The government has signed the agreement with the Revenue Agency. Among the goals that the foundation, led by Ernesto Ruffini, must achieve by 2025 is to collect an additional 2.8 billion in the fight against tax evasion. â€œWe’ve raised the bar. I am not referring to the fight against tax evasion – says Ruffini. Our work will also be evaluated above all on the increase in remote services, the acceleration of reimbursement processes, and litigation ».
How was the target of 2.8 billion determined?
“Restoring operational capacity thanks to an ambitious plan to employ 11,000 officials. A quantum leap, if you believe that at the end of 2022 we had a 40% shortage of employees: 28,000 employees instead of 44,000 ».
Less than three billion for a tax evasion of 100 billion a year. Couldn’t we have done more?
“It must be considered that this increase is in addition to the results already achieved. About ten years ago, the level of tax evasion “strictly speaking”, that is, in relation to personal income tax, value added tax, IRAP and IRIS, not counting that on social security contributions, was about 85 billion. But already in 2019, thanks to the introduction of electronic billing, it dropped to 75. Along with this reduction are the real law enforcement actions of the agency, which in 2022 regained the highest number for Always. And already this year we will insure 1.3 billion more than expected in the previous agreement. Now, the new target raises the bar by about 15%.”
And the fact remains that among the changes requested by the government to Pnrr is the abandonment of the primary goals of reducing the tax gap, that is, the difference between taxes that must be collected without evasion and those that actually enter. Surrender to tax evaders or what?
“Reducing the tax gap is an objective goal conditioned by many factors, not just financial ones. Sudden change in economic scenarios and power surge affects corporate liquidity and tax gap levels. Regarding the goals that Pnrr has entrusted to the agency, in addition to those already achieved in the pre-collected VAT form and databases, we still have two activities that must be closed by the end of 2024: sending more than 3 million letters of compliance, for 2.77 billion. The good news is that we will actually get to all of them in October, more than a year in advance, having already achieved 99% of the acquisitions ».
On the one hand, the government signed an agreement to secure more revenue. On the other hand, the Prime Minister criticized the agency’s modus operandi when, to achieve these goals, it sets out to search for revenue at any cost. Have you ever felt like you were in someone’s shoes asking for “Pizza di Stato”?
“The agency only applies the law. And the agreement has general financial goals, not revenue-seeking. Also because economic incentives are not recognized on the basis of checks made and money collected, I keep reading, but on the basis of services rendered. As a Catholic, I know that since During the time of the tax collector Levi, the figure of the tax collector, understandably, did not receive special sympathy. But today, in a democracy, money from evasion is recovered not on behalf of the emperor, but for the benefit of society. Including those who do not pay taxes. More than 80 % of the total amount of tax evasion relates to those who fail to file the tax return or file it in a dishonest manner; less than 20% is the so-called evasion, that is, to those who file the return, but then do not pay what is owed. Let’s not forget that the vast majority of Taxpayers are honest and always pay for everything, even the last penny, even if it’s not gold. If we want to guarantee basic rights like health, education and public order, we need resources. And that’s what the agency does.
What results can you expect from checks with the financial record?
Â «It is too early to make predictions, also because it was only in May that the activities required by the Privacy Guarantor to ensure the correct use of personal data were completed. Looking ahead, the checking account archive is an essential resource because it makes it possible, for example, to intercept individuals who have fictitious residence abroad but have checking accounts in our country. The first extrapolation based on anonymized data, that is, initially anonymous and then able to be used on the basis of additional information, is related to the year 2017 and will make it possible to identify, for example, individuals who have large movements in their checking accounts but who have not filed their tax returns ».
When will these extrapolations begin?
â€œWe are leaving already. Soon we will have the first results.”
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