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The fact that Italy is a Republic founded… on taxes, is rather evident to everyone. But after years of oppression, we thought we had singled out the “enemy”, at least on a formal level. In addition to the name of “taxes”, we have learned other words, such as “sanctions”and “excise duties”. But how many of us are aware of paying also “surcharges”, of the strangest kind, to use an euphemism. Yet, this is the case.

We pay the surcharge on non-condensable gas on spirits (understood as alcohol derivatives and not as ghosts…), on matches, on non-biodegradable plastic bags, on mineral oils as well as on beer. To give us the data and the last analysis carried out by the Center for study of the Mestre CGIA, the Association of Craftsmen and small Businesses, which has set down in black and white the 100 charges that accompany the life of Italian citizens. The results are quite depressing. Because in Europe, only Finland and Belgium have taxes that are heavier than ours, but the quality of services offered to the citizens of those two countries which precede us, cannot be compared to those offered in Italy. Taxes in other countries are less heavy than in Italy: France, Greece, Spain, Germany. A slap in the face of the families, which pay a lot, perhaps even too much, and have less and less services.

Taxes that affect the pockets of  the Italian citizens the most are two and they represent more than half of the proceeds (53.1%): they are called Income Tax and VAT. The first (personal income tax) ensures 161 billion euros (33.2% or a third of the proceeds) to the coffers of the State, while the second almost 97 billion (19.9% of the revenue).

As to businesses, the heaviest taxes are IRES (corporate income tax), which in 2014 allowed the Treasury to collect 31 billion euros and IRAP (regional tax on productive activities) that has secured 30.4 billion of revenue (of which 20.9 billion on businesses and the remaining part on Public Administrations).

“In 2015 – stresses Paul Zabeo, coordinator of the Studies Office CGIA – every Italian will pay an average of 8 thousand euros of taxes and fees, an amount that rises to almost 12 thousand euros also considering social security contributions. And the historical series indicates that in the last 20 years, tax revenue per capita increased by 76 percentage points, much more than inflation that has increased by 47 per cent”. Zabeo Concludes: It is appreciable but it will have to proceed along with the improvement of the level of services and their quality. In other words less taxes and more services: only this way the country can begin resuming to grow at rates which will be in line with those of the Euro Zone that, according to latest forecasts of the European Commission, will travel much quicker than that of Italy”.

But going back to the 100 taxes imposed on the Italians, according to the CGIA what are the most important curiosities? 1) The highest: surtax; 2) the one we pay everyday: VAT; 3: the most paid by the companies: IRES; 4, the most hated by the companies: IRAP; 5: the most singular: the one applied by the Regions on the noise deriving from aircrafts; 6. the longest (as to the number of words): substitute tax entrepreneurs and self-employed facilitated advantage and flat-rate regimes; 7. the shortest (acronyms excluded): car tax; 8. the last great tax to have been introduced: TASI; 9, the most hated by the families (until 2015): IMU/TASI; 10. the most extravagant: tax on numbering and marking books and records. The latter sounds a bit like a joke: a tax on books where to keep accounts… of taxes. Which in their complex have an impact of 8,000 euros/year for each one of us. In 2014, the total tax revenue has reached 486.6 billion euros, paid by the people; perhaps it is legitimate to expect decent services in return!?

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