Top Six Tax Evasion Countries, America on the List

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Top Six Tax Evasion Countries, America on the List

#1  Postby andyx1205 » Apr 14, 2012 3:17 am

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2 ... s?page=0,0

Interesting that Greece lost over $30 billion in tax evasions, the shadow economy being over than a quarter of the size of GDP. But hey it's the fault of the lazy average Greeks right?

Read the whole thing. Here's a summary, with money lost due to tax evasion and size of shadow economy as percentage of GDP.

America $337,349,000,000 8.6%
Italy $238,723,000,000 27%
Russia $221,023,000,000 43.8%
Greece $30,791,000,000 27.5%
Ireland $9,922,000,000 15.8%
Bolivia $3,727,000,000 66.1%
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Re: Top Six Tax Evasion Countries, America on the List

#2  Postby willhud9 » Apr 14, 2012 3:27 am

8.6% yeah. :smoke:
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Re: Top Six Tax Evasion Countries, America on the List

#3  Postby andyx1205 » Apr 14, 2012 5:03 am

willhud9 wrote:8.6% yeah. :smoke:


$337,349,000,000 is still a lot, enough to greatly affect the livelihood of Americans, more than enough to provide French-style free education. National health service would actually save money so that won't cost anything. All that money can do a lot of good, putting people back to jobs, bringing America into the 21st century in regards to infrastructure, transportation, and taking the lead in the world on science and technology, including the greatest investment of them all...space exploration (this is essential for our future in the long-term, unless we wish to risk our survival by putting all our eggs in one basket as Stephen Hawking noted).
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Re: Top Six Tax Evasion Countries, America on the List

#4  Postby willhud9 » Apr 14, 2012 5:18 am

Question though: Who is doing the tax evasion? For example, yes shame on the rich corporations but what about the poorer tax evaders, the people who don't pay into income tax or other government taxes in average incomes of around 50,000~? How much tax evasion is done by rich corporations and wealthy people and how much by middle class workers?
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Re: Top Six Tax Evasion Countries, America on the List

#5  Postby Panderos » Apr 14, 2012 10:54 am

UK is at 12.5%. $109bn tax lost. :o

8.6% is actually pretty good, lower than Germany and Japan.
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Re: Top Six Tax Evasion Countries, America on the List

#6  Postby Strontium Dog » Apr 14, 2012 11:16 am

andyx1205 wrote:Interesting that Greece lost over $30 billion in tax evasions, the shadow economy being over than a quarter of the size of GDP. But hey it's the fault of the lazy average Greeks right?


It's a cultural thing in Greece. Everyone dodges tax there. Greece is the most corrupt country in the EU and their tax collectors easily bribed.
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Re: Top Six Tax Evasion Countries, America on the List

#7  Postby Scot Dutchy » Apr 14, 2012 12:03 pm

In Ireland investigations have started to retrieve some of the money. Bertie Ahern is the centre of the investigation.
When he was in power during the Celtic Tiger stories went about over "brown envelopes" being paid by propertry developers.
The amounts were disgusting.
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Re: Top Six Tax Evasion Countries, America on the List

#8  Postby johnbrandt » Apr 14, 2012 4:40 pm

willhud9 wrote:Question though: Who is doing the tax evasion? For example, yes shame on the rich corporations but what about the poorer tax evaders, the people who don't pay into income tax or other government taxes in average incomes of around 50,000~? How much tax evasion is done by rich corporations and wealthy people and how much by middle class workers?


Interesting. A little like the answer to the question of "why not give middle income earners a tax break?"...because, in Australia, something like 80% of taxpayers make less than $50,000 a year...they're way to big a target for the government and source of revenue...why would you give the biggest proportion of your tax income base a tax cut??? :roll:
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Re: Top Six Tax Evasion Countries, America on the List

#9  Postby GT2211 » Apr 14, 2012 5:48 pm

willhud9 wrote:Question though: Who is doing the tax evasion? For example, yes shame on the rich corporations but what about the poorer tax evaders, the people who don't pay into income tax or other government taxes in average incomes of around 50,000~? How much tax evasion is done by rich corporations and wealthy people and how much by middle class workers?

