Venice 2012: Italian Authorities to Crack Down on Tax Cheats

Venice Film Festival Golden Lion Statue - H 2012
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Venice Film Festival Golden Lion Statue - H 2012

Extra police will be deployed to the Lido during the festival in order to identify black market abuses.

ROME – Attendees at the upcoming Venice Film Festival will feel the Italian government’s recent crackdown on tax evasion, as the Italian tax police said they would be patrolling the Lido looking for “irregularities” that could indicate black market economic activity.

The news won’t have a direct impact on most festival goers. But it could be bad news for Lido property owners with “informal” rental agreements during the festival, businesses with undocumented workers, or restaurants and bars that sometimes fail to register transactions in order to avoid paying the associated taxes.

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To be safe, Italian authorities advise consumers to always ask for a receipt as part of any financial transaction.

Italy’s Guarda di Finanza, the country’s tax police, said they make the Venice festival an area of focus, assigning additional agents to the Lido for the 69th edition of the event, which will run August 29-Sept. 8.

Cracking down on tax cheats has been a key part of the government’s wider effort to increase revenue while cutting down on expenses as it seeks to avoid falling victim to the European debt crisis. The process has earned many headlines in recent months, as the Guarda di Finanza raided luxury resorts to identify the super-rich claiming little income, and monitoring the country’s borders looking for citizens trying to smuggle resources to neighboring countries.