Economy

The Italian tax system: The unapplied principles

The Italian tax law is expected to follow some principles.

The first one is the principle of progressivity, which is laid down by the Constitution. According to the principle of progressivity, people and legal persons with a higher income should pay more taxes, but this does not happen due to the incidence of indirect taxation.

Another generally recognized principle is the principle of the net income, according to which an income should been taxed only after detracting all the expenditures which were necessary to produce such income. In practice, however, this applies only to certain categories of income; subordinate workers, in particular, are not allowed to detract what they spend, for example, to reach their workplace.

A third principle is the principle of loyal cooperation between the taxpayer and the revenue administration. Nearly every taxpayer in Italy would tell you that this principle is not applied. Revenue officials are even rumored to have a monthly budget, so that every month they must recover a given amount of “evaded” money.

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