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Tax evasion in Italy. Ever rampant PDF Print E-mail
Jan 24, 2014 at 10:56 PM

Image In recent years, the Italian government has been trying to frighten Italians into paying their taxes with a series of instruments that elsewhere might well be deemed unconstitutional: these include the so-called sectors studies system which sets up presumed income levels for anyone in a particular profession, the dreaded spesometro, a set of calculations regarding income based on an individual's expenditures (as in, you have a boat therefore you must earn a certain amount or show me how you were able to purchase that car); limitations on payments that can be made in cash and so on and so forth.

But is it working? Yes, but mostly no. Reportedly, 4.2 billion euros in evaded taxes was recovered last year but at the same time new statistics released this week by the Guardia di Finanza, the Italian tax police, show that during the course of 2013, the state lost some 51 billion euros in unpaid taxes. Their latest report indicated that in 2013
12.726 people were investigated (only 202 were arrested, however) and 14,220 others who had declared no taxes whatsoever were discovered.

Investigations during the year of some 300,000 businesses, showed that despite a series of spectacular - and well publicize raids - one of every three companies had either done a sale without registering it or issued a fraudulent receipt. Almost five billion euros of VAT or sales tax went uncollected, at least two of these involved fraudulent foreign transactions. Total tax evasion last year, according to the tax police, amounted to 51 billion euros.





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