THE NUMBER of owners of Slovak companies registered in tax havens exceeded 3,600 at the end of 2012, which represents a 17.8-percent increase year-on-year. Interest in tax havens has been at its highest within the last five years, according to an analysis published by consulting company Bisnode Slovensko in early February, as reported by the TASR newswire.
The analysis shows that currently 1.78 percent of companies registered in Slovakia are managed from a tax haven. Cyprus and the Seychelles were among the most-favoured destinations last year, with Cyprus serving for tax optimisation and the Seychelles for securing anonymity.
“Businessmen were extensively interested in tax optimisation and ensuring anonymous ownership by means of foreign companies last year,” said Bisnode analyst Petra Štěpánová, adding that this has been the biggest level of interest reported within the past five years.
According to the company’s statistics, the number of company owners registered in tax havens grew by 263 in 2011 and by 551 in 2012.
Over the long term, the Netherlands have proved to be the most popular tax haven among Slovak companies.
TASR also cited data from Čekia, based on which the number of Czech companies whose owners have their headquarters in a tax haven increased by 4 percent to 12,554 last year. The E15 daily wrote that 3.43 percent out of 366,500 companies registered in the Czech Republic, are managed from tax heavens.
Last year businesses moved most often to Cyprus, the Seychelles, Bermuda and Belize. Interest in the Netherlands and Luxembourg is decreasing.
However, the financial crisis has cast a cloud over tax havens. International pressure on them has strengthened and, even if they do not want to, they are having to tighten rules for operation of foreign companies on their territories.
4. Mar 2013 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff