Oh dear, Brussels bureaucrats have published a report lamenting the fact that a big chunk of the EU population don’t declare the work they do and therefore Brussels doesn’t get their taxes and can’t spend it on salaries and other “important” money guzzling projects.
They discovered that of the people who were asked the question in the survey 11% don’t declare their earnings. Only 11%? I’m sure the percentage is a lot higher. Most people wouldn’t want to declare to a researcher that they’re not paying taxes. Way too risky…..
“Member States need to implement policies to discourage undeclared work or encourage its transformation into regular work, and to work more closely together to combat this scourge. This is why in April the European Commission will propose to launch a European platform on the prevention and deterrence of undeclared work, that would improve cooperation between labour inspectorates and enforcement bodies across Europe”, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion László Andor commented.
Yeah, more red tape is the answer! Nice one László! Everybody I have spoken to indicates that red tape, administrative nightmares and taxation levels as the reasons why they participate in the grey economy. Simply put, if you’re a cleaner and need an accountant to file your tax bill, there might be a problem. The cost to earnings ratio is too high for the cleaner to bother with the tax malarky. Going grey is probably the best option.
If governments (incl. the EU) want to increase their takings, why not have a simple flat rate tax everybody needs to pay, no if’s and but’s, no exceptions, no difference between big and small business, just a flat rate. That would free up a lot of people to become productive, rather than being paper pushers. It would also help slim down governments and reduce the enormous amounts of red tape businesses have to deal with. Ever tried to do some legal, paperwork involving business in Italy, Spain or Greece? The chances are that the locals will have offered you some off the radar deal. Much easier!
Flat tax rates are probably too simplistic an idea for Brussels, but wasn’t there a famous quote from a Harvard professor? K.I.S.S. -> Keep it Simple Stupid. But I guess simplicity is not what keeps the chimneys smoking in Brussels.