Mapped: The World’s Biggest Private Tax Havens

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Biggest Tax Havens

The World’s Biggest Private Tax Havens

When the world’s ultra-wealthy look for tax havens to shield income and wealth from their domestic governments, where do they turn?

If you’re putting money in offshore bank accounts in order to save on taxes, there are two main criteria you’re looking for: secrecy and accessibility. Based on pop culture and media reports, you might imagine a secretive bank in Switzerland or a tiny island nation in the Caribbean.

And though there is some truth to that logic, the reality is that the world’s biggest tax havens are spread all over the world. Some of them are small nations as expected, but others are major economic powers that might be surprising.

Here are the world’s top 20 tax havens, as ranked by the 2020 Financial Secrecy Index (FSI) by the English NGO Tax Justice Network.

Which Countries are the Biggest Tax Havens?

The FSI ranks countries and territories from all over the world on two criteria: secrecy and scale.

  • Secrecy Score: How well the jurisdiction’s banking system can hide money. This includes analysis of ownership registration, legal entity transparency, tax and financial regulations, and cooperation with international standards.
  • Global Scale Weight: What is the jurisdiction’s share of the world’s total cross-border financial services? This metric is based primarily on the IMF’s Balance of Payments statistics.

By weighing a country’s ability to hide money by its relative share of offshore financial services, we see the tax havens with the biggest impact on the global economy.

Rank Jurisdiction Region
1 🇰🇾 Cayman Islands Caribbean
2 🇺🇸 United States North America
3 🇨🇭 Switzerland Europe
4 🇭🇰 Hong Kong East Asia
5 🇸🇬 Singapore Southeast Asia
6 🇱🇺 Luxembourg Europe
7 🇯🇵 Japan East Asia
8 🇳🇱 Netherlands Europe
9 🇻🇬 British Virgin Islands Caribbean
10 🇦🇪 United Arab Emirates Middle East
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