July 18, 2024

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Card payment refund scheme aims to wean tax-dodging Italians off cash

Thousands and thousands of Italians have signed up for a authorities scheme offering a 10pc refund for card payments in suppliers in just two months in an attempt by Rome to lower tax evasion and enhance merchants hit by coronavirus limitations.

The roaring start off to the scheme, which needs downloading an application adopted by a prolonged registration process, arrives in stark distinction to Italians’ lukewarm reaction to the less difficult Immuni application launched in June to trace Covid infections.

The so-known as “cashback” approach will officially kick off subsequent month but the pilot programme from Dec 8 to the close of the close, which will allow cost savings of up to €150, has previously attracted a tenth of the grownup population.

“Over 5m subscriptions is no little feat,” said Leonzio Rizzo, a professor of community finance at the College of Ferrara, informed Reuters.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s authorities thinks that weaning Italians off cash can reduce rampant tax evasion, estimated by the Treasury at about €110bn a year.

Electronic payments, in contrast to notes and coins, are more durable to hide from the taxman.

Nonetheless the programme has its critics, including the European Central Bank, which said final week that governments should really choose a neutral approach to usually means of payments and complained it experienced not been consulted.