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04th Apr 2016

This Post Explains The #PanamaPapers Tax Scandal In VERY Simple Terms

Ellen Tannam

The Panama Papers offshore tax scandal has been gripping news organisations from all over the world.

It centres on thousands of leaked documents from Panama-based company Mossac Fonseca that reveal that a network of wealthy celebrities, politicians and public figures have been using their services to evade taxes, launder money and commit other dodgy dealings.

According to BBC News 12 or more current heads of state are implicated in the leak, including the Prime Minister of Iceland Sigmundur David Gunnlaugson, and Vladimir Putin.

However, there’s a lot to unpack in cases like this, and Reddit user DanGliesack posted this brilliant explainer in the equally great Explain Like I’m Five subreddit.

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 16.41.42

(via Reddit)

“When you get a quarter you put it in the piggy bank. The piggy bank is on a shelf in your closet. Your mom knows this and she checks on it every once in a while, so she knows when you put more money in or spend it.

Now one day, you might decide “I don’t want mom to look at my money.” So you go over to Johnny’s house with an extra piggy bank that you’re going to keep in his room. You write your name on it and put it in his closet. Johnny’s mom is always very busy, so she never has time to check on his piggy bank. So you can keep yours there and it will stay a secret.

Now all the kids in the neighborhood think this is a good idea, and everyone goes to Johnny’s house with extra piggy banks. Now Johnny’s closet is full of piggy banks from everyone in the neighborhood.

One day, Johnny’s mom comes home and sees all the piggy banks. She gets very mad and calls everyone’s parents to let them know.

Now not everyone did this for a bad reason. Eric’s older brother always steals from his piggy bank, so he just wanted a better hiding spot. Timmy wanted to save up to buy his mom a birthday present without her knowing. Sammy just did it because he thought it was fun. But many kids did do it for a bad reason. Jacob was stealing people’s lunch money and didn’t want his parents to figure it out. Michael was stealing money from his mom’s purse. Fat Bobby’s parents put him on a diet, and didn’t want them to figure out when he was buying candy.

Now in real life, many very important people were just caught hiding their piggy banks at Johnny’s house in Panama. Today their moms all found out. Pretty soon, we’ll know more about which of these important people were doing it for bad reasons and which were doing it for good reasons. But almost everyone is in trouble regardless, because it’s against the rules to keep secrets no matter what.”


(via Giphy)