Current issues

Combating the shadow economy prevents illegal activity and ensures tax revenue – the results are encouraging


The statistics on the prevention of shadow economy and economic crime in 2019 have been published. The experiences gained from the new procedures and law amendments to combat the phenomena more efficiently are positive.

Based on the statistics, the co-operation between authorities in combating the shadow economy and economic crime is efficient and works well. For example, the Finnish Tax Administration gave other control authorities close to 750 tips on misconduct related to matters other than taxation discovered during its own control activities.

‘The statistics show successes. The Action Plan against the Shadow Economy and Economic Crime has offered new tools for identifying and preventing these phenomena,’ says Janne Marttinen from the Grey Economy Information Unit of the Finnish Tax Administration.

The current and previous action plans have been in force almost continuously since 1996. The preparations for a new action plan are nearly complete.

‘During difficult times, the importance of combating the shadow economy is emphasised. The work done to combat the shadow economy ensures tax revenue and public financing,’ Mr Marttinen continues.

New phenomena challenge the traditional operating methods

The rapidly progressing digitalisation and increasingly international operating environment have presented new challenges to combating the shadow economy. 

For example, the growth of the platform economy and the popularity of e-commerce, as well as virtual currencies and the related misuse, have expanded the need for control and guidance.

‘In the future, identifying new phenomena and co-operating when responding to them will be increasingly important,’ Mr Marttinen says.  
Link: Shadow economy prevention statistics, 2019