Italian Police Discover Yacht Owners are Responsible for Widespread Tax Evasion

Italian police have begun to raid marinas comparing boat ownership records and the tax details of people who had declared zero or almost no income.  The results have highlighted brazen tax evasion.

According to a report in the Daily Telegraph in the most extreme case, inspectors found a yacht worth 1.2 million euros (£1m) owned by a businessman who had never filed a tax return when they did spot checks on the marina in the Adriatic port of Bari.

The newspaper reports that Officers from the Italian tax police, the Guardia di Finanza, checked the boats against the income declarations made by their owners, revealing tax evasion on a breathtaking scale.

They checked 963 yachts finding 286, nearly a third had owners with suspiciously low tax returns, or in some cases no tax returns at all.

Last year, only 72,000 Italians declared a gross annual income of more than €200,00euros representing less than two per cent of all tax payers.

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