FT: Monti defends crackdown on wealthy tax evaders - Spear's Magazine

FT: Monti defends crackdown on wealthy tax evaders

Mario Monti has defended a tough crackdown on tax evaders in luxury ski and coastal resorts, rejecting angry reactions from leading members of Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right party whose support in parliament is vital for Italy’s new government of technocrats

Mario Monti has defended a tough crackdown on tax evaders in luxury ski and coastal resorts, rejecting angry reactions from leading members of Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right party whose support in parliament is vital for Italy’s new government of technocrats.

Finance ministry tax police followed up a well publicised new year raid on Cortina D’Ampezzo in the Dolomites with unannounced inspections over the weekend in Porto Fino on the Ligurian coast and other exclusive retreats.

The swoop by 80 tax inspectors on Cortina targeted bars, hotels, luxury shops and expensive cars. Of the 251 “super cars” checked, 42 were found to be registered with people declaring annual incomes of less than €30,000 while 19 were owned by companies that had declared financial losses.

Newspaper satirists described a “miraculous” economic recovery in the midst of recession as sales receipts in the resort’s luxury stores soared 400 per cent – under the watchful eyes of inspectors – compared with takings on the same day a year earlier.

Italians evade taxes to the tune of €120bn a year, according to Istat, the national statistics agency, a significant part of a black economy that accounts for at least 17 per cent of gross domestic product. 

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