Offshore Cash Flows From Australia Hit A Five-Year Low, With The Tax Haven Business In Decline

Liechtenstein Castle, home of the Princes of Liechtenstein. The ministate is known as a financial loophole for tax evaders. Johannes Simon/Getty Images

Funds flowing from Australia to tax havens such as Vanuatu, Liechtenstein and Jersey are at a five year low, according to government analysis.

The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) numbers for 2012-13 show $47 billion was sent from Australia to tax havens, a fall of 13% compared to 2007-08.

The value of outwards funds flows to six of the 13 tax secrecy jurisdictions decreased by more than 30%. Liechtenstein was down 55%, Vanuatu 51% and Jersey 30%.

Between July 2007 and June 2013 a total of $292 billion was transferred from Australia to tax secrecy jurisdictions. Going the other way, $367 billion was transferred into Australia from tax havens.

The numbers are contained within an update on Project Wickenby which investigated the abuse of overseas tax and secrecy jurisdictions.

Since 2007 AUSTRAC has been providing financial intelligence to the Australian Taxation Office and other agencies to identify people promoting or participating in tax havens. Project Wickenby has raised more than $1.8 billion in tax liabilities.

The Australian Tax Office is cracking down on people hiding offshore earnings and is currently offering a part amnesty to those coming clean.

Read: The Clock Is Ticking On Australians Hiding Money Offshore