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Bureau Recommends: Tax evasion costs $3.1 trillion

Tax Justice Network - Flickr : Up your Ego

The Bureau Recommends an exhaustive investigation by Tax Justice Network released today which analyses tax evasion levels in 145 countries representing over 98% of global economic output.

The study reveals that more than $3.1 trillion of tax is evaded  – equivalent to 4.9% of world GDP.

The data, which heralds the launch of a new Tackle Tax Haven campaign, estimates that in the UK for instance, a staggering £69.9bn is illegally kept from the exchequer every year, equivalent to 79.8% of the NHS budget.

The United States loses $337bn to tax evasion according to the report – more than any other nation. In second place is Brazil which loses $280bn and third is Italy losing $238bn.

The report’s author, Richard Murphy, a forensic accountant and anti-poverty campaigner, merged a World Bank study into the shadow economy with official GDP figures and  individual country’s tax rates.

Among his findings, Europe as a whole loses the equivalent of 87% of its total healthcare budget to tax evasion, while Africa loses 98% and South America 139%. The amount of cash tax evaded in Bolivia is four times its health budget.

The full report is available here.