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Padoan: fighting tax evasion will recover in 2015 €3.5 bn more than 2014

by Dino Pesole

Enforcement but also deterrence are needed to boost the payment of taxes. This is the government's line in fighting tax evasion, which is a plague in Italy.

By 2015, the year during which the state should recover €3.5 billion more than 2014, the government will have access to new information made available from the data base of the tax registry.

The tax authorities will point out any eventual inconsistencies and taxpayers will be able to conduct their own checks before filling out their tax forms. The road forward is part of the plan to make electronic billing obligatory when dealing with public administration, something which will begin in March 2015.

At the tax police academy in Ostia, yesterday November 27 Prime Minister Matteo Renzi attended the celebration of the beginning of the academic year along with Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan, who emphasized “how tax evasion denies the state resources that could be used to improve public finances, reduce the fiscal burden and improve social equality.”

Renzi described as “shocking” the tax gap of €91 billion in uncollected revenue mentioned in a recent report by the Economy Ministry.

Overall, net revenues excluded from taxation totaled around €91 billion annually on average in 2007-2012, as indicated in a report on tax evasion presented by the government at the end of September when it released its updated budget blueprint (called Economy and Finance Document, or Def).

“For those who make a mistake there must be no escape route, they must be caught, but the norms must be made simpler because simplicity is needed to fight crime,” Renzi said.

Studying the “tax gap,” or difference between tax revenues collected and those potentially owed to tax authorities is a key passage in the tax reform sought by the Renzi government, with the double goal of clamping down on evasion and increasing taxpayer compliance.