Cheating by the richest Scandinavians is off the charts

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Major new academic study finds cheating by the richest Scandinavians is off the charts

A major new academic, economic study estimates that the richest families in Scandinavia retained 30% of the tax they should have paid in 2006.

The study, reported in Aftenposten, is based on figures from the Scandinavian tax authorities, documents from ‘SwissLeaks’, and information from the‘Panama Papers’.

The study was a collaboration between professors at the Norwegian Environment and Biological Sciences University (NBMU), the University of Copenhagen, and the University of California, Berkeley, in the United States of America.

One of the findings is that the 1,100 richest Scandinavian households own half of the foreign wealth accrued in Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

Swissleaks

The major leakage known as ‘SwissLeaks’, in 2015, gave researchers a unique insight into accounts in the major bank, HSBC.

‘It isn’t illegal to have an account in Switzerland, but for 95% of HSBC accounts in Switzerland that were possible to link to the equation data, the account’s content wasn’t disclosed to the IRS’, said Professor Annette Alstadsæter at the Norwegian Environment and Biological Sciences University (NBMU).

She is behind the study, with Niels Johannesen of the University of Copenhagen, and Gabriel Zucman of the University of California, Berkeley, in the U.S.A.

‘We were very surprised that hidden overseas wealth is so concentrated among those already richest.

Based on previous controls, it had been assumed that it was people with ordinary incomes who were cheating with tax dodging, for example, in black work, while the richest used legitimate methods to reduce their taxes. We show that this is not the case’, said Alstadsæter.

 

© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today

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