Wednesday, July 29, 2009

This blog is against tax dodging

I am a subordinate employee.
And so, regarding income taxes, i pay them.
I have a headache to fill out the modello 730 (the italian tax form) because I want the deductions allowed for having a home loan, and not lose them by having my taxes automatically computed. This operation is not that difficult but, as usual clumsy in bureaucratic stuff, i end up making some errors, that are regularly corrected by the kind girls at the CAAF office (the syndacate section charged to check validity of official documents).
I swear that any error is absolutely unintentional. It wouldn't make any sense in fact to try to be sneaky: the document to attach as a proof of its accuracy is the CUD (a document issued by the employer), and the numbers written on the two forms must be the same.

To tell the truth the accuracy of the data written on the 730 is immediately verifiable only for the incomes for subordinate employment. For instance, i could give private lessons of ancient Greek language, arrange small electricity works, canary petsitting, or teach hang gliding, with regular remuneration, and then i could avoid to declare it as an income. But i don't do any of those activities, believe me.

For sure i don't have the same solidarity feeling as Artemisia, who would like to pay more taxes. Instead i would prefer to pay less. But i am proud to be able to say that i never evade taxes and i am happy to pay till the last penny what is owed, to give my contribution to the community.
I'd only like that also the other members of the same community do the same.
First of all for a social reason. Since the social services are financed by the State through tax revenue, tax evasion means that services are not paid enough (and so performed with worse quality) or, otherwise, that the pressure of taxation increases (obviously for non-evaders).
Moreover, I cannot find a valid reason why, for the same income, whoever is honest will have less money, since he must provide for a part to be paid in taxes.

Italian tax system doesn't allow subordinate employees to evade taxes, while it makes it easy and lightly punished for self-employers and enterpreneurs, for the simple reason that for this last ones it's more difficult to evaluate the income.
Which, of course, doesn't mean that subordinate employees are more honest than the self employers. In fact i know some enterpreneurs that pay till the last cent, while a lot of subordinate employees do not evade only because they don't have the opportunity to, which it's far from a moral acquittal.

The ricevuta fiscale.
The taxation for a commercial business is computed on the base of the sales proceeds, or, in other words, the sum of the money coming from the sale of the products or services commercialized, in the period of one year.
The ricevuta fiscale [receipt for fiscal purposes] is an official document that is issued by the business that contains the total amount paid by the customer, the detail of all the products or services bought, the particulars of the business itself along with a progressive number and the date that unequivocally identify that receipt.
It is double-copied and written (by hand or automatically, in the form of a scontrino fiscale, by the registratore di cassa [a particular calculator/printer]). One copy is given to the customer and the other is kept by the dealer. The set of all the ricevute fiscali issued in one year is so a good enough documentation for computing the sales proceeds.

The most obvious way to evade the taxes, so, is not to issue the receipt at all, after a sale.

I don't believe that the customer should play the role of the inspector. But the receipt, that is a proof of the purchase, is the warranty that the taxes due for that good are paid, and it is a right of the consumer to control that it actually happens.
It's obvious that when a dealer does not give the receipt, in that moment he is evading his taxes. And that is a crime.
After a sale, it's normal that a dealer actually gives the good that was paid by the customer ("I'm not a cheater!"). On the other side, the customer for sure pays the good he bought ("I'm not a thief!"). I cannot understand why they feel it is allowed to pass over the receipt.

I don't know about you, but so often it happens to me that the shopkeeper "forgets" to issue the receipt.
Being that i pay my taxes, this "forgetting" irritates me so much, and when it happens, i expressly ask for a receipt. At that point they issue it, some times with an arrogant reaction. Rarely it happened that they kept refusing.
I believe that, unfortunately, the main part of consumers do not have the same "ball-breaking" nature, and at the end, for each demanded receipt, a lot of others are lost in the guilty oblivion.

I don't believe that there is a particular category of business to point the finger towards. As Maurice in his post notices, if the statistics say that the restaurants are the most impudent tax evaders, that doesn't mean that one can accuse each restaurateur to evade taxes. For example, the only one time we had dinner at Maurice's, the receipt was regularily issued. To say that the restaurant dealers are dishonest is injust towards the honest ones.

And it's just for this reason that, in my opinion, the dishonest ones should be identified. As Maurice says, "Tirate fuori i nomi e non sparate a casaccio sul mucchio" ["Quote the names and don't shoot on the mass"]. No sooner said than done. Today i start a new survey on this blog that reports the commercial business that evade the taxes. Or, atleast, that try to, when it's my turn to pay the bill. The list will appear on a proper section in the right column.

Disclaimer: I'd like to make clear that this report has nothing to do with the quality of the products.

One has to start from somewhere, and so, incidentally, it happens that the first tax evader of the list is the famous Pasticceria Vassalli, Via S. Carlo 84/86 - 25087 Salò (Brescia). R. and i entered last friday morning in the shop. We had a slice of ricotta pie, a "fruit basket" (almond-chocolate wafer filled with fruit and custard), two shakerati, two glasses of mineral water and a small pack of lemon cookies. The lady (i think she's the owner), using the registratore di cassa as a support to write on the notepad, performed the sum by hand and accepted our payment of the bill with credit card. Only after the transaction, when she was already greeting us, i demanded and obtained the receipt.


Jonzie said...

Indeed a great post! do you think other people might join in to draw a sort of map of evaders? I would definitely join in. You should think about legal outcomes too. You might be accused of lying. In theory, if you don't get you receipt you should ask for it and in case of denial call the guardia di finanza.

dario said...

Well... that's right. I am not be wanting to accuse people if the reason is just an incident. For example it happened to me that somebody didn't print my receipe because the registratore di cassa was obviously temporarily broken.
In this case, and all the ones that will follow there is an easy way to check the truth of my words. Go there and buy something. I say that if today you do the same at Pasticceria Vassalli, they won't give you the receipt, unless you ask for it.

dario said...

;-) i hope nobody is going to sue me... anyway they don't have my real identity.

Rowena... said...

Sconto? o scontrino?! hahahaha!

The cinema in Lecco is a prime example. Remember the ticket read omaggio and there was no amount paid indicated on the receipt. If you like I can give you that receipt.

dario said...

Yes, that was the master.

But no, i decided that my bad guys list starts from last friday.

tychecat said...

As you probably know, here in the US, the income tax system is considerably more complicated but still remains based on voluntary compliance. Surprisingly, most Americans to comply pretty honestly but we have a vigourous enforcement system which also rewards whistle-blowers.
I think your listing tax evaders is a good idea, but you should guard your back ;-)

dario said...

Dick, for now my list contains only one entry, but i am sure in a near future there will be so many evaders listed that nobody will be able to notice one in particular eheheh...

Mmmmh... i don't know the way they do the income declaration in america. I am pretty sure that there is much less evaders. Anyway, my point is that most of people in Italy feels like it is not a bad thing to evade.

I am not surprised that people try to be sneaky. I am irritated for the fact that everybody feels it's an acceptable thing, in fact nobody complains if the dealer doesn't give the recepit.

And that can be applied also to other type of business... For now i am listing only the commercial shops because it's easy to control by a private consumer like me.