By numbers alone, the scale of unpaid VAT can be hard to comprehend; a 2016 EU estimate for instance reported that 35% of all expected VAT revenue went uncollected – a figure that adds up to €351,000,000.
Using proportional area charts, where the box’s area is in proportion to it’s value, it’s a lot easier to visualise just how much VAT goes uncollected.
1. L-Istrina’s record haul of 5.5 million euros in 2016 vs Unpaid VAT
2. The entire healthcare budget
VAT, like all other taxes, are ultimately a source of income for the government, allowing it to fund expenditure, some of which goes on to be spent in things many people hold dear, like healthcare. In 2010, the total healthcare expenditure was 530 million euros. Uncollected VAT alone would cover around two thirds of that expense.
3. The proposed estimate for resurfacing all of Malta’s roads
The sum would also help foot half of the estimated 700 million euros needed to resurface all of Malta’s potholed roads:
It’s worth noting that finance Minister Edward Scicluna had disputed these figures when they first came out. He said, for instance, that the European Commission was basing it’s estimates on a formula that didn’t accurately depict businesses like iGaming.
However, uncollected VAT is just one form of tax evasion. Considering all the forms the practice can take, the real figure is probably a lot larger.