The Relationship between Tax Evasion and Corruption. A Cross-country Examination

  • Cristina Timofte (Coca) Ştefan cel Mare University, Suceava, Romania
  • Dorel Mates West University, Timisoara, Romania
  • Dan-Andrei Coca Ştefan cel Mare University, Suceava, Romania
  • Simona-Maria Tanasa (Brinzaru) Ştefan cel Mare University, Suceava, Romania
Keywords: Corruption, European Union, Tax Evasion, VAT gap


This article investigates the relationship between tax evasion and corruption, in order to determine if there can be found a significant connection between the two, and in order to test previous research results that found tax evasion as being positively related to corruption. Moreover, the research examines if tax evasion could be predicted based on data regarding corruption. To this extent, theoretical hypothesis on how corruption influences tax evasion were developed and empirically tested. The research was carried on a cross-country data for the 28 European Union’s Member States for the period 2012 - 2017 and it used IBM SPSS Statistics 20 in order to analyze and interpret the results. The main finding is that corruption is statistically significantly related to tax evasion and that such relationship is a positive one, as highly corrupt countries also register high levels of tax evasion – as measured by the proxy values used. These findings could be of great use for policymakers all around the world, as a policy against corruption could have major implications on tax evasion and vice versa.


Achim MV. Corupţia şi economia subterană. Teorii şi studii. Cluj-Napoca: Presa Universitară Clujană; 2017.

Alm J, Liu Y, Zhang K. Financial constraints and firm tax evasion. Int Tax Public Finance. 2019 Feb 1; 26(1):71–102.

Alm J, Martinez-Vazquez J, McClellan C. Corruption and firm tax evasion. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization. 2016 Apr; 124:146–63.

Alm J. Measuring, explaining, and controlling tax evasion: lessons from theory, experiments, and field studies. Int Tax Public Finance. 2012 Feb 1;19(1):54–77.

Anitei NC, Lazar RE. Evaziunea fiscala intre legalitate si infractiune. Iaşi: Editura Lumen; 2013.

Dinga E. Consideraţii teoretice privind evaziunea fiscală vs. frauda fiscală (Theoretical considerations on tax evasion vs. tax fraud). Studii Financiare - Abordări teoretice şi modelare, București [Internet]. 2008;(4/2008). Available from: _pdf/ vol12i4p20-50.pdf

Dreher A, Schneider F. Corruption and the shadow economy: an empirical analysis. Public Choice. 2010 Jul;144(1–2):215–38.

European Commission [Internet]. Studies and Reports on the VAT Gap in the EU-28 Member States. Available from:

Goel RK, Saunoris JW. Does variability in crimes affect other crimes? The case of international corruption and shadow economy. Applied Economics. 2019 Jan 14;51(3): 239–58.

Goerke L. Bureaucratic corruption and profit tax evasion. Economics of Governance. 2008 May;9(2):177–96.

Grosu V. The Dimension of Tax Evasion in Romania. Ecoforum Journal. 2018; 7(2):4.

Lourenço IC, Rathke A, Santana V, Branco MC. The Effects of Corruption on Earnings Management. 2017; 26.

Picur RD, Riahi‐Belkaoui A. The impact of bureaucracy, corruption and tax compliance. Review of Accounting and Finance; 2006. Available from:

Şaguna D. Drept financiar şi fiscal. Bucureşti: Ed. All Beck; 2003.

Schneider F, Buehn A. Estimating the Size of the Shadow Economy: Methods, Problems and Open Questions. IZA Discussion Paper. 2016; (9820): 42.

Schneider F, Raczkowski K, Mróz B. Shadow economy and tax evasion in the EU. J of Money Laundering Control. 2015 Jan 5;18(1):34–51.

The World Bank [Internet]. World Bank. Available from:

Timofte C, Socoliuc M, Grosu V. Measuring Tax Evasion. Conceptual Approaches. The USV Annals of Economics and Public Administration. 2019;Vol 19 1(29).

Timofte C, Socoliuc M. Tax Evasion – From Its Roots to Its Branches. Ecoforum Journal. 2019;8 (1). 6 p.

Transparency International [Internet]. [cited 2019 Sep 23]. Available from:

Transparency International. Corruption Perceptions Index 2017 [Internet]. Available from:

World Bank, OECD. Improving Co-operation between Tax Authorities and Anti-Corruption Authorities in Combating Tax Crime and Corruption [Internet]. World Bank; 2018. Available from:

How to Cite
Timofte (Coca), C., Mates, D., Coca, D.-A., & Tanasa (Brinzaru), S.-M. (2020). The Relationship between Tax Evasion and Corruption. A Cross-country Examination. LUMEN Proceedings, 11, 173-181.