Card payment refund scheme aims to wean tax-dodging Italians off cash

Millions of Italians have signed up for a governing administration scheme supplying a 10pc refund for card payments in outlets in just two months in an attempt by Rome to lower tax evasion and boost stores hit by coronavirus limitations.

The roaring commence to the scheme, which requires downloading an application adopted by a lengthy registration system, will come in stark distinction to Italians’ lukewarm reaction to the less difficult Immuni application launched in June to trace Covid infections.

The so-referred to as “cashback” prepare will officially kick off upcoming thirty day period but the pilot programme from Dec 8 to the stop of the stop, which permits savings of up to €150, has already captivated a tenth of the grownup population.

“In excess of 5m subscriptions is no little feat,” said Leonzio Rizzo, a professor of public finance at the College of Ferrara, instructed Reuters.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s governing administration believes that weaning Italians off funds can reduce rampant tax evasion, estimated by the Treasury at about €110bn a year.

Electronic payments, compared with notes and cash, are more durable to conceal from the taxman.

Having said that the programme has its critics, such as the European Central Bank, which said last week that governments should consider a neutral approach to usually means of payments and complained it experienced not been consulted.