Survey: a considerable part of Latvia’s society is lenient towards tax evasion  15 June 2016

The Government’s declaration includes a plan to increase tax revenues by 2020, primarily by limiting the shadow economy. Both studies and the publications of international organisations indicate that Latvia’s shadow economy is above average levels in the European Union. One of the factors that influences the size of the shadow economy is people’s attitude towards taxes and paying taxes. In cooperation with the social research centre Latvijas fakti a survey was conducted in order to ascertain people’s views on the abovementioned topics.

The results suggest that the majority of Latvia’s population thinks that tax evasion is not justifiable, but a considerable part of Latvia’s society is lenient towards tax evasion, does not think that paying taxes is mandatory and has experience of tax evasion. On the whole, the population of Latvia is critical of the tax system and the quality of public services, even though paying taxes is believed to be a duty and people support the idea of a welfare state.

In view of the above, the Council suggests that, in order to decrease the size of the shadow economy, people’s attitudes towards taxes should be addressed and an effort to inform society about the link between paying taxes and the provision of high quality public services could be made.

Survey on tax morale summary. Full information on the survey available in Latvian here.