Assessment of EU’s VAT Gap Due to Shadow Economy

14 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2017

See all articles by Marius Frunza

Marius Frunza

Schwarzthal Tech; Schwarzthal Kapital

Date Written: November 25, 2017


The aim of this paper is to provide with an accurate estimate of the VAT gap due to shadow economy in the European Union. Shadow economy circumvents the formal taxation system including the VAT. The estimation is based on an econometric model that uses as macro-economic data as drivers for the size of the VAT gap. The model uses as input data the estimates of the size of the shadow economy as measure by Schneider (2016). The results show that the shadow economy generates around 132 billion euros of gap, accounting for 14% of the total European Union collected VAT amount. Countries from Southern and Eastern Europe have the biggest contributions to the VAT loss due to the shadow economy.

Keywords: VAT fraud, VAT gap, tax evasion, shadow economy

JEL Classification: H2, K34

Suggested Citation

Frunza, Marius, Assessment of EU’s VAT Gap Due to Shadow Economy (November 25, 2017). Available at SSRN: or

Marius Frunza (Contact Author)

Schwarzthal Tech ( email )

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Schwarzthal Kapital ( email )

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