Tax evasion is the illegal evasion of taxes by individuals, corporations, and trusts. Tax evasion is an activity associated with the informal economy. In contrast, tax avoidance is the use of tax laws to reduce ones tax burden. In 1968, Nobel laureate economist Gary Becker first theorized the economics of crime, allingham and A. Sandmo produced, in 1972, an economic model of tax evasion. This model deals with the evasion of tax, the main source of tax revenue in developed countries. According to the authors, the level of evasion of income tax depends on the detection probability, the literatures theoretical models are elegant in their effort to identify the variables likely to affect non-compliance. Alternative specifications, however, yield conflicting results concerning both the signs and magnitudes of variables believed to affect tax evasion, empirical work is required to resolve the theoretical ambiguities. Income tax evasion appears to be influenced by the tax rate, the unemployment rate. The U. S. Tax Reform Act of 1986 appears to have reduced tax evasion in the United States, customs duties are an important source of revenue in developing countries. Importers purport to evade customs duty by under-invoicing and misdeclaration of quantity, when there is ad valorem import duty, the tax base can be reduced through underinvoicing. Misdeclaration of quantity is more relevant for products with specific duty, production description is changed to match a H. S. Code commensurate with a lower rate of duty. Smuggling is importation or exportation of products by illegal means. Smuggling is resorted to for total evasion of customs duties, as well as for the importation of contraband, during the second half of the 20th century, value-added tax emerged as a modern form of consumption tax throughout the world, with the notable exception of the United States. Producers who collect VAT from consumers may evade tax by under-reporting the amount of sales, the US has no broad-based consumption tax at the federal level, and no state currently collects VAT, the overwhelming majority of states instead collect sales taxes. Canada uses both a VAT at the level and sales taxes at the provincial level, some provinces have a single tax combining both forms. In addition, most jurisdictions which levy a VAT or sales tax also legally require their residents to report and this is especially prevalent in federal countries like Nigeria, US and Canada where sub-national jurisdictions charge varying rates of VAT or sales tax. In Nigeria, for example, some federated states enforce VAT on each item of goods sold by traders, the price must be clearly stated and the VAT shown separately from the basic price. If the trader does not comply this is punishable as an attempt to siphon the VAT, therefore, it is not generally cost-effective to enforce tax collection on low-value goods carried in private vehicles from one jurisdiction to another with a different tax rate
The size of the shadow economy in Europe, 2011.
A "Lion's Mouth" postbox for anonymous denunciations at the Doge's Palace in Venice, Italy. Text translation: "Secret denunciations against anyone who will conceal favors and services or will collude to hide the true revenue from them."
Poster issued by the British tax authorities to counter offshore tax evasion.
Image: Countries with Largest Tax Evasion Amount v 3