The insignificance of tax evasion

I know this will get blown up into some massive number but think for a moment:

British clients of an HSBC-owned private Swiss bank that is the focus of a major HM Revenue & Customs investigation are alleged to have evaded tax by an amount likely to exceed £200m, the Observer has learned.

Note that this is not the sum for one year. I\’ll assume, just because it\’s necessary to assume something, it\’s for a decade. £20 million a year then as against what, £500 billion the government takes?


It may well be illegal, naughty, immoral and all the rest. But it\’s not a significant number.

2 thoughts on “The insignificance of tax evasion”

  1. If this is typical of hundreds or thousands of other small private banks owned by majors, then it is significant. Of course, there’s no evidence that this is typical

    I do think part of this is that people assume that “they’re all at it”….

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