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

Hundreds of thousands of Italians have signed up for a authorities plan presenting a 10pc refund for card payments in merchants in just two months in an endeavor by Rome to cut tax evasion and enhance shops hit by coronavirus restrictions.

The roaring begin to the plan, which demands downloading an application followed by a prolonged registration course of action, will come in stark contrast to Italians’ lukewarm response to the less difficult Immuni application released in June to trace Covid infections.

The so-termed “cashback” plan will formally kick off subsequent month but the pilot programme from Dec 8 to the conclude of the conclude, which permits financial savings of up to €150, has currently attracted a tenth of the adult population.

“More than 5m subscriptions is no small feat,” said Leonzio Rizzo, a professor of community finance at the College of Ferrara, instructed Reuters.

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

Electronic payments, unlike notes and cash, are harder to hide from the taxman.

Nevertheless the programme has its critics, like the European Central Lender, which said final week that governments should consider a neutral technique to usually means of payments and complained it had not been consulted.