The Lying Game

How taxpayers are keeping billions from governments

Questionable deductions. Offshore bank accounts. Flat-out lying. Every year, before April 15, these tactics help Americans withhold some $385 billion from the U.S. government (most of which, because of logistical costs, is never recovered). Potential consequences abound: reduced tax revenue means less money for health care and roads, among other public perks. That's why in February the IRS signed an agreement with Switzerland aimed at reducing offshore tax evasion. But compared with the rest of the world, is the U.S. really that bad? Here's a look at how seven so-called shadow economies stack up.

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