While the world is still discussing the economic crisis and new the financial storms, the coffers of the organized crime and of the shadow economy do not experience such problems. In Italy alone, according to estimations, between 2011 and 2013 illegal profits increased by almost 5 billion euros, touching the peak of more than 207billion euros in 2013, that is, 13 percent of the national GDP.
According to Mestre Artisans and Small Businesses Association (Cgia), in 2015, the “black” or “gray” economy had a “turnover” of about 211billion euros, with a tax evasion that weighs heavily on the State budget. The illegal economy alters profoundly the economic-financial-fiscal circuit; hence, it distorts the market, demeans work, mortifies investments, contaminates state budget.
“In 2015, before the Renzi bonus operation, the official tax burden in Italy was 43.7 percent – Paolo Zabeo, Cgia Studies Office Coordinator, said -. However, the overall weight an honest taxpayers bears is actually higher and has come to touch a record level of 50.2 percent.”
Tax burden is the result of the relationship between the total withdrawal (in taxes, fees, and social security contributions) and gross domestic product (GDP), calculated on the basis of the wealth produced in a year of regular economic activities, together with the estimated earnings of the underground economy (that is to say, not in compliance with the tax authorities) and the alleged ones on the illicit market (smuggling, prostitution, drug trafficking, waste market, corruption, and usury). The exploitation of prostitution alone profits about 2billion euros/year.
Since illegal activities avoid taxes, tax burden on taxpayers’s shoulders – according to calculations on the total GDP – rises steeply, exceeding half of the revenue. “With a similar tax burden, it will be hard to find the impetus to the rebirth of Italy’s economy, at a stage when growth remains very weak and uncertain,” – was the comment of the Cgia secretary, Renato Mason.
In 2013, the Free Association signed a Memorandum of Understanding with UnionCamere for legality in economics. The document mentions “economic crime”: Mafia entrepreneurs (who accumulate money through illegal markets and criminal activities), mafia enterprises (formally regular, but which have a productive factors and competitive illicit methods), and the ”gray area’ of complicity, collusion, and interpenetration between the production system, the political and administrative power, and the mafia. Lawlessness has direct and indirect, monetary and intangible, short-term and long-term costs for the community. And the latter are very high.