One of the main goals of entrepreneurs is tax optimization, i.e. taking actions aimed at reducing tax liabilities. In view of the high and often unfavorable tax burden in Poland, an interesting solution seems to be moving part of the taxed activity to countries with very low taxes and extensive legal regulations regarding banking secrecy. Such places are referred to as tax havens.
According to the OECD definition, a tax haven is a country which arranges its laws in such a way as to make conditions for conducting business attractive to particular countries. Legislation of such countries consists of establishing very low taxes and not very transparent tax regulations, as well as the possibility of taxing income in a given place without conducting business on its territory. The aim of tax havens is to attract capital of persons or companies outside the place of economic activity. Tax havens are used by entrepreneurs to transfer profits and avoid paying taxes in their home countries.
Tax havens are mainly exotic countries such as Maldives or Seychelles.
On the other hand, in Europe they would be e.g. Monaco or Liechtenstein. Tax haven enables tax optimization, which is not illegal. Tax optimization assumes avoiding tax payment and not tax evasion. Tax evasion is an illegal activity. It is treated as a crime because such actions lead to reduction of tax burden. Tax avoidance, on the other hand, is legal, which most often is connected with tax optimization. Its purpose is to reduce the tax burden. Tax optimization itself is undertaken by means that are allowed by law.
Tax optimization in tax haven usually consists in setting up a company in a place treated as a tax haven, which provides advisory services for a certain part of the company and charges high fees for it. As a result, the parent company has a very high tax cost, resulting in tax savings.
Therefore, it is not surprising that entrepreneurs look for effective methods of tax avoidance, consisting in using available legal instruments, in such a way as to pay the lowest possible taxes.
The issue of tax havens is also related to the concept of transfer pricing, which consists in the fact that entities related by capital shape the prices of goods or services in mutual transactions in such a way as to show income to be taxed in countries with favorable tax systems, such as tax havens.
In addition, it should be remembered that in any business, even the best managed one, there is a risk of bankruptcy due to unforeseen external circumstances. Delays of contractors, actions of competitors, damage caused by reckless employees or random events can cause financial problems for an entrepreneur. Therefore, it is worth paying attention to certain solutions offered by tax haven legislation that may serve to protect assets from potential creditors.