Coupled with general distrust of how public money is spent, rampant corruption, selective enforcement and inconsistent tax law interpretation, various estimates say that 30 to 53 percent of what the nation produces – some $50 billion to $80 billion – remains in the shadows, undeclared and untaxed.
The verdict comes on the heels of contrary assertions made by Ukraine’s chief tax collector, Oleksandr Klymenko, who said recently that tax revenue rose more than 35 percent in 2011 compared to the previous year. Klymenko also boasted that his agency has successfully begun reining in the gray economy.
“We have our work cut out for us. Pulling money out of the shadows will allow us to meet budget revenue targets,” Klymenko said in a televised interview on Feb. 1. “It doesn’t make a difference if this is big business, medium or small. But in practice these are large- and medium-sized businesses.”