New Italian Tax System: Police State Tactics?
2013-01-22 0:00

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.

Porn magazine

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





Related Articles
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

Sweden may be at war "in a few years" - top brass in leaked document
2016-02-13 5:24
In a few years Sweden may be engaged in a war with a “qualified opponent” after two centuries of peace, a senior Swedish commander has told soldiers in an internal brochure. The alarming message was reportedly sent by Major General Anders Brännström, the Army chief, in a brochure distributed among the participants of a major annual event that is to open ...
Danish imam urges govt to accept child marriages among refugees
2016-02-13 4:57
A high-profile imam has urged the Danish government to accept child brides, as the practice is part of the culture of many refugees arriving in the country. It follows an announcement by Denmark that such couples will be separated under Danish law. Imam Oussama El-Saadi, of the Aarhus mosque in Denmark, said that child brides should be looked at from a ...
White Parents in Virginia Shutdown White Guilt Video!
2016-02-13 4:56
You see folks? This is what happens when you stop blaming the Joo, and you get the fuck off your favorite bitch corner and start taking action! This is what happens when parents start parenting again! What? You’re gonna brainwash our kids with your filth and lies? We don’t think so. How would you like an empty school with no ...
Hungarian Top Economist: Civil War is Coming to Europe
2016-02-13 2:36
Zsolt Bayer, Hungarian journalist, publicist, and co-founder of Hungary's currently ruling political party, and Dr. László Bogár, former politician and leading economist, discuss the Cologne sexual assualts committed by migrants on New Year's Eve, 2016. This short part of the 60-minute long television program that aired on Echo TV on January 8, 2016, is of a rant by Mr. Bogár warning ...
British scientists granted permission to genetically modify human embryos
2016-02-12 23:48
The Francis Crick institute will genetically edit the leftover embryos from from IVF clinics British scientists have been granted permission to genetically modify human embryos by the fertility regulator. The scientists want to deactivate genes in leftover embryos from IVF clinics to see if it hinders development. It will only be the second time in the world that such a procedure has ...
More News »