Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Who's not paying their taxes these days?

Last week, Padua registered 75 arrests for tax evasion. The Guardia di Finanza's crackdown has come home and some of the sh___ has hit the fan locally. People were studied to compare their tax returns and their lifestyle. Red flags went up when, for example, a tax return showed earnings of 20,000/year while the person was driving a luxury car, going to exotic locations on holidays, a member at an elite golf club, etc. The tax-evasion offenders are not only business owners and freelance professionals, but also public officers. Padua comes in third in the Veneto as the city with the most arrests in this category while Verona takes the lead.

This initiative on the part of the government has ruffled many feathers. Mayors don't want to "tattle" on their citizens. Switzerland does not want to continue cooperating with the Italian authorities who are investigating money which might have been transfered illegally to tax havens in their country.

Alas, if only everyone would pay their taxes: the country's services would be so much better. Unfortunately the brunt of the tax "euro" is being paid by low-level employees who already get by on very little earnings. A 40-60% tax bracket is difficult to bear.

Share the wealth, evaders! Pay up! Maybe if we all paid, taxes could even go down. Now wouldn't that be novel!

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