IMPACT

Panama Papers investigations bring more than $700 million back onshore

Governments around the world have recouped more than $700 million in fines and back taxes as a result of the Panama Papers investigation, a new tally reveals.

Governments around the world have recouped more than $700 million in fines and back taxes as a result of the Panama Papers investigation, a new tally reveals.

An additional $182 million has been clawed back in Germany and Australia, adding to more than $500 million previously recouped globally because of the 2016 investigation.

ICIJ German partners Süddeutsche Zeitung reported in April that German authorities had collected 140 million euros ($171 million.) Research by ICIJ media partners NDR, WDR and Süddeutsche Zeitung found that more than 2,000 official investigations were underway and 71 criminal cases  had been initiated.

“North Rhine-Westphalia alone received 100 million euros in fines from banks and financial institutions that had contributed to tax evasion,” Süddeutsche Zeitung wrote.“Through tax repayments, the country received another 17.5 million euros.”

In May, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) reported to parliament the completion so far of 315 reviews and audits sparked by the Panama Papers.

In 2018, the ATO recorded the recovery of $11 million more to add to $37 million already recouped since April 2016. “We’ve got three individuals who are under criminal investigations at the moment, resulting from the work we’ve done,” the tax office told ICIJ.

The overall amount collected worldwide is likely to keep growing as other countries continue  audits on the basis of the Panama Papers information. Australia’s tax office has 81 ongoing probes, while Canada’s revenue agency has confirmed 123 audits and several criminal investigations.

Earlier this year, Mossack Fonseca, the offshore law firm whose 11.5 million leaked files were at the heart of the Panama Papers investigation, closed.

Last week, ICIJ published a new series of articles based on Mossack Fonseca documents obtained after the publication of the 2016 investigation.

The new leak of information revealed tax and criminal inquiries to the law firm from authorities around the world, including India, France, Australia, Panama, the United Kingdom.

The new documents also showed the reactions to the leak of bankers, accountants and lawyers who, along with Mossack Fonseca, helped the rich and famous avoid or reduce taxes through offshore companies.

One unhappy lawyer who had used Mossack Fonseca’s services for years complained that the Panama Papers investigation resulted in exactly what secretive offshore companies were designed to avoid.

“Thanks to Mossack,” he wrote in January 2017, “customers have to pay income taxes.”

Do you know a government that has recouped more money following the Panama Papers? Let us know!

IMPACT

The Denver Art Museum to return four artifacts to Cambodia after Pandora Papers investigation coverage of indicted art dealer

Oct 17, 2021
Baker McKenzie
IMPACT

Pandora Papers investigation prompts new scrutiny of law firms’ role in offshore abuses

Oct 13, 2021
IMPACT

Political and business links to Pandora Papers roil parliaments, anti-corruption and tax authorities as global fallout swells

Oct 12, 2021
IMPACT

Czech prime minister’s party narrowly loses re-election days after Pandora Papers revelations in surprise outcome

Oct 09, 2021
IMPACT

136 countries agree to global minimum tax for corporations in ‘historic’ OECD deal

Oct 08, 2021
IMPACT

Chilean President Sebastián Piñera to be criminally investigated due to Pandora Papers revelations

Oct 08, 2021
ICIJ is dedicated to ensuring all reports we publish are accurate. If you believe you have found an inaccuracy let us know.