New Italian Tax System: Police State Tactics?
By Alan Johnston | BBCNews
The Italian authorities have been accused of resorting to police state-style tactics with the introduction of a new weapon to hunt down the nationís many tax dodgers.
The new procedure makes it possible to scrutinise any familyís spending pattern, and compare this with what it says it earns.
Tax evasion in Italy has been a chronic problem for generations.
The authorities say the equivalent of nearly 120bn euros (£100bn, $160bn) worth of revenue is lost every year.
If you fail the Redditometro, you may get a visit from these guys, the Italian tax police.
And the nationís army of tax inspectors desperately needs more firepower.
But some commentators have been outraged by this monthís launch of what is called the Redditometro - the Income Meter.
It has been described as unacceptably intrusive, the sort of thing that East Germanyís secret police might have dreamt up.
How it will work
The Italian tax inspectors have always had a lot of useful information to help verify income tax returns.
They have had data relating to major items of expenditure, like home and car ownership, and so on.
But the Redditometro will now help the authorities get a better fix on peopleís likely spending habits in many other areas of daily life.
First, the system has divided the entire population into 11 classic, household types; couples, singles, families with children, etc.
Then it has built up very detailed models that show how each category is likely to spend its income.
The average probable outlay across 100 different areas of expenditure has been examined; food, drink, clothing, leisure pursuits, etc.
Then these predictions have been further refined by taking into account regional variations.
So the tax authorities believe that they will have a very good idea what sum, for example, the average family of four in southern Italy will be required to spend to get by.
Then, if such a familyís tax return suggests its income is substantially lower than that sum the authorities might get suspicious.
The family will have fallen outside its expected spending pattern model, and an investigation might be triggered.
The family might be asked, "How could you have so little income, and yet be spending the kind of money that we know a family like yours, in your part of Italy, must be spending every day?"
The family may then have to explain more about where its money is coming from, and how exactly it is being spent.
The newspapers have been full of talk of how you might actually find yourself discussing your breakfast and lunch arrangements with the tax collectors.
And in the view of the Corriere della Sera newspaper columnist, Piero Ostellino, this is all too much.
"This is not fighting tax evasion, this is investigating how you live, what you buy, what you wear," he said.
"Iím against the Redditometro not because Iím in favour of evading taxes. I donít think tax collection should be done by trampling on individual liberties."
Mr Ostellino argued that how he or any other Italian chose to spend their money was not the stateís business.
"I would like to live in a country where a cardinal can every month buy a pornographic magazine without having to explain this to the tax authorities!" he said.
"This is like the former East Germany!"
Read the full article at: bbc.co.uk
Your Taxes Are About To Go Up, But So Is Congress & Federal Workersí Pay
Spiegel: Wealthy Greeks Still Donít Pay Taxes
No tax, no blessing: German church insists on levy
Your Tax Dollars Are Being Fired Out the Barrels of Guns
French actor Depardieu likely to get Russian passport (and who can blame him!?)
italians protest as redditometro unveiled
Latest News from our Front Page
Increased tax subsidies for politically correct media
On Dec 9 last year I translated a random snapshot of the biggest newspaper in Sweden. The headlines alone spoke for themselves. It was, simply put, an orgy of political correctness, obvious attempts at emotional manipulation and general national self-loathing. In other words, a typical Swedish newspaper on any given day.
As more and more readers are waking up to the ...
When obeying the law and supporting yourself is racist
There is a huge scandal in the municipality of √Ąlmhult in Sweden. It has been revealed that there is a letter that may have been sent from the municipality offices to newly arrived immigrants informing them that the law applies to them and that they‚Äôre expected to eventually go off the dole and start pulling their own weight in society.
New political weapon: Threat to unleash immigrant invasion
Youtube description: Threatening to bombard a country with illegal immigrants has become quite the bargaining chip in political quarrels, as Polly Boiko explains.
Editors Note: Notice how the argument is twisted around at the end of the report. The word "Bogeyman" is used. This is a common allusion to a mythical creature. What is mythical about replacement immigration into Europe? ...
Facebook completes first drone flight above UK, Mark Zuckerberg confirms
Solar powered drones which provide internet access to rural and remote areas have been trialled in UK for first time by Facebook.
They ‚Äúhave a wingspan greater than a Boeing 737 but will weigh less than a car‚ÄĚ, according to the social network's chief Mark Zuckerberg.
The drones, developed by Somerset-based company Ascenta which Facebook bought last March, will beam down laser-guided ...
300 Young English Girls (and a few Boys) Groomed and Assaulted by Oxfordshire "Gangs," Report Finds
Editor's note: This story is a few days old now but the echoes of Rotherham just keeps coming. A few weeks ago there was Halifax, now Britain proudly can add Oxfordshire to their line up of diversity success stories.
Below is the story from the telegraph:
Serious case review finds failings by police and social services as it identifies hundreds of victims
|More News Ľ |