Tax evasion is very common amongst small businesses and self employed. My father works in construction, if he does any projects on the side and chooses not to report it no one really knows. Even if the IRS suspected it they aren't going to waste spending huge amounts of money on an investigation over a couple thousand dollars. His paying of taxes could be considered voluntary.

For larger corporations tax evasion probably isn't that big of a problem. Tax avoidance maybe(which is the use of legal loopholes to pay as low rate as possible), but not evasion because it is not uncommon to regularly have IRS agents stationed in their offices auditing their records.
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Re: Top Six Tax Evasion Countries, America on the List

#10  Postby mrjonno » Apr 14, 2012 5:55 pm

What counts as tax evasion does however vary between countries.
As far as I'm concerned if there is a difference in rate between income tax and corporation tax then you have legal tax evasion.

I should know as I've done it myself paid around 1/2 to 1/3rd of the tax as a company that I would have paid if I was employeed despite doing exactly the same job
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Re: Top Six Tax Evasion Countries, America on the List

#11  Postby GT2211 » Apr 14, 2012 6:19 pm

mrjonno wrote:What counts as tax evasion does however vary between countries.
As far as I'm concerned if there is a difference in rate between income tax and corporation tax then you have legal tax evasion.

Well the two are defined differently. Evasion being the hiding of income through illegal means such as not reporting it to avoid taxes. These are things big businesses can't really get away with.

Avoidance is minimizing your tax bill through legal use of the tax code. Pretty much everyone does the latter. It can be problematic as well obviously and they can both be considered forms of non-compliance.

For instance there is a professor at my uni who has a blog. The professor bought a new car and put a bumper sticker on it with the site address, then claimed the car was a business expense(advertising) on the tax form. Trying to separate what is an illegitimate expense and what is a stupid investment can be difficult. For smaller businesses you can away with that kind of stuff more easily.
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Re: Top Six Tax Evasion Countries, America on the List

#12  Postby mrjonno » Apr 14, 2012 6:35 pm

For instance there is a professor at my uni who has a blog. The professor bought a new car and put a bumper sticker on it with the site address, then claimed the car was a business expense(advertising) on the tax form. Trying to separate what is an illegitimate expense and what is a stupid investment can be difficult. For smaller businesses you can away with that kind of stuff more easily.


Problem is what nation has the resources to actually determine if that is legitimate or not, even if it isnt generally all you will be asked to do is pay the tax without additional penalty
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Re: Top Six Tax Evasion Countries, America on the List

#13  Postby johnbrandt » Apr 14, 2012 11:34 pm

I'd agree it does depend on what you mean by "tax evasion". We're selling our house at the moment, and the young real estate agent who turned up to put up the sign and show a couple of people through was driving a very nice brand new BMW 5 series sedan, a diesel. I was amazed that a guy of maybe 25 working at a real estate office could afford such a car (they don't make that much money), but then remembered that plenty of real estate salesman (around here at least) drive exotic cars...after all, if you use it for business purposes such as taking people around to houses, it's for business purposes...and so all the running costs (and reduction in taxes at purchase time...) are a big fat tax deduction. Why would you buy a nice sensible Toyota Camry or something...?

Is it tax evasion? Not really...the government allows them to do it. However, the government probably didn't expect them to be buying cars worth up near a hundred grand and avoid the huge amount of sales tax and other charges involved in luxury car purchase in this country. Not really the persons fault for exploiting a loop hole left there buy government...they could always have made the laws say you could get the benefits, but only on a vehicle up to a cost of $40,000 say, which would be a nice large sedan here.
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Re: Top Six Tax Evasion Countries, America on the List

#14  Postby Acetone » Apr 15, 2012 12:17 am

willhud9 wrote:Question though: Who is doing the tax evasion? For example, yes shame on the rich corporations but what about the poorer tax evaders, the people who don't pay into income tax or other government taxes in average incomes of around 50,000~? How much tax evasion is done by rich corporations and wealthy people and how much by middle class workers?
I think your sentence is worded kinda funny.

