Tax havens holding trillions

A NEW report has found that as much as $US21 trillion is being held in offshore tax havens around the world.

The study, which was produced by campaign group the Tax Justice network, looked at the amount of money which has been moved to low-tax or tax-free jurisdictions.

The report's author, former McKinsey consultancy director James Henry, estimated that at least $US21 trillion has been moved beyond the reach of home country tax authorities, representing lost tax revenues worth up to $US280 billion.

He said the figure, equivalent to the combined gross domestic product of the United States and Japan, was conservative, adding that up to $US32 trillion may have found its way into tax havens including the Cayman Islands and Switzerland.

"[The assets are] protected by a highly paid, industrious bevy of professional enablers in the private banking, legal, accounting and investment industries taking advantage of the increasingly borderless, frictionless global economy," he said.

Read more at ABC news online.