The Rich Sure Do Cheat On Their Taxes a Lot

A team of researchers has combined disclosures from the Panama Papers with administrative tax data and population records in Scandinavia and finds that “tax evasion rises sharply with wealth.” The rich do this primarily by parking wealth in Switzerland and other tax havens. I don’t think this comes as a surprise to anyone, but the size of the tax evasion might:

Of course, this is just for those infamous scofflaws in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. American zillionaires are probably a lot more honest, don’t you think?

POSTSCRIPT: Snark aside, personal tax rates are pretty high in Scandinavia—though not as high as urban legend has it. Still, their high rates do provide a bigger incentive to hide wealth overseas, so it’s possible that American tax evasion is lower than it is in Scandinavia. I wouldn’t bet on it, though.


In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones, a special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.