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French more honest taxpayers than Germans

The Local · 8 Feb 2013, 14:07

Published: 08 Feb 2013 14:07 GMT+01:00

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According to the annual survey by German economic institute IAW, the black market in France represented 9.9 percent of the country's GDP.

That compares favourably to Germany, where undeclared economic activity totaled 13.2 percent of GDP, and Sweden, where 13.9 percent of the country's GDP is accounted for by the shadow economy.

Does this mean the French are more virtuous than their European counterparts?

Not according Friedrich Schneider, co-author of the study, published this week.

Schneider attributed the French performance to a particularly efficient tax system, with stricter controls against cheating the system.

“Taxpayers here are given incentives to not resort to black-market work,” the economics professor told the website Challenges.fr.

Reduced VAT rates for the hospitality and construction industries also accounted for the fact the French were less likely to resort to the black market than the Germans, according to Schneider.

The study found that of the 21 countries surveyed, the champions of the black market were the Greeks, where the shadow economy represented 24.6 percent of GDP. They were closely followed by the Italians (21.1 percent), the Portuguese (19 percent) and the Spanish (18.6 percent).

At the other end of the chart were France's near-neighbours Switzerland, where the equivalent of 7 percent of their GDP was concealed from the tax man.

For the 12th year in a row, however, the world's most honest taxpayers, at just 6.6 percent, were the Americans.

Economic earnings through criminal activity were not taken into account by the study.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:59 February 8, 2013 by Zubair Khan
Is not it morally shameful? Can we conclude one of the reasons Germans always failed to rule either part or the whole world?
17:19 February 8, 2013 by Englishted
Bet the French have less doctorates than the Germans can't think why?
17:40 February 8, 2013 by Berlin fuer alles
This whole Eurozone mess is caused by dishonest Germany. Namely, Dr. Merkyl and Mr. Hyde along with her Bankster buddies.
20:06 February 8, 2013 by jg.
"...Switzerland, where the equivalent of 7 percent of their GDP was concealed from the tax man."

That might be true of the percentage of their GDP that is hidden from the Swiss tax authorities but it seems likely that a substantial proportion of the Swiss GDP is earned from hiding wealth and earnings from the tax authorities of countries around the world.
10:08 February 9, 2013 by Sastry.M
May be the Germans are more taxed wage earners in support of Govt. commitments such as bailouts and guilt reparations.
10:12 February 9, 2013 by Berlin fuer alles
@ Sastry

The bailout taxes are levied against the citizens of those bailout countries.

Regarding the 'guilt reparations' as you call it. I presume you are referring to WWII holocaust and damage reparations which are fully justified.
10:59 February 11, 2013 by Sastry.M
@Berlin fuer alles,

Thanks for the correction. By 'taxed wage earners' I meant German tax payers from whose contributions, may be partly, the bail out funds are pooled up to be advanced to those in need.

Also the justified reparations to the aggrieved victims of ww2 holocaust is indicative of remorse and penitence of human nobility according to the dictum

"Virtus sola Nobilitat" or virtue alone ennobles.
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