Watch: What we know so far about the Panama Papers

Photo from 2010 of David Cameron greeting his father Ian. The Prime Minister's late father was repor

Photo from 2010 of David Cameron greeting his father Ian. The Prime Minister's late father was reported to be among names - including those of six peers, three ex-Tory MPs and political party donors - named in relation to investments set up by Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca. Photo: Johnny Green/PA Wire - Credit: PA

More than 11 million documents have been passed to 107 media organisations across the globe which have shed further light on the tax affairs of the rich and powerful.

•What information has been released?

Emails, pdf files and other records from the internal database of Mossack Fonseca, a Panama-based law firm. They are said to cover a period from the 1970s to the spring of 2016.

The so-called Panama Papers are said to provide data on around 214,000 offshore companies. The BBC alleges the documents show how the law firm has helped clients launder money, dodge sanctions and evade tax.

Mossack Fonseca said it had operated 'beyond reproach' for 40 years and had never been charged with criminal wrongdoing.


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•Where has this data come from?

German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung first received the data more than a year ago. It said the information was offered by an anonymous source who requested no cash compensation.

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•Who has been named in the documents?

More details are expected to be released in the coming days although the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based in Washington, said the offshore holdings of 12 current and former world leaders are detailed in the investigation.

It added criminals, celebrities, sports stars and businessmen are also included.

Reports suggest six peers, three Tory ex-MPs and 'dozens' of UK political party donors are also among those identified as holders of offshore assets.

Iceland's prime minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson has been questioned about claims that he failed to declare an interest in his country's bailed-out banks. He is facing calls for his resignation.

•What is the difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion?

Tax avoidance involves companies and people using legal ways and following the rules to reduce their tax bill, which on a small scale can include using a tax-free Isa to save money.

In contrast, tax evasion is an offence and involves illegal ways of paying less tax than required.

It is claimed the leaked papers show attempts to use offshore companies to conceal the identities of the actual company owners.

•What is the UK's approach to dealing with tax havens?

The Government announced last year that Britain's overseas territories - which include the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands - had agreed to reveal who owns and profits from a company on central registers or 'similarly effective systems'.

The Foreign Office says it wants UK law enforcement and tax authorities to have unrestricted access to this information while companies and their beneficial owners must not be alerted should an investigation be under way.

But campaigners argue this falls short of the desire to have increased transparency, including David Cameron's previously stated intentions for such registers to be publicly available.

The Prime Minister is facing demands to increase the pressure on the overseas territories ahead of an international anti-corruption summit in London next month.

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