June 8, 2023

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Strict controls and penalties. Automated checks and inspections by Revenue and Guardia di Finanza

Pressure begins VAT matches Open and close, those who disappear from the radar after a few months and thus escape the tax return and do not pay contributions, causing serious tax damage to the state. More than half a million VAT numbers are under scrutiny: many of them may be wrong, at Unipresa’s discretion.

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The campaign, mandated by the budget law, required approval from the Revenue Agency to run definitively. Director Ernesto Maria Ruffini gave way to new controls (and maximum penalties) over abusive VAT figures with a stipulation signed last May 16.

Half a million false figures for value-added tax

What are the changes? The owner of a VAT number deemed suspicious will have to prove the soundness of his business organization personally. Those who do not pass the test will not only have their VAT number revoked, but also have to pay a hefty fine of three thousand euros. And if he later wants to reopen his VAT number, he will have to sign a three-year bank guarantee for an amount of at least 50,000 euros.
The provision driving the new controls for the Revenue Agency defines the criteria, methods and conditions for risk analysis and control of VAT figures. At the end of 2022, there were approximately 5 million VAT numbers in operation. During 2022, 501,500 new VAT numbers were opened, a decrease of 8.7% compared to 2021. Thus, the National Consultant of Unipresa, Giovanni Asi, said: “The growth of the phenomenon of false VAT numbers is not slowing down. The number of these bogus jobs, Unipresa estimates, has exceeded 500,000 in the past three years, an increase of more than 100,000 units compared to previous surveys.”

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In short, more than one VAT figure out of ten would be wrong. The goal, from now on, is to stop this phenomenon at the beginning, by conducting automated checks before assigning the VAT number in order to identify risk elements, as well as physical inspections in stores and companies. “These activities – reading the judgment signed by the Director of the Revenue Agency – aim to verify that the data provided by the persons concerned for their identification are complete and accurate.”

The discrepancy between the phenomenon of open and closed VAT numbers is a priority for the Meloni government. Already during the election campaign, the Prime Minister warned: “We will no longer allow the game of openness and closedness played primarily by non-EU citizens, that is, the game of corporations that do not pay a single euro in taxes and act illegally”. Now something is moving. Treasury data shows that about 20% of VAT numbers opened last year by a natural person belonged to foreigners, about a third of whom were Asians. But covid and the effects of the war in Ukraine caused the number of freelancers to collapse from 2020 onwards. According to the latest Observatory of Value Added Tax Numbers issued by the Ministry of Economy, 177,725 new VAT numbers were opened in the first quarter of this year, a decrease of 6.4% compared to the same period in 2022. 75.1% of the new openings are attributed to individuals, 19.1% to companies 3% for partnerships. Just under half of new openings, 48.9%, are in the north, 21.1% in the center and 29.8% in the south and islands. With regard to natural persons, the share of new VAT numbers opened by women reached 40.7%.

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