Back to school: Paradise Papers helps students learn about offshore finance

How do tax havens work? Who benefits from using them? And who loses out? The Pulitzer Center’s takes these questions to classrooms.

How do tax havens work? Who benefits from using them? And who loses out?

ICIJ and its partners tackle these questions in our investigative reporting, and now the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting is taking these questions into classrooms to help students understand the murky world of offshore finance.

The Pulitzer Center supported two features of ICIJ’s latest project, the Paradise Papers. The Influencers interactive revealed the close associates of United States President Donald Trump who use offshore finance, and the Snax Haven video explained how the tactics used by multinational companies to avoid tax.

These two features along with numerous ICIJ stories form the backbone of two lesson plans built by the Center and made available to school teachers.

The first lesson plan takes a step back to look at the broader issue of tax avoidance through offshore structures. It asks students what would they do if they could be completely anonymous, and why might wealthy businesspeople seek out this sort of anonymity?

The lesson goes on to show some of the schemes multinational corporations use to slash their tax bills, and looks at who loses out when profits are funneled into tax havens. It also asks questions about some of the powerful individuals with links to offshore companies, and why it matters that important decision makers might have an interest in the offshore financial system.

The second lesson plan goes behind the scenes of the Paradise Papersinvestigation to focus on investigative journalism, and how reporters go about gathering information, building a story and, ultimately, how they tell that story to their audience.

Both lesson plans are available for free via the Pulitzer Center’s website, along with lesson plans from previous ICIJ investigations the Panama Papers and Fatal Extraction.


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

Oct 08, 2021

Nike fails to stop EU probe on billions in alleged tax dodging

Jul 15, 2021

Global corporate tax crackdown plan moves forward, but faces key US hurdle

Jul 14, 2021
Reporters convene during a trip to Bermuda for Paradise Papers.

How reporting for ICIJ prepared me to become a certified anti-money laundering specialist

Jul 07, 2021

G7 finance ministers agree on 15% minimum tax to crack down on corporate tax dodging

Jun 07, 2021
European Parliament

EU tax transparency rules leave tax justice advocates craving more ambitious reforms

Jun 02, 2021
ICIJ is dedicated to ensuring all reports we publish are accurate. If you believe you have found an inaccuracy let us know.