In a meme that’s floating around, various social costs are compared to tax evasion in the EU, which is claimed to mount up to 1 000 000 000 000 Euro annually.

Here is an example:

Chart comparing 1 trillion in tax avoidance to 12.5 billion for 1 million refugees

The Swedish text states that the cost for one million refugees is 12.5 billion € compared to annual tax evasion of 1 000 billion €.

No source is given and a simple search doesn’t give any immediate hits.

Is this figure correct, given some reasonable estimate and calculation and is there a source behind the meme?

  • 1
    Hi Guran - can you provide an example of the meme, rather than referencing it obliquely? Hearsay doesn't really fit the bill of "notable claim".
    – jdunlop
    Oct 29, 2019 at 21:07
  • 1
    @jdunlop I edited in one example. Text is in Swedish unfortunately.
    – Guran
    Oct 29, 2019 at 21:12
  • 1
    BTW this particular graphic originates from a politician named Lisa Pelling
    – Guran
    Oct 29, 2019 at 21:22
  • 1
    ftalphaville.ft.com/2019/02/21/1550732404000/… cites a study that gives a fairly close figure of 750–800 G€. I have no idea how reliable that study is. Oct 29, 2019 at 21:27
  • 5
    Note that there is a difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion. Tax avoidance is generally legal, employing loopholes and special exemptions. Tax evasion is, by the most common definition, the use of illegal means to avoid taxes. Oct 30, 2019 at 0:59


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