September 30, 2022

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The boom in tax fraud. Unpublished data

What happened to the money donated by the state and attributed to emergency measures to support the economy and citizens? We really know at least some of them, those related to reward building. At the Senate hearing on February 10, he spoke of billions of non-existent tax credits related to Construction Bonuses (Superbonus 110%, ecobonus, seismabonus and interface bonuses), Director of Revenue Agency Ernesto Maria Ruffini reported fraud for 4.4 billion euros. But these were just partial numbers. On the other hand, it is no secret: the construction bonuses have highlighted several loopholes, from the risk of waste resulting from the fact that the state pays the full cost or a large part of the cost of restoration and energy efficiency work, to the fraud that they have generated non-existent tax credits in the billions euro.

The updated numbers are impressive and will be included in the upcoming Nadef, an update note to the Economics and Finance document that is submitted to Chambers by September 27 of each year to update the Def’s general economic and financial forecasts. These are data from Guardia di Finanza as yet unpublished, published and analyzed by the Center for the Study of Financial Concentration and presented today. Here they are below.

According to figures obtained by the Center for the Study of Taxation run by Antonio Gigliotti, in 2021 out of 41,047 administrative inspections (tax audits and audits), the financial police challenged amounts equal to about 47 billion euros of alleged evasion between base, withholding and value tax added. This is five billion more than in 2020, despite the number of investigations being lower by 1,645. An increase similar to that reported by Ruffini regarding fraud related to fictitious credits attributed to construction bonuses (€4.4 billion). Under the taxpayer look, the deductions also seem to have ended in a certain way: the questionable amount recorded a peak of +60% compared to 2020.

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Overall, the financial investigations opened in 2021 amounted to 5686 and related to a disputed tax base estimated at approximately 8 billion euros, while the violations reported amounted to 7153, for a total of 13,676 subjects reported, of which 411 are under arrest.: Increase + 33. % compared to what was recorded in 2020. Seizures instead amounted to one and a half billion euros, almost twice as much as in 2020, and an increase of 44% from 2019, when 107,496 inspections of an administrative nature were recorded, i.e. 62%. More than in 2021.

Huge numbers, even more so compared to the operational results obtained by the Guardia di Finanza in the fight against money laundering: 610 investigations were carried out, leading to 242 arrests of 1894 people reported. The increase in the number of people ending up in prison is +74% if compared to 2020 (the year of the epidemic) and +112% compared to 2019. Also in 2021, seizures due to suspected money laundering activities amounted to half a billion euros, or more. 30% more than in 2020, but 90% more than in 2019. The results were also made possible by a 93% increase in tax inspections attributable to alleged money laundering activities, and an increase in suspicious transaction reports to the UIF, a financial intelligence unit for Italy was created At the Bank of Italy with anti-money laundering and terrorist financing functions. In 2021, there were 138,482 reports of suspicious transactions, an increase of 25,000 from 2020.

Tax fraud 2-2 construction bonuses

Building bonuses are undoubtedly an effective tool in reviving the construction sector, especially those affected by the economic crisis associated with the pandemic, and promoting energy savings and environmental protection through renovations that improve the energy efficiency of homes and condominiums. Unfortunately, in recent months they have also shown many weaknesses. Sales of building allowances and discounts on bills led to fraud due to the proliferation of non-existent tax breaks, which Economy Minister Daniel Franco identified as “among the greatest this republic has ever seen.”

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According to data presented by the Director of the Revenue Agency at the Parliamentary Hearing last February, the construction bonuses most commonly used to investigate fraud are the facade bonus (51% of cases) and the environmental bonus (37% of cases). ). The least used reward was Super Bonus 110% (3% of the total). The government has introduced several procedures and corrective measures to combat fraud and prevent fraud, for example by giving the possibility to allocate tax credits to companies, banks, organizations or professionals, but not an unlimited number of times with some precautions to control the steps. Perhaps this is not enough.