top of page

The Worst "Tax Hells" in the World

Although most people are unsure of what a "tax haven" is, we presume that it includes countries without an income tax. And when considering nations like Bermuda, Monaco, and the Cayman Islands, there is much to be admired.

What if, though, we wanted to describe a tax haven's opposite? What is a "tax hell" and how do you recognize one?

This mission is taken up by a new research for the 1841 Foundation, which identifies 12 countries deserving of this unpleasant title. The absolute worst country is Belarus, which is then followed by Venezuela, Argentina, and Russia.

This is not only a list of places having a lot of taxes, though.

A country must have punitive taxes and a bad administration in order to be a tax hell. Here is how the approach is explained in the report.

The Tax Hells Index takes a close look at the qualitative and quantitative data that the IMF and the World Bank both offer on a yearly basis. The 1841 Foundation was able to construct a thorough index and rigorously evaluate 94 nations by extracting important lessons from this data. ...we think that a "Tax Hell" is a society with weak rule of law, where the rights to property and privacy are not upheld or safeguarded to the extent that is necessary. … As a result, while evaluating the findings, nations with high levels of political, economic, and judicial stability may have high taxes (such as Denmark), but they are a long way from being categorized as Tax Hells. In reality, the Top-12 tax hells include both high- and low-tax nations, but they all have weak institutions, high levels of corruption, and discretionary and ineptitude in the governance of their economies.

The research includes 14 more countries that are "risky" in addition to identifying 12 tax hells.

These countries ought to be regarded as high risk:





El Salvador










The research only takes into account countries in North America, Europe, and South America, it is believed that there will be more tax hells and risky jurisdictions if later editions cover Asia and Africa.



bottom of page