Italian police clamp down on tax evaders

January 30th, 2012 - 8:32 am ICT by IANS  

Milan (Italy), Jan 30 (IANS) Italian police, in a bid to clamp down upon widespread tax evasion, Sunday carried out massive checks on bars, restaurants and shops in Milan, the ANSA news agency reported.

Over 100 renowned restaurants and bars in the city centre were reportedly inspected by fiscal authorities, who checked the correct emission of receipts as well as the regularity of employment contracts, Xinhua reported.

According to the national statistics institute Istat, the annual tax evasion in Italy is estimated at 255 billion to 275 billion euros ($337 billion to 363 billion), accounting for 16.3 to 17.5 percent of the GDP.

Police also checked luxury cars parked outside fashionable night clubs of the Italian financial capital Saturday night in order to subsequently audit the individual income tax return of owners.

The spot checks highlight a nationwide problem of thousands of people hugely under-declaring their incomes or declaring no income at all, which Prime Minister Mario Monti has put among the priorities of his new government’s agenda.

Monti’s cabinet of technocrats has launched a drive against tax evasion with moves and measures to fight the illegal habit.

Recently, a team of officers from the national revenue agency carried out a similar raid on Cortina d’Ampezzo, the country’s most exclusive ski resort as a winter playground for the rich.

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