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Apparently, the Italians have found a way to make their unpopular income tax even more unpopular. In the face of rampant cheating, they've adopted a new enforcement technique. Now, instead of just pawing through paychecks, bank statements and the like, officials will also scrutinize spending habits. Living beyond your means (or at least means as reported to tax officials)? Expect a visit from the tax man. This strikes me as pretty much intolerable. It's bad enough to have tax officials digging through all the ways you try to earn a little scratch. Now they want to see how you fritter it away, too. That could get embarrassing. (Nightmare scenario: "Excuse me, sir, but your spending on Viagra seems out of line with your income/age/marital status/attractiveness.")...
View Joe Thorndike's opinion in its entirety on the taxanalysts® Blog.
For further information, see the taxanalysts® news story reporting on Italy's new enforcement measure, "Italy Launches New Weapon Against Tax Evasion" - taxanalysts® Worldwide Tax Daily, January 29, 2013.
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