David Cay Johnston on TJN and Richard Murphy's Tax Evasion Report

December 15th, 2011

Reuter’s David Cay Johnston wrote on Richard Murphy and Tax Justice Network’s report on worldwide tax evasion this week. The best part? An excellent graphic of the top-10 countries by amount of tax evasion, set up against the size of their informal economies:


He writes:

A new report from London and President Barack Obama’s statements to “60 Minutes” show financial crimes spreading like wildfire and governments failing to stop them.

Tax evasion equals 18 percent of global tax collections, a new report by British accountant Richard Murphy shows. His report for the Tax Justice Network cleverly lined up a World Bank Report on the size of shadow economies with a Heritage Foundation report on average tax burdens by country to reach that figure.

Murphy’s $3 trillion estimate, 5 percent of the global economy, shows how a combination of weak rules on accounting and disclosure combined with inadequate budgets to enforce tax laws impose a terrible cost on honest taxpayers and the beneficiaries of government service.

This graph demonstrates quite well that developed countries are not insulated from the harms of tax evasion. They are losing important revenue right up alongside the largest developing economies.

Written by EJ Fagan

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