Categoria: English
Creato Lunedì, 09 Settembre 2019

Tax Evasion

Italy Is Sinking: Fault of the "Self-employed"? by Luciano Nicolini (n°225)

In the May issue of this magazine, Toni Iero explained that “Italy’s public debt is no longer sustainable.” Continuing to cut public spending indiscriminately won’t save us from disaster. On the contrary…

I think that even the people who govern us (and those who’d like to replace them) are aware of this. So, they’re back to talking about fighting tax evasion. 

Theaters have recently been showing the film “Welcome Back, Mr. President”, sequel to the entertaining and prophetic “Welcome, Mr. President”, which proposes the war against tax evasion as the solution to the country’s problems. 

Let’s get one thing clear: everyone knows that tax evasion exists in Italy and that it’s significant. It’s obvious that this is done mainly by the (so-called) self-employed: only if you can evade, you do!

But there’s no proof that Italy’s ills are the fault of self-employed who systematically evade taxes, or that those ills could be cured if they all did their duty as taxpayers. Nor is it clear that the self-employed are as rich as they have always been portrayed.

On Sunday, 23 June 2019, “Il Fatto Quotidiano” published an article by Luciano Cerasa entitled “On the Brink of Hunger: The Usual Self-employed and Merchants”. The subtitle (of course) was: “Little difference between sector studies and reliability indices: declared income is not believable.” Afterwards, in the scandalized tone typical of such articles, the author said that, according to the latest data from the Ministry of Economy and Finance, “small businessmen and merchants with VAT numbers subject to sector studies (around 3.183 million) declare an average income of € 28,800 compared to € 20,560 declared by employees.” To him, the figure declared by the self-employed seems incredibly low. Not to me, although I live in Emilia-Romagna, one of Italy’s richest regions.  

Among small businessmen, “56% declare company income below € 15,000, and only 1% declare income exceeding € 150,000.” Frankly, I’m not surprised: today, many people become small businessmen because they can’t find a job, and, in the current crisis, very few earn more than € 10,000 a month!

The unbelieving journalist goes on to say that among the self-employed, “38% declare income (...) of less than € 25,820 and only 5% declare income exceeding € 185,920.” I have no data to confirm this, but I’m not surprised that only one self-employed person in 20 earns more than € 15,000 a month…

Briefly, Cerasa’s conclusion is this: “for many categories, the ‘flat’ tax already exists, in spite of the equitable and progressive tax system imposed by the Constitution. Evading 'was something everybody did but nobody talked about.' Now it has become entirely legal.”

My conclusions are different:

1) tax evasion, as I said above, exists and is obvious to everyone;

2) those who evade are essentially the self-employed, for obvious reasons;

3) nevertheless, the income they declare is anything but unbelievable;

4) everyone should pay their taxes;

5) even more important, those who collect them should use them to provide useful services to the public (and not to bankroll the friends of their friends); 

6) I don’t believe that increasing tax revenues and decreasing spending can resolve Italy’s dramatic problems;

7) rather than whipping up the “virtuous” employees against the “cheating” self-employed, forgetting that many of them are self-employed only because they couldn’t find a job, we should remember that the real difference is not between the employed and the self-employed, but between people who have power and people who don’t.



Aggiungi commento

Codice di sicurezza

Tax Evasion. Italy Is Sinking: Fault of the "Self-employed"? by Luciano Nicolini (n°225) - Cenerentola Info
Joomla theme by hostgator coupons