I think you mean what about the middle class people who evade taxes. The way it reads now is as if the poorer people you're talking about don't have to pay taxes. How would that be tax evasion though?

Regardless, IMO tax evasion is tax evasion. I really hate people who try to justify attempting to fuck over the government. Doesn't matter if it's tax evasion or taking (unfair) advantage of social aid especially when it's not meant for you. (People who earn more than the average citizen living in social housing for instance).

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Re: Top Six Tax Evasion Countries, America on the List

#15  Postby mrjonno » Apr 15, 2012 12:26 am

johnbrandt wrote:I'd agree it does depend on what you mean by "tax evasion". We're selling our house at the moment, and the young real estate agent who turned up to put up the sign and show a couple of people through was driving a very nice brand new BMW 5 series sedan, a diesel. I was amazed that a guy of maybe 25 working at a real estate office could afford such a car (they don't make that much money), but then remembered that plenty of real estate salesman (around here at least) drive exotic cars...after all, if you use it for business purposes such as taking people around to houses, it's for business purposes...and so all the running costs (and reduction in taxes at purchase time...) are a big fat tax deduction. Why would you buy a nice sensible Toyota Camry or something...?

Is it tax evasion? Not really...the government allows them to do it. However, the government probably didn't expect them to be buying cars worth up near a hundred grand and avoid the huge amount of sales tax and other charges involved in luxury car purchase in this country. Not really the persons fault for exploiting a loop hole left there buy government...they could always have made the laws say you could get the benefits, but only on a vehicle up to a cost of $40,000 say, which would be a nice large sedan here.


Ah no 'company cars' then in Australia like the US. In the UK most expensive cars are paid for by the company you work for (you have to pay tax as its considered a benefit)
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Re: Top Six Tax Evasion Countries, America on the List

#16  Postby GT2211 » Apr 15, 2012 1:55 am

For real estate I know many consider cars an important tool as it helps portray the image that they are successful and know what they are doing.
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Re: Top Six Tax Evasion Countries, America on the List

#17  Postby johnbrandt » Apr 15, 2012 2:21 am

GT2211 wrote:For real estate I know many consider cars an important tool as it helps portray the image that they are successful and know what they are doing.


That's about it. There are "company cars" but it's pretty limited and taken as part of your salary package...you don't get paid as much as other people, but you get a car and fuel card for your use.
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Re: Top Six Tax Evasion Countries, America on the List

#18  Postby laklak » Apr 15, 2012 4:05 am

I don't lie on my tax returns, nor do I hide income. I do, however, take advantage of every possible legal loophole. I pay a substantial annual sum to a tax accountant to insure I'm paying as little in tax as is legally possible. In fact, I'd happily give exactly the same amount of money to the tax accountant that she saves me in taxes, because I'd rather give the cash to someone that actually works for a living than to see it disappear into the bureaucratic black hole.
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Re: Top Six Tax Evasion Countries, America on the List

#19  Postby willhud9 » Apr 15, 2012 4:31 am

laklak wrote:I don't lie on my tax returns, nor do I hide income. I do, however, take advantage of every possible legal loophole. I pay a substantial annual sum to a tax accountant to insure I'm paying as little in tax as is legally possible. In fact, I'd happily give exactly the same amount of money to the tax accountant that she saves me in taxes, because I'd rather give the cash to someone that actually works for a living than to see it disappear into the bureaucratic black hole.


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Re: Top Six Tax Evasion Countries, America on the List

#20  Postby Scot Dutchy » Apr 15, 2012 3:35 pm

Here our tax system is so simple as a normal citizen not owning a company there is almost nothing you can claim on.
Your tax returns are filled in by the tax people. Banks have to give all the information they have to the tax people as does your employer. There are very few secrets.
Only if you earn money on the black can you get away with it but that is very risky and if you get caught then it is the high jump.

We dont have company cars here. We have lease cars. Your employer pays the lease costs if you are eligable but you pay tax on 15% of the cars value per year. You are only allowed to keep the car for three years then you have to lease a new one.

Another country that is not mentioned is Belgium. Their tax system is in a mess with a back log of almost 10 years.
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