Facts about Europe

The country in Europe with the biggest untaxed, or “shadow,” economy as a proportion of GDP is Greece. Next is (gulp) Italy. Then Portugal and Spain. On the chart below, in fact, the bars look unsettlingly like dominoes.

There is more information and a good chart here.  There is this too:

Massive tax evasion helps produce large public-sector deficits. Let’s make some simple back-of-the-envelope calculations: if the shadow economy is adding 25 percent to GDP, with income going untaxed, and if the average tax rate on such income is a conservative 20 percent, recovering such tax revenues would imply an additional 5 percent of GDP in tax revenues, which would bring down the Italian 2009 deficit to zero. As deficits cumulate into debt, prolonged tax evasion could explain – by itself – the whole of the Italian public debt, now projected at 118.4 percent of GDP.


Comments for this post are closed