You may have recently heard something about an unknown source who has leaked 11.5 million documents from the Panamanian law firm of Mossack Fonseca. Basically, the documents illustrate how many wealthy individuals hide their money from tax authorities.
Under a plan devised by the Commissioner of Taxation, Chris Jordan, 35 countries have agreed to mount the most ambitious international investigation in history to hunt down tax evaders identified in the Panama Papers leak. About 800 Australians are listed in the files of Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca, from which confidential correspondence was leaked, and 80 of those are identified in the Australian Crime Commission’s (ACC’s) database for serious and organised crime.
The ATO says that it has now linked over 120 of them to an associate offshore service provider located in Hong Kong. Deputy Commissioner, Michael Cranston, said that
“The information we have includes a large number of taxpayers who haven’t previously come forward, including high wealth individuals, and we are already taking action on those cases”.
The documents from Mossack Fonseca have been exposed in a global media project led by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). The ICIJ plans to release the names of all of the 240,000 offshore entities set up by Mossack Fonseca, along with directors and shareholders, next month.