WASHINGTON, D.C.No one has ever been able to figure out exactly how much rich people have managed to sock away in island tax havens, fishy investments, and assorted other tax dodges. But an international group called Tax Justice Network, made up of tax experts and economists, reports, according to The Observer of London, that the rich are stashing a whopping $11.5 trillion in tax havens. These assets normally would provide some $860 billion in annual income. Taxable income on the $11.5 trillion could run as high as $255 billion. "This is one of the defining crises of our times," John Christensen, co-coordinator of the Tax Justice Network and a former economic adviser to the government of Jersey, one of the Channel Islands, told The Observer. "One of the most fundamental changes in our society in recent years is how money and the rich have become more mobile. This has resulted in the wealthy becoming less inclined to associate with normal society and feeling no obligation to pay taxes."
Richard Murphy of Tax Research, who co-authored the report, said: "No one has tried to calculate a number like this before. To ensure the credibility of our data, we have only used information already in the public domain and produced by some of the most authoritative sources in the world. In addition, we tested our conclusions against three independent sources of information, and all seem to substantially agree, giving us a high degree of confidence in the conclusions we have reached."