WellTax Blog

Category by category, this is how the Tax Office does the math in taxpayers’ pockets

February 13, 2018

The fact is that compliance is no longer an unknown word. The strategy of pushing for dialogue carried out with letters has increased the recovery of revenue for this specific item by almost three times (from 500 million in 2016 to 1.3 billion in 2017). Therefore, the fight against tax evasion is also this. Just as it is true that the growth in the number of recipients of preventive alerts is also attributable to the new obligations, i.e. the quarterly communications of VAT payment data and invoice data (the much “tormented” spend meter): in fact, there were 44 % of the nearly 1.5 million letters sent last year.

After all, focusing attention on VAT is almost a necessary action in the fight against tax evasion. This is not only certified by the Minister of Economy, Pier Carlo Padoan, who spoke two weeks ago at the presentation of the 2017 results of the fight against tax evasion. But the numbers make it clear that the gap between potential value added tax and that actually paid still remains high: 26.4% according to the latest report from the Ministry of Economy on tax and contribution evasion made known in September. Out of a total of 35 billion that escaped the tax authorities in 2015, there were as many as 8.4 billion in missed payments. A fact which, not surprisingly, is the basis of all the anti-evasion measures adopted in recent years: from data communications to the progressive extension of split payment to end with the debut of the mandatory electronic invoice between “private individuals” which will be fully operational from 2019 .

Even for the future, the prospect is to increase the “loot” obtained through this mechanism which, it must be remembered, warns the taxpayer about possible anomalies, errors or violations committed, offering him the chance to “recover” by repenting industrious (substantially with discounted sanctions) and without risking future investigations. In fact, the Revenue performance plan provides for a 10% increase for each year from 2018 to 2020 in spontaneous payments “solicited” with compliance letters.

In reality, in numerical terms the recoveries from alerts are worth just 6.5% of the total of 20.1 brought home by Revenue for 2017. However, the induced effect must be considered, which emerges from the data on spontaneous payments of direct, indirect and local taxes grew by 7.6 billion (+1.9%) from 2016 to 2017.

But it is clear that the fight against tax evasion cannot be all there. Faced with a mountain of 100-110 billion euros in taxes and contributions evaded every year, repressive measures must also be put in place. In this sense, the central level reorganization of the Revenue Agency should serve to better calibrate the guidelines to be followed on the types of taxpayers: natural persons and self-employed people, small and medium-sized enterprises, large taxpayers.

This should allow us to systematize different methods and approaches developed over the years (as can be seen from the graphics presented in these pages), taking into account that there is not just one type of escape but many. And even the omitted invoicing, which can be transversal, then fuels different dynamics depending on the subject observed.

To be able to aim at the target, avoiding as much as possible investigations that can then be contested or even overturned in litigation, the preventive analysis of the risk-evasion becomes strategic. A concept that is increasingly entering the DNA of the entire Italian tax administration. Also for this reason, we are moving towards a “thaw” of the super registry of current accounts envisaged by a 2011 law but which never became operational, as reported, among other things, a few months ago by the Court of Auditors.

Risk analysis that emerges, in particular, in the Guardia di Finanza operating manual which also focuses on those who received the alerts but decided not to respond or comply with the requests. With the help of databases, the Fiamme Gialle can monitor over time the behavior of citizens and economic operators most inclined to evasion.

Article from “Il Sole 24 ore”

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