Rosie's Story

 

Although Rosie may not know it, her good name has been used to hide hundreds of thousands of untaxed pounds. Secrecy, anonymous trusts and shell companies, often located in tax havens, allow wealthy individuals and multinationals to hide their profits and avoid paying their fair share of tax. 

 

 

The story

Rosie may be the luckiest dog you’ll ever meet. Because her owner Harry Redknapp ‘loved her to bits’ he opened a Monaco bank account in her name. Harry Redknapp is currently the manager of the Queens Park Rangers Football Club in England, and in 2002 he was manager of Portsmouth Football Club. During his time there he sold one of the team’s players to another team for £4million, for which he received an initial bonus of £115,473 via his wage. However Redknapp was accused or arranging to receive further, off-the-record, bonuses that would be hidden from the UK Tax Authorities. Redknapp flew to Monaco, a known tax haven, and set up the Rosie 47 bank account. Two payments totalling £189,500 were paid into the hidden account, allowing Redknapp to avoid paying over £100,000 to the UK in tax. However, Redknapp was cleared of all tax evasion charges in a 2012 after a four year investigation.

To find out more about the case read this news article

What’s the issue?

 

It is a common business practice to utilise shell companies, anonymous trusts or other methods to hide the true owners of funds in order to avoid paying taxes. Tax havens have secrecy laws which allow tax dodgers to hide their identity so they can't be traced by police. The four year investigation into the practices of Harry Redknapp demonstrates the difficulty of tracking the movements of powerful individuals and corporations in tax havens, and the complexity of accounting for lost revenue.

When the government misses out on revenue, everyone else has to either pay more tax to compensate or go without essential services. It is blatant injustice. Darkness and secrecy allow these companies and individuals to continue to hide their true profits, but we now have an opportunity to stand together and shine the light on tax evasion and corruption.

How can we change this?

A public register which requires countries to gather information about individual people who own and benefit from all companies, trusts and foundations would help break down the structures that allow tax dodging and corruption. This should also require banks and other financial institutions to do thorough background checks on all their customers in order to identify who the true beneficial owners are.  Australia should begin by developing its own domestic legislation to establish a publicly accessible register of true beneficial owners within our country. 

Learn more about the disclosure of true owners here

What’s your story?

Just as God brings light into our lives as He reconciles us to Himself through Jesus, He also desires for us to join Him in bringing light into the dark places of this world. Isaiah 51:4 says 

“Listen to me, my people; hear me, my nation:
Instruction will go out from me;
my justice will become a light to the nations.” 


Pray with us today, that God will shed light on the injustice of tax dodging, and that we as His people will have the courage to stand together to represent the desires of God’s heart in order to demonstrate His Kingdom in this world.