A new blitz of public service announcements and speakers at local schools are trying to raise the social stigma on tax evasion in Italy, as the country struggles to reduce its $2.5 trillion public debt and fend off speculative attacks. Other tougher measures will allow tax officials to peer into Italians’ bank accounts to check declared income against bank deposits — not to mention yacht, car and home ownership — under a new cross-referencing initiative.
1. How much does the country estimate that it loses in undeclared revenues on an annual basis?
2. What are the statistics on who own large boats, airplanes, and luxury cars in Italy?
3. Briefly discuss why the article calls this tax evasion problem one of heritage.
Donadio, R. and E. Povoledo (2011). Italy Tries Raising the Social Stigma on Tax Evaders, The New York Times, Dec. 24 (Retrievable online at http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/25/world/europe/italy-tries-to-raise-the-social-stigma-on-tax-evasion.html?_r=1&src=recg)