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Widespread tax irregularities found in Italian fuel sales

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Posted / Last update: 17-08-2012
As a part of its anti-tax evasion efforts, the Italian financial police, Guardia di Finanza (GdF), has found, from its most recent check of petrol distributors, that some 15% could be accused of irregularities in one way or another

In a check that petrol distributors in holiday areas were keeping their displayed prices in line with the prices they actually charge, the GdF found out in the last week of last month that, out of 1,300 petrol retailers, more than 200 were out of sync, and therefore falsifying their income.

In a similar coordinated countrywide exercise during the first two weekends of this month, the GdF uncovered over 350 irregularities amongst 2,400 petrol retailers. In the worst of the cases, 23 retailers have been charged with commercial fraud.

Cases were discovered, for example, of petrol being “watered down” with other lower quality oil products, which being taxed at a lower rate than regular petrol, or not being taxed at all, had already led to a loss in excise duty revenue, but which also produced a “hidden reserve” of petrol which could be sold on the black market to avoid value-added tax.

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