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

Tens of millions of Italians have signed up for a authorities plan giving a 10pc refund for card payments in suppliers in just two weeks in an try by Rome to cut tax evasion and enhance stores hit by coronavirus constraints.

The roaring start out to the plan, which necessitates downloading an app adopted by a lengthy registration procedure, will come in stark distinction to Italians’ lukewarm response to the less complicated Immuni app released in June to trace Covid infections.

The so-named “cashback” plan will formally kick off up coming thirty day period but the pilot programme from Dec 8 to the conclusion of the conclusion, which permits financial savings of up to €150, has now captivated a tenth of the adult populace.

“Around 5m subscriptions is no tiny feat,” mentioned Leonzio Rizzo, a professor of community finance at the University of Ferrara, explained to Reuters.

Primary Minister Giuseppe Conte’s authorities believes that weaning Italians off funds can decrease rampant tax evasion, approximated by the Treasury at about €110bn a year.

Electronic payments, compared with notes and coins, are more durable to disguise from the taxman.

Even so the programme has its critics, like the European Central Bank, which mentioned previous week that governments should really consider a neutral tactic to means of payments and complained it experienced not been consulted.