Tax Haven

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DEFINITION of 'Tax Haven'

A country that offers foreign individuals and businesses little or no tax liability in a politically and economically stable environment. Tax havens also provide little or no financial information to foreign tax authorities. Individuals and businesses that do not reside a tax haven can take advantage of these countries' tax regimes to avoid paying taxes in their home countries. Tax havens do not require that an individual reside in or a business operate out of that country in order to benefit from its tax policies.

BREAKING DOWN 'Tax Haven'

Andorra, the Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, the Channel Islands, the Cook Islands, Hong Kong, the Isle of Man, Mauritius, Lichtenstein, Monaco, Panama, Switzerland and St. Kitts and Nevis are all considered tax havens. However, pressure from foreign governments that want to collect all the tax revenue they believe they are entitled to has caused some tax haven countries to sign tax information exchange agreements (TIEAs) and mutual legal assistance treaties (MLAT) that provide foreign governments with formerly secret information about investors' offshore accounts.

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