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Escaping the Exchange of Information: Tax Evasion via Citizenship-by-Investment

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  • Dominika Langenmayr
  • Lennard Zyska

Abstract

With (automatic) exchange of tax information among countries now common, tax evaders have had to find new ways to hide their offshore holdings. One such way are citizenship-by-investment programs, which offer foreigners a new passport for a local investment or a fixed fee. We show analytically that high-income individuals acquire a new citizenship to lower the probability that their tax evasion is detected through information exchange. Using data on cross-border bank deposits, we find that deposits in tax havens increase after a country starts offering a citizenship-by-investment program, providing indirect evidence that tax evaders use these programs.

Suggested Citation

  • Dominika Langenmayr & Lennard Zyska, 2021. "Escaping the Exchange of Information: Tax Evasion via Citizenship-by-Investment," CESifo Working Paper Series 8956, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_8956
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    2. Casi, Elisa & Mardan, Mohammed & Stage, Barbara M. B., 2023. "Citizenship/Residence by Investment and Digital Nomad Visas: The Golden Era of Individual Tax Evasion and Avoidance?," Discussion Papers 2023/12, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science.
    3. Jeanne Bomare & Ségal Le Guern Herry, 2022. "Will We Ever Be Able to Track Offshore Wealth? Evidence from the Offshore Real Estate Market in the UK," SciencePo Working papers Main hal-03811306, HAL.
    4. Elisa Casi & Mohammed Mardan & Rohit Reddy Muddasani, 2022. "So close and yet so far: the ability of mandatory disclosure rules to crack down on offshore tax evasion," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2022-116, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    5. Alstadsæter, Annette & Casi, Elisa & Miethe, Jakob & Stage, Barbara M. B., 2023. "Lost in Information: National Implementation of Global Tax Agreements," Discussion Papers 2023/22, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science, revised 20 Feb 2024.
    6. Ludger Schuknecht & Vincent Siegerink, 2021. "The Political Economy of the International Tax Transparency Agenda in the G20/OECD Context," CESifo Working Paper Series 8813, CESifo.
    7. Jeanne Bomare & Ségal Le Guern Herry, 2022. "Will We Ever Be Able to Track Offshore Wealth? Evidence from the Offshore Real Estate Market in the UK," Working Papers hal-03811306, HAL.
    8. Jeanne Bomare & Ségal Le Guern Herry, 2022. "Will We Ever Be Able to Track Offshore Wealth? Evidence from the Offshore Real Estate Market in the UK," SciencePo Working papers hal-03811306, HAL.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    citizenship-by-investment programs; tax havens; tax evasion;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • F53 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Agreements and Observance; International Organizations
    • K37 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Immigration Law

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