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OFWs fear effects of Italy’s drive vs tax evaders

MILAN, Italy – The Italian government is now experimenting on a new measure to crack down on tax evaders.

alt“Redditometro” or salary-metering will include car ownership, gym-membership fee, children’s private school tuition, travel and leisure, service workers’ salary and many more.

Internal Revenue Director Attilio Befera said these luxury expenses are taxable, and by the imposition of the new system, the government will be able to trace tax payers and evaders.

Befera also added that redditometro is scheduled to be fully implemented in June this year, as the department is still working on widening the scope.

Nitz Vince Cruz, an OFW who has been working in Italy for almost five years, said there are lots of Italian employers who refuse to declare the domestic helper salary to avoid paying taxes.

“Alam naman natin na talagang may mga among magulang, hindi i-de declare yun suweldo mo kasi malaki ang babayaran nila, tayo naman mga ragazza wala tayong magawa kasi sa hirap ng trabaho ngayon, pag sinabi ng amo na ”ayaw mo nyan? Hahanap ako ng iba”, papayag ako. Kaya ngayon hindi natin alam kung ano ang magiging resulta nyan sa ating mga domestica,” said Vince Cruz. 

Vince Cruz said her friends had similar experiences, and she also learned the same from a previous employer.

“Kapit na lang sa patalim kaysa naman kaltasan pa ang sahod mo,” she said.

Italy has 1.2 million foreign domestic helpers, but many are not properly declared.

Earlier, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti has vowed to get Italy’s house in order by reducing spending and increasing tax revenue.

His priority is to clamp down on “the pretend poor” or the super-rich tax evaders. Report says that one out of four Italians declared no taxable income last year.

In early January, tax police raided an elite Italian Alps ski resort of Cortina and found 42 high-end sports cars belonging to owners who declared less than $26,000 annual income.

Since Monti took office in November, Italian tax police have identified $65 billion in untaxed money.             (by: Zita Baron)

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