Italy: Threatened Tax Collectors | All media content | DW | 23.01.2013
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European Journal

Italy: Threatened Tax Collectors

Every year more than 100 billion euros in revenues are lost to tax evasion in Italy. That's why the Italian government has hired a private tax collection agency.

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Tax collectors don't tend to be popular anywhere. But in Italy they often end up in the line of fire. Employees of the tax collection agency Equitalia say they've become the victim of protest campaigns, vandalism and even letter bombs. But Equitalia doesn't only carry out spectacular raids to hunt down well-heeled tax evaders. It also targets the self-employed and small-time entrepreneurs. Those affected talk about being subjected to undue pressure and complain that no distinction is made between systematic tax cheats and social hardship cases. The number of suicides committed because of economic distress has risen by some 25 percent in Italy since 2008.