average life expectancy in the world (83 years)

What does it offer?
No income tax, Capital Gains Tax, sales tax or death duties and an import tax of around 2 to 5 per cent. It maintains absolute discretion with foreign tax authorities. The taxes levied on businesses do not affect expatriates.

Who wins?
The Spanish soprano Montserrat Caballé, the former tennis player Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario and the French motorcycling champion Cyril Despres.

CHANNEL ISLANDS

The Haven
Guernsey and Jersey have supplemented falling tourist numbers with tax incentives and a boom in discreet financial services.

What does it offer?
Both offer a comparatively low 20 per cent income tax for residents, no inheritance tax and no CGT. Non-doms can negotiate how much of their income the taxman can get his hands on. Trusts, IBCs and limited partnerships benefit.

Who wins?
The world’s super-rich are estimated to have £247bn of assets in Jersey. Property owners include the former Formula One champion Nigel Mansell.



ISLE OF MAN

The Haven
A self-governing Crown Dependency which is able to levy its own taxes. It is increasingly popular with US-based and online gambling companies.

What does it offer?
Zero corporate tax rate, a £100,000 cap on taxable income and no CGT, stamp duties or death duties. VAT on income tax, but the latter is kept at a low maximum rate by a government committed to keeping to a zero-tax strategy.

Who wins?
John Whittaker, the owner of Liverpool’s John Lennon airport, and PokerStars, the internet gambling site.



LIECHTENSTEIN

The Haven
An independent relic of the Holy Roman Empire, the tiny Alpine monarchy has used its reputation for banking secrecy to create assets worth at least £75bn.

What does it offer?
Comparatively low business taxes (a maximum of 18 per cent), a basic personal income tax rate of 1.2 per cent and absolute financial discretion. Banks and “discreet” financial services account for 14.3 per cent of the workforce.

Who wins?
5,000 businesses in a country with 35,000 residents. At least 100 British residents are avoiding £100m taxes according to HMRC. The late Robert Maxwell was one.



MONACO

The Haven
The second smallest independent state in the world with an estimated GDP of £450m, it thrives off its gambling, tourist and financial firms.

What does it offer?
For those rich enough to win resident status, no personal income tax or CGT combined with a strong record for banking secrecy and non-cooperation with European countries who want to find out who avoids taxes there.

Who wins?
The former Beatle Ringo Starr, the actor Sir Roger Moore, and Tina Green, wife of the retail billionaire Philip Green.



SWITZERLAND

The Haven
Switzerland’s cantons have been able to levy their own tax system for foreigners. Competition between cantons has kept incentives high.

What does it offer?
The former Beatle Ringo Starr, the actor Sir Roger Moore, and Tina Green, wife of the retail billionaire Philip Green.

Who wins?
The Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton, the musician Phil Collins, the Wimbledon champion Boris Becker and the singer Tina Turner.

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