Tax dodgers in Italy will need to be much quicker on their toes in light of the pumped-up mesures aimed at tackling Italy’s chronic tax evasion problem. Office chief Massimo Romano announced that a key element in the crackdown will be the hiring of an additional 3,000 inspetors in an effort to retrieve at least 20 billion euro in evaded tax by 2010.
Romano also warned that businesses should expect more visits from inspectors, who will make their rounds every three years instead of the current five years for larger firms. As for smaller businesses, inspections are projected to rise from the current 292,000 to 440,000 each year, and be repeated every six and a half years instead of ten.
In accordance with an election pledge to fight tax evasion, since gaining power, Premier Romano Prodi has effectively introduced tighter controls, like increased cross-checking and tougher penalties for companies caught cheating on their tax returns. Although Prodi’s reforms have met with much criticism from entrepreneurs in Italy’s industrialized north, head of the Confindustria, Luca Cordero Montezemolo, recently renewed his support of the current goverment’s anti-tax evasion strategy.