World Bank: Tax evasion has “tremendous negative effect” on poverty fight

Date: April 14, 2016


World Bank: Tax evasion has “tremendous negative effect” on poverty fight

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said Thursday in reference to the scandal surrounding the leak of the Panama Papers that tax evasion had a “tremendous negative effect” on the fight against global poverty.

During the opening press conference for the World Bank’s 2016 Spring Meetings, Kim said the creation of offshore companies in tax havens to evade taxes, a potential purpose of these hard-to-trace corporations, was a matter of “great, great concern.”

But he issued a warning to would-be tax evaders.

“The message I would send is that transparency is not going to move backwards. The world is going to become only more and more transparent as we move forward. So I would just say, be very careful,” Kim said.

He added that the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank had spent more than 20 years combating corruption and were prepared to help developing countries with weaker oversight systems.

The massive leak of 11.5 million confidential documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, which has provided corporate service in tax havens since 1970, revealed the offshore holdings of more than 140 politicians and public officials worldwide, including several current or former heads of state, and their family members.