Europe’s Tax Evasion: Who’s the Fairest of All?

How many customers get their fiscal receipt without clearly asking for it? Is it the norm or common sense to get it? According to fiscal laws, yes, you should have it before exiting the premises where you paid for a service, however I doubt that one gets it after each and every purchase.

Credit: Thermal Paper Cah Register / Polirol.eu

Credit: Thermal Paper Cah Register / Polirol.eu

In 2010, Romania’s ex-PM Emil Boc was thinking of a draft law encouraging customers to ask for and keep the fiscal receipt in exchange for financial bonuses. Everybody laughed out loud at it since the Government also imagined that 25% salary cuts applied on the short term starting immediately was the first economic measure to get Romania out of crisis chaos.

None of it made sense then and afterwards. Emil Boc was then philosophically convinced that one of the simplest forms of tax evasion was not asking for fiscal receipts (!) placing the burden also on customers not asking for receipts. No one has ever heard back from the then Government in office of any progress in that direction.

In 2011, Deputy Mircia Giurgiu thought of refreshing Emil Boc’s draft law: basically, according to him, the fiscal receipts collected over a year should have got a fiscal deduction from the total amount resulting from it decreasing from 3% to 1%.

Now, Greece has also given tax evasion another thought in curbing the black market that obviously projected it as a confirmed economic pitfall and source of evident unrest for Germany, the EU and Eurozone as well since Grexit is still a haunting headline and Crexit (“crisis exit”) is largely uncertain.

A recent survey on behalf of the National Confederation of Greek Commerce (ESEE) revealed that tax evasion is the least of worries to Greek nationals as some 94% think that fiscal receipt collection is beneficial only if it adds towards their own benefit. The survey conducted on over 1,600 people and 1,000 enterprises revealed that some 53% of Greeks are believed to be willingly evading fiscal taxes with doctors ranking first.

So, how many of you have got a fiscal receipt from your dentist recently? Is it highly relevant for ordinary citizens to help the State collect its own taxes in daily activities and purchases when collecting mechanisms clearly fail to do so at national levels?

Shouldn’t be the State itself willing to enhance its accountability regulation mechanisms so that fiscal evasion be deterred since thriving upon failed and corrupted governance is easier than accounting for it? Governance should be the primary actor in defining and protecting regulation, not citizens.

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About Cristina Popa

Cristina is a WordPress blogger who regularly writes or shares updates on media, public affairs and various topics of interest. You may follow her on Communication for Development WP blog or Twitter @CristinaPopa0
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