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Redditometro and Redditest: new weapons to fight tax evasion in Italy

The renewed income-meter compares spending with declared income

Redditometro and Redditest: new weapons to fight tax evasion in Italy

Nathania Zevi

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Preventing tax evasion is now possible, according to the Director of the Italian Revenue office Attilio Befera. How? With two new instruments named Redditometro and Redditest. Two basic tools with which officials and citizens will be able to understand in advance if they are spending more than what they can afford and if they run the risk of anti-tax evasion fiscal controls.

With the introduction of the new Redditometro and Redditest, spending will be compared with declared  income. "What you spend must be perfectly consistent with what you declare in terms of income," said Befera, adding that his office is not interested in knowing what people have for breakfast or dinner, but rather in getting a better idea of all those expenses that are made with money coming from fiscal evasion. "We are not interested in the micro daily expenses, like those related to food and clothing. In fact, those will be counted automatically taking as reference the average provided by Istat (the national institute of statistics) ."

 

The introduction of the Redditometro and the Redditest is specifically aimed at lowering the number of disputes because it allows to calculate the expenses easily, dismissing the old method based on multiplicative factors. "The redditometro," stressed Befera, "does not measure people's wealth but their total expenditure and compares it with the declared income".

These new measures has already shown that, in over 4.3 million families in Italy, spending does not to correspond to declared income, and that one million out of them declares zero income or close to zero but still spends. "I do not say that we are facing a 4.3 million tax evaders - said Befera, there are a number of unreported issues that should be taken into account and there are people who are taxed at the source, or are tax free. What I say is that we need to check."

The new legislation also introduces the so so-called-double-contradictory for the alleged evader. The taxpayer put under observation will be entitled to give clarifications on any allegations made against him. If his explanations are not sufficient, he will then be called to discuss the survey results.

In addition to this, in order to prevent disputes of other nature, the Redditest has also been introduced. This tool can help people test anonymously if their expenses are in line with what is stated in terms of income.  Citizens will have to connect to the site of the Revenue office, download a software and enter the required data.

The result will be of a qualitative nature.

A green light will appear if expenditure and income match and a red light if they don't. "You don't need to tell people what they can't afford. The taxpayer knows exactly what purchase has been made with funds derived from tax evasion," said Befera.

 

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