The situation has improved, but only a little: According to a new study of taxes in the EU each year in the three-digit billion amount. In 2015, the damage amounted to about EUR 825 billion, as a study by the University of London says.

The study, commissioned by the social democratic S&D group in the European Parliament, is based on data for the year 2015, to date, the most recent available information from the EU member States. The good news is that The tax evasion has decreased since 2009, by 12 to 16 percent, said the British tax expert Richard Murphy, who has carried out the former and current investigation with the same methodology. In 2009, the damage was around one Billion euros.

in Addition, have changed the political climate. “Ten years ago, nobody has spoken about the issue,” said Murphy in Brussels at the launch of the investigation. “Today it is an integral part of the political debate.”

The EU budget – five times

However, the damage for the Treasury continues to be enormous. With 825 billion euros, he is far above the sum of, the public miss about due to legal tax avoidance by international companies – according to Murphy, at 50 to 190 billion euros per year. 825 billion euros, approximately equivalent to five times the annual EU budget, or 1650 euros per EU citizen. You would stack the amount in 500 Euro notes, would be in the tower at the end of 300 kilometers of high-and 1.8 tons heavy, expect the social Democrats.

However, the total is only a rough estimate, as Murphy admits. This is due to the fact that many EU States had no particularly good data. “The most tax data are good for nothing,” says the Professor. S&D group, chief Udo Bullmann calls, therefore, for more accurate analyses in the EU countries. “Only when we know the extent of the problem, we can tackle it effectively.”

on The other hand it comes to illegal activities that are hidden by the perpetrators aware of. EUR 825 billion is the best estimate – but there could be 750 or 900 billion, says Murphy.

the Largest tax gap in Italy

by far The largest tax gap in Italy: around 190 billion Euro to the Treasury annually through the cloth. On the second place Germany with 125 billion, followed by France, with 117 billion.

A good measure for the size of the shadow economy in a country is the sum of loss of value-added tax, says Murphy, because it was a tax on revenue and sales. Germany has taken the 2015 and 2016 around ten percent less VAT than would have been expected in the absence of tax evasion. The lowest value of the Luxembourg, with 8 per cent, the highest in Romania, with almost 30 per cent. However, there is also an improvement: While the EU-wide average was in 2009 at 14.3 percent, it declined in 2016, to 9.9 percent.

The sun also in various legislative initiatives at the EU level in recent years. “The EU is a fraud, the most effective international Institution in the fight against the tax,” says Murphy. The EU is more innovative, and less prone to influence by policy or lobby groups than, for example, the OECD, the International monetary Fund or the world Bank.

Five-point Plan against evasion

However, there is still a lot to be done, such as the controversial “black list” of tax havens in the EU. Also, the EU is making progress in questions of tax policy, often because the member countries have to decide in this area unanimously – what low-tax countries such as Ireland, the Netherlands, Malta or Luxembourg to use to prevent stricter rules with their Veto.

The socialists, therefore, at the same time with Murphy’s study, a Five-point Plan:

corporate profits should be subject to a minimum tax; the effective tax rate should be 18%; each EU country should submit an official estimate on the extent of tax evasion and costs of tax incentives; tax provisions worthy of the EU to be abolished; the principle of Unanimity should be abolished, as proposed by the EU Commission’s recently – even if the chances are low; the black list of the EU is to capture all the tax havens – and thus also EU-members.

“We need to ensure that all make their fair contribution to the General welfare of the people,” says Bullmann. The same is true for those who pay their domestic help or construction workers black. “If the Pensioner with a small pension would have a higher pension, it would be completely normal, that you paid someone to be reasonable, so he can in turn build up a decent pension and his children to feed”, so bull man. “We want an economy in which both consumers and producers are well-placed.”

Similarly, Murphy expresses. “Of course, tax can offer the Dodgers their services cheaper. But to undermine the honest taxpayers.” Would pay all their taxes, could decrease the overall price level.

Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.