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Florence shops busted for tax dodging

Third of all stores caught without receipts

02 May, 17:23
Florence shops busted for tax dodging (ANSA) - Florence, May 2 - Law enforcement cracked down on Florentine shops for dodging sales tax on Wednesday, citing a third of all shops investigated. Tax police said 173 of 527 businesses were caught failing to issue a receipt over the course of a 10-day probe. Police also said they uncovered multiple other violations ranging from paying workers under the table, to counterfeit merchandise and unauthorized vending. With cash needed to balance the budget by 2013 and emerge from the debt crisis, Premier Mario Monti has launched a drive against tax cheats, who he says "are giving poisoned bread to their children".

A campaign has featured a number of headline-grabbing operations among rich tourists in Cortina d'Ampezzo and the Ligurian Riviera, shoppers at exclusive stores in Rome and Naples and nightclub owners in Milan.

Italy's internal revenue agency has said that it will ramp up the pressure further by introducing a new system to find evaders by cross-checking incomes and spending by the end of June.

The tax agency last year estimated that around 120 billion euros' worth of undeclared business was done on the Italian underground economy each year.