The Italian government has stepped up its efforts to punish individuals who are defrauding the government over taxes. Previously, in 2014, the national tax agency recovered from €14.2 billion from those involved in tax evasion. For 2015, the agency recovered a new record of €14.9 billion in unpaid taxes. Pier Carlo Padoan, Italy’s Minister of Economy and Finances, estimates that the money recovered has quadrupled in size since the start of this plan nine years ago (The Local – Italy, 1). Despite these recent successes, the amount of recovered taxes still pales in comparison Italy’s widespread issue of tax evasion.
As of last year, only three-hundred and fifteen thousand Italians were offered the chance to fix errors in their annual tax returns. Only half of this group chose to make changes with the incentive of only being liable for reduced financial penalties. This led to a recovery of €250 million, even though the government approximated that the country’s total losses from tax evasion reached €90 billion annually. To note, this value was lower than the organization Confindustria’s estimate of €122 billion annually (The Local – Italy, 1). Experts believe that this amount is equal to 7.5 percent of Italy’s GDP.
Regardless of the estimated value, close to half of this amount comes from non-payments of value-added taxes. Also, a third of the total amount comes from non-payments of payroll taxes (The Local – Italy, 1). This bleak reality will not help Italy’s national debt problems any time soon. Recently released figures show that the national debt has increased to 132.6% of annual output at the end of 2015. Team Mint Condition will keep our readers posted on any updates regarding tax recovery and national debt levels in Italy.
“Italy announces record haul from tax fraud crackdown.” The Local (Italy). 01 March