Monday, August 20, 2007

Pope to Tax Cheats: God is NOT on Your Side

Pope Benedict XVI is likely to soon issue a pronouncement (encyclical) condemning tax evasion and use of tax havens. The Pope's emphasis is on greed and social justice; he believes that use of tax havens deprives societies of needed tax revenues and encourages unjust accumulation of wealth. The upcoming encyclical is in part driven by problems encountered by Italian tax collectors; Italian prime minister Prodi has stated that churches have too often been silent on tax evasion.

Two points: [1] the content of the encyclical is not surprising--after all, one of the Ten Commandments is "do not bear false witness," [2] with all the commentary by Congress, bloggers and the tax media about the U.S. tax gap, tax compliance in the United States is surprisingly favorable compared to virtually any other country.


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