Banks Intermediate Tax Evasion Services

 

Here is the Headline:

“UBS Is Fined $4.2 Billion in French Tax-Evasion Case:

Judges find the Swiss lender guilty of illegally recruiting clients in France and helping them launder money that wasn’t declared to authorities”

The rest of the Wall Street Journal article is here: WSJ article on Banks Providing Tax Evasion

This headline has been reappearing in various forms for many years.

Some have remained cautionary about calling such intermediation “banking”, with these intermediaries providing the tax evasion service.

Our paper below only refers to evidence of banks helping customers evade taxes, rather than providing new such evidence. We use the word “banks” in a footnote (footnote 9, p. 49), although it is a model of tax evasion through financial intermediaries, which we generally think of as banks. Banks probably are the main conduit of tax evasion.

M. Gillman and M. Kejak, 2014, Tax Evasion, Human Capital, and Productivity-Induced Tax Rate Reduction, Journal of Human Capital: Paper Here

A recent 2019 paper in the American Economic Review laser focuses on the role of banks in tax evasion. See AER 2019 tax evasion Alstadsæter et al

Alstadsæter et al report half of all wealth in the world that is evading taxes, through “offshore accounts”, as being held in Switzerland (their Table 2).


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