This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Beating Tax Cheats Key To Italy's Recovery Plan

One remarkable conclusion to draw from the official cheating estimates: winning the war on tax cheats could wipe out many times over the country's budget deficit, which is expected to soon reach euros 42 billion ($53 billion). And it would rapidly knock away at the nation's colossal public debt of ⿬2 trillion ($2.5 trillion), or 125 percent of GDP.

But "big international frauds are up," lamented Lt. Col. Gianluca Campana, in charge of the income tax unit revenue protection office at the Guardia di Finanza, Italy's financial police corps which reports to the Economy Ministry.

The entrenched practice by many cafes, eateries, hair dressers and similar small business of neglecting to give customers mandatory cash register receipts commonly grabs the attention in crackdowns on tax evasion in Italy.

But, cautioned Campana, "one false (big business) invoice can equal no cash register receipts for coffees for two months."

Over all of 2011, the total of non-declared income discovered by tax police amounted to some ⿬50 billion ($65 billion), of which some 20 percent was due to international tax evasion, he said. By comparison, in the first nine months of this year, tax police discovered some ⿬40 billion in undeclared income, with 30 percent of that blamed on international tax evasion, Campana said.

With the economic crisis shrinking bottom lines, and Italy increasingly on the hunt for big-time evasion, especially by big businesses, "there is a tendency to move capital abroad, using maneuvers apparently legal but which really are not," Campana said. A classic technique consists of declaring one's formal residence abroad in tax havens like Monte Carlo. Also common are companies that clearly have their business base in Italy but claim it is abroad in countries with far lower tax brackets.

Campana is armed with three degrees, including a masters in tax law from Milan's Bocconi University, the prestigious economics institute formerly headed by Monti. He brings skills to this specialized police corps that are as finely tuned as sharp-shooting.

2 of 5

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,265.99 +109.14 0.64%
S&P 500 2,011.36 +9.79 0.49%
NASDAQ 4,593.4250 +31.2360 0.68%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs