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

Elvera Bartels

Hundreds of thousands of Italians have signed up for a federal government scheme offering a 10pc refund for card payments in merchants in just two months in an endeavor by Rome to reduce tax evasion and boost stores strike by coronavirus limits.

The roaring start out to the scheme, which necessitates downloading an application adopted by a lengthy registration approach, arrives in stark distinction to Italians’ lukewarm reaction to the more simple Immuni application released in June to trace Covid infections.

The so-known as “cashback” approach will formally kick off upcoming month but the pilot programme from Dec 8 to the conclusion of the conclusion, which makes it possible for cost savings of up to €150, has by now captivated a tenth of the grownup populace.

“More than 5m subscriptions is no smaller feat,” mentioned Leonzio Rizzo, a professor of general public finance at the College of Ferrara, informed Reuters.

Key Minister Giuseppe Conte’s federal government thinks that weaning Italians off dollars can reduce rampant tax evasion, believed by the Treasury at about €110bn a year.

Digital payments, contrary to notes and coins, are harder to hide from the taxman.

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

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