€95 billion “disappears” from Portugal in tax evasion over last nine years

In the wake of President Marcelo’s veto of the government’s plan to scrutinise all bank accounts holding more than €50,000, economist Eugénio Rosa has brought levels of tax evasion in Portugal into unsettling focus.

In the nine years between 2006-2015, €95 billion “disappeared from the country” as citizens scrambled to hide their wealth.

The figure exceeds the bailout requested in 2011 by €13 million.

Indeed, it represents more than half the wealth produced in Portugal in a year.

Rosa used Eurostat data to come to his conclusion which, he tells journalists, came also from “comparing taxes that had been paid and those that should have been paid according to the level of development of the country within the European Union”.

Rosa’s findings were not all bad, however. For example, he shows that between 2006 and 2013 tax evasion levels “dropped substantially”, thanks to “increased efficiency” within tax departments, and a general increase in taxation across the board.

Rosa’s study came as a result of the outcry that followed the government’s proposal for what people called a banking “Big Brother” – but while President Marcelo has won the day over access to accounts holding more than €50,000, new banking rules on an American and European level have opened the way to tighter controls (click here).

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