• Germany's news in English

French more honest taxpayers than Germans

The Local · 8 Feb 2013, 14:07

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

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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).

Story continues below…

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)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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.
Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd