Data collected by Italys Guardia della Finanza (financial controllers/tax Inspectors) and published on www.miaeconomia.it reveal that in three out of four cases property rents are not being declared to the authorities. In June 2005 tax evasion in the housing rental market alone amounted to 47 million, with the state losing out to the tune of 63 million in total unpaid rental taxes on both private and business properties. Of the 2,044 cases investigated, 1,534 were found to be irregular. The properties and agreements ranged from office rentals to temporary accommodation for immigrants and undeclared contracts made with estate agencies. The checks were carried out in most of Italys main cities; of 315 made in Palermo 90 per cent revealed irregularities, likewise half the 276 checks in Rome, 74 per cent of 212 checks in Trento, 69 per cent of 204 in Milan and 87 per cent of 163 in Florence. All 20 controls made in Perugia in central Italy involved tax evasion. Regional authorities in Veneto, Puglia and Piedmont, to name a few, are promising to crack down on the practice, with Tuscany already declaring the successful seizure of 10 million in unpaid taxes.
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