In the Internet encyclopedia “Wikipedia” you can find the following entry under the keyword undeclared work: “… is the performance of services or work in violation of tax law, social security law … or without registering a business.. .are often agreed upon verbally and remuneration is paid in cash.” In Austria the term “botch” is often used for this, but also take into account: “Botch is the work of a specialist in avoiding taxes”.
Although Wikipedia also deals with the legal consequences, it avoids any attempt to explain why the phenomenon of undeclared work exists or what circumstances foster its development. It is also not taken into account whether the undeclared work generates economic benefits or not and to what extent. In principle, any form of value creation should be welcomed. Reconstruction tax-savings after 1945 would have been unthinkable without the widespread use of “neighborly aid”. A large part of the country’s wealth, which is manifested in beautiful houses, would not exist without them.
Anyone who searches for the reasons for the growing popularity of “net hacks” in the Alpine Republic will immediately find what they are looking for. Agenda Austria gets to the point: “If an average earning person repairs water damage in a house and gets paid 600 euros for five hours of work, he or she should not be able to pay the plumber’s bill. This would first generate 1,176 euros in economic output. After taxes and social security contributions the installer is left with 311 euros. So 74 percent of this transaction goes to the state.” The graphic says more than 1,000 words.
In short: no one but the greedy fiscal state is responsible for undeclared work. Anyone who has to work twice as much to be able to pay a professional’s bill must be either a saint or a fool to not come up with the idea of hiring a professional to do the work without an invoice. Comes.
It is no small temptation for businessmen to do some work on a black basis and keep the total income in their own pockets. The head of the domestic financial police, Wilfried Lehner, sees a trend towards “organized undeclared work as a business model”, especially in labour-intensive sectors. Particularly in the construction, security and cleaning industries, illegal employment of foreigners and avoidance of payments to the tax office and social security are particularly common.
However, this would not be Austria if symptomatic therapy was not started immediately after the problem was diagnosed, but the analysis of the causes was completely neglected. It is clearly not enough to see the solution to the problem merely in tightening control measures. Shedding crocodile tears over the fact that “honest” companies are being harmed by competitors operating illegally is also not useful. As if politicians were ever interested in the problems of small and medium-sized businesses! On the other hand, there has always been a good rapport between big government and big business – to the detriment of medium-sized businesses.
The claim that honest taxpayers have to bear a higher tax burden because tax evaders get unfair benefits to make up for their losses is a well-meaning but ineffective attempt to divert attention from the real reasons that undeclared work gives rise to undeclared work. Because it is true that if there is no undeclared work then no tax slave will have to bear even one percent less burden. The fact that the maximum income tax rate of 55 percent is now eleven times what the state charged its prisoners on the eve of the First World War cannot be explained by organized tax avoidance, but rather by the state’s continued growth since then. can be explained from. The outbreak of democracy in 1918. Government revenues (which, by the way, are currently at an all-time high) cannot be so high that they are still not very low. A federal budget without a national deficit is now almost unimaginable. Since 1970, there have been two full years (!) in which the cumulative national debt did not increase.
So rather than indulging in typical statist fantasies about how “tax fairness” can be achieved through repressive measures, the government should better address the question of whether this is not because of the clearly excessive fiscal burden. It is – key word, non-wage labor costs – that more and more citizens are demanding to bear undeclared work. Unfortunately, the zeitgeist is flowing in the opposite direction: almost every day you read about new demands for “reform” of social benefits or expansion of the circle of people entitled to benefits. Apparently no one is interested in where the money will come from to finance all this social tranche.
Systematically getting citizens who (so far) bear their tax burden without fuss to a point where they recognize their adherence to the law as auto-destructive nonsense is highly problematic for a constitutional state. . It would be better to reduce excessive spending on expensive welfare state luxury spending! The state should not prevent people from striving for happiness. But he should not claim that he will be able to buy happiness for them!