Is the Tax Burden a Generating Factor of Fiscal Evasion in South-East Europe?


Tax evasion is a pernicious phenomenon, very widespread in the world, which is closely linked to the system of taxes and fees. This is considered to be a response to the excessive fiscal pressure exerted on taxpayers. Bypassing the law is also closely related to the phenomenon of corruption and its removal is a difficult target, under the existing conditions. The main purpose of this paper is to study the influence of corruption and fiscal pressure on the phenomenon of tax evasion, materialized by the shadow economy indicator. The analysis is carried out over a period of 18 years, namely 1999-2016, for six countries of South-Eastern Europe, member states of the European Union, divided into two categories, namely developed and emerging states. The research methodology requires a comparative analysis of existing situations in the research countries. Also, we will use the econometric analysis, with the help of statistical package for social sciences, of the relationship between the underground economy and corruption, as well as the correlation between tax burden exerted by the budget revenues and tax evasion. Being difficult to quantify, the level of shadow economy has been taken from Friedrich Schneider’s studies, through which he measured underground economy in 157 countries over the period 1999-2013; but also in 36 states, between 2003 and 2016. The level of corruption is measured using the corruption perception index at the international level and the tax burden is calculated as the ratio between tax revenue and gross domestic product.

Keywords: tax burden, shadow economy, corruption, South-East Europe.

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