New Italian Tax System: Police State Tactics?
2013 01 22
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 nation’s many tax dodgers.
The new procedure makes it possible to scrutinise any family’s 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 nation’s army of tax inspectors desperately needs more firepower.
But some commentators have been outraged by this month’s launch of what is called the Redditometro - the Income Meter.
It has been described as unacceptably intrusive, the sort of thing that East Germany’s 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 people’s 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 family’s 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.
"I’m against the Redditometro not because I’m in favour of evading taxes. I don’t 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 state’s 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 Workers’ Pay
Spiegel: Wealthy Greeks Still Don’t 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
Secret underground tunnels of ancient Mesopotamian cult revealed under Ani ruins
2014 09 01
For the first time in history, the academic world is paying attention to the spectacular underground world of Ani, a 5,000-year-old Armenian city located on the Turkish-Armenian border. Hurriyet Daily News reports that scientists, academics, and researchers have just met at a symposium in Kars titled ‘Underground Secrets of Ani’ to discuss the city’s underground world mentioned in ancient ...
A Government Vision Of The Future That Isn’t That Great
2014 09 01
Here’s a report by the UK Ministry of Defense, a document that they’re not hiding - it’s not classified. In fact, they WANT you to read it: the Global Strategic Trends 2045. For your convenience, they’ve even produced a handy video about their dire predictions:
They present a warning call for how things are going to be bad in the future. ...
Bad Memories Turned to Happy Ones in Mice Brains
2014 09 01
Memories are often associated with emotions, and these feelings can change through new experiences and over time. Now, using light, scientists have been able to manipulate mice brain cells and turn the animals’ fearful memories into happy ones, according to a new study.
Memories are encoded in groups of neurons that are activated together or in specific patterns, but it is ...
CIA MKULTRA: they intended to use drugs for “everything”
2014 09 01
Drugs to transform individuals…and even, by implication, society.
Drug research going far beyond the usual brief descriptions of MKULTRA.
The intention is there, in the record.
A CIA document was included in the transcript of the 1977 US Senate Hearings on MKULTRA, the CIA’s mind-control program.
The document is found in Appendix C, starting on page 166. It’s simply labeled “Draft,” dated 5 May ...
Harmful Compound Found in Many BPA-Free Bottles
2014 09 01
A chemical found in many products labeled “BPA free” may produce many of the same health problems as the original chemical, including hyperactivity and cardiac arrhythmia, according to a pair of studies presented recently at the joint meeting of the International Society of Endocrinology and the Endocrine Society in Chicago.
“BPS, termed the safe alternative to BPA, may be equally as ...
|More News » |