Tax evasion part of corporate culture

Image representing Steve Jobs as depicted in C...

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Most people would think that countries like Spain, Greece and Portugal would rank among the very top of countries for tax evasion schemes. But even though the US has a relative low tax rate the country tops the list of places where tax evasion seems to be part of corporate culture.

So how big a problem is tax evasion? Take a look at the table below from Tax Justice Network, a London-based watchdog that fights against tax havens and for more transparency.

America’s “black” or “shadow economy,” represents 8.6% of GDP, while the percentage is by far the smallest of any of the countries on the list it does represent a significant monetary post and represent roughly the GDP of Denmark the 32 biggest economy in the world according to the IMF.

How does the companies in the US manage to avoid tax? Well, one suggestion is that companies like Google, Apple and Amazon manage to cut their tax bill by one third through a series of moves that involves countries in Europe and in the Carrabin, a system is also used by big European companies to transfer funds to tax havens. My friend Sarah Wenger has created the infograph titled “The master of Tax Evasion” that explains how the system works.

Masters of Tax Evasion
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Amazon maps the US green movement

Amazon have made a survey of purchases across the US and have found that some places are more environmental aware than others. Using its sales figures Amazon has found out which states are purchasing the most environmentally friendly products. The study showed that California, New Hampshire, and Vermont are the places that purchase the most sustainable products across all categories, compared to the national average.

The analysis also looked at Water conservation, Energy savings, Organic foods and Green Parenting. Based on purchases of environmental books, Vermont, Montana, and Washington, DC residents top our list of Most Well-Read Environmentalists. On a local level, Missoula, Montana residents just might be way more environmentally knowledgeable than the rest, with well over five times the national average of environmental book purchases.

Acording to Amazon they see the analysis as evidence that”The regionality of Amazon’s maps is evidence against the tendency to think of the Internet as an enabler of irresponsible, far-flung purchases. Yes, the Internet does make it possible for people to buy extravagant things from exotic places. But it also makes it easier for people to find things they need to live greener lives at home. And that’s what Amazon’s customers are doing, wherever their home happens to be.”

At least I found the evidence interesting even though that the internet has made the world more flat and that we have become victims of our own consumerism. You can judge for your self.