Tuesday, May 30, 2017
The 1000 Richest Families In Scandinavia Evade A Third Of Their Taxes, Finds A New Bombshell Study
Via Business Insider: A new study indicates that Scandinavia's wealthiest families are moving their money abroad to avoid paying taxes. Research study: The richest families in Scandinavia avoid paying up to a third of their taxes The study estimates that the 1000 richest families in Scandinavia have withheld as much as 32 procent of the taxes they would otherwise be required to pay. The researchers behind the study imply that the wealth gap in Scandinavia in the last ten years has increased more than previously thought. The study's results, published on Monday, have made waves in Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. “Up until now there’s been an assumption that most of tax evasion is done by small business owners who bend the rules, but these results show something completely different. It’s actually the wealthiest people who are avoiding taxes to the largest extent”, said Annette Alstadsaeter, a professor at Handelshoyskolen in Oslo involved in the study, to SVT. Alstadsaeter worked together with her research colleagues Niels Johansson at Copenhagen University and Gabriel Zucman at Berkelely in California. Their estimates are partly based on the Panama Papers and Swissleaks (an extensive leak of Swiss bank accounts) as well as an investigation into Swedish tax evasion previosuly done by SVT. The rich prefer Swiss bank accounts Based on their study, the trio could conclude that the wealthier the individidual, the higher the likelihood of tax evasion. This is likely because the rich have better opportunities to hide money abroad. Having compared bank account details in Swissleaks with tax declarations in Denmark and Norway, the researchers posit that almost all Swiss bank accounts set up by Scandinavians are being used for tax evasion. “Normally it’s not illegal to have a bank account in Switzerland. But this shows that 95 percent of the accounts are not included in tax declarations. This means we’re talking about tax evasion”, Alstadsaeter said to SVT. The study also found that as a whole, tax evasion leads to three percent less tax revenue in Scandinavia. The researchers do not know the identities of the concerned individuals, as bank account details were anonymized ahead of the study.