While doing research for a novel, I came across an interesting statement. In some countries, the nation’s indebtedness would turn to a surplus if every citizen paid the taxes due on their wealth.
Of course this opens up a whole other discourse about the competency and ethical service of government, and why people hide their wealth in the first place.
That aside, it is an amazing thought to think much of the world’s economic difficulties would be resolved if everybody paid their taxes. Older persons could retire in peace. Savers could put money in the bank without fear the government will take part of the sum to pay its bills. Businesses could plan for future expansion. If everybody paid, the world truly could be a better place.
Conservatively, it estimated that a fortune of $21 trillion is stashed away in off-shore accounts, $9.8 trillion alone by the top tier, – less than 100,000 people who each own financial assets of $30 million or more. The report indicated that this hidden money results in a “huge” lost tax revenue – a “black hole” in the economy -, and many countries would become creditors instead of being debtors if the money of their tax evaders would be taxed.
Further, this system of tax evasion is “basically designed and operated” by a group of highly paid specialists from the world’s largest private banks (led by UBS, Credit Suisse, and Goldman Sachs), law offices, and accounting firms and tolerated by international organizations such as Bank for International Settlements, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the OECD, and the G20. The amount of money hidden away has significantly increased since 2005, sharpening the divide between the superrich and the rest of the world.[