Milan cops nab almost 3,000 tax evaders

Annual report by Milan Guardia di Finanza.

Milan-based officers of Italy’s finance guards reported this week they have charged 2,893 people with tax evasion and related offences over the past year.

Over ten thousand checks and 2,267 investigations turned up a loss of €764 million in tax revenue owed in Lombardy alone to the state coffers. On the other hand, says the annual report, around one third of this amount has now been recovered through seizure of cash and other patrimony.

The annual report on the activity was published during a ceremony to mark the 244th anniversary of the founding of the specialised force.

At the national level, finance guard officers throughout Italy reported the discovery and charging of around a thousand so-called “major evaders” – those owing the state €1 million or more each.  A total of 22,909 tax criminals were charged, including 378 arrested on the spot.

Tax evasion has increased over the past year, states the annual report, with an average of 4.7 per cent more tax unpaid than in 2016-17, for a new total of €180.7 billion.  The crime is particularly prevalent in the north, with the increase in Lombardy running at 6.3 per cent.

The publication of this year's report coincides with the new government's controversial proposal for a possible amnesty for people who owe back taxes of less than €100,000.