Tax Havens For Millionaires

According to those who track such numbers, in 2012 there were 12 million millionaires in the world with combined assets of $46.2 trillion. That was 10% more than the previous year, but regardless of how much more it may be, the issue for these millionaires is how to avoid paying taxes. Now that there has been more pressures on Swiss banks to reveal their customers, making them less desirable tax havens, the push is to invest in art. That opens the question, where to store the art? As a result, Switzerland is now home to a number of rather unique duty-free warehouses. They offer the privacy and security that had for so long made Swiss banks sought after by those interested in shielding their assets. In addition Swiss laws facilitate the movement of art in and out of the country without questions, which means someone in China can buy a painting from a Master in London and have it shipped to a Geneva warehouse without any concerns about taxes or security. The practice is so gaining in popularity, space in existing warehouses is just about at capacity and more are being built. This all means that the millionaires’ goal is reached, their investments are safe and tax free and their private interests are met. But is that what art is meant to be about?