Switzerland one of the most complicit nations in tax evasion, report finds
Switzerland has long maintained a famous, or infamous reputation for its banking secrecy, with the Suisse secrets scandal throwing the issues with Swiss finance culture into sharp relief. Now, the latest report from the Tax Justice Network has found that Switzerland is the second most complicit nation in the world for tax fraud.
Financial Secrecy Index 2022 by the Tax Justice Network
The Financial Secrecy Index by the Tax Justice Network is a ranking of nations that conceal and facilitate tax abuse, fraud and money laundering. Each nation’s score is determined by how much financial secrecy is permitted in banks and in the government, the size of the financial services provided and how much of the world’s financial secrecy is supplied by each nation.
Switzerland has climbed to second place in the ranking after coming third in 2020. The Tax Justice Network gave the alpine nation the worst possible scores in how the details of companies and owners are recorded and published, transparency in company ownership, public knowledge of company accounts and public disclosure of the amount of business taxes paid.
Tax fraud enabled by Swiss banking and finance culture
The ranking accused Switzerland of facilitating tax fraud through its financial laws and banking culture, as has been revealed by the Suisse secrets scandal, which showed Swiss banks were holding accounts for accused dictators and criminals. However, the Tax Justice Network did note some major improvements compared with 2020, giving the country perfect scores for the nation’s efforts to exchange information with other countries, particularly those in the OECD and Council of Europe.
Overall, Switzerland has exported over 21 billion dollars worth of financial services since 2020. While only accounting for 3,9 percent of total financial service exports, the figure is disproportionately large given the country’s size and is the second-largest contribution in the world.
United States dominated the top of the tax fraud list
The top spot in the ranking was occupied by the United States, which accounted for 25,8 percent of financial services exported since 2020. This was followed by Switzerland, Singapore, Hong Kong, Luxembourg and Japan.
The US was accused of becoming more secretive and cooperating less with the global financial community, a stance at odds with the plans of President Joe Biden, who himself accused Switzerland of being a tax haven in April 2021. The European powerhouse of Germany, which is set to host G7 finance ministers in Bonn and Königswinter from May 18 to 20, came seventh in the ranking, gaining seven places from its position in 2020.
Top 10 worst countries for tax fraud and evasion 2022
According to the 2022 Tax Justice Network list, the top 10 worst nations for tax fraud in the world are:
- United States
- Hong Kong
- United Arab Emirates
- British Virgin Islands (British Overseas Territory)
- Guernsey (British Crown Dependency)
To see how your country did on the list, check out the official website.