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The Prime Minister of Italy, Mateo Renzi, has started a move to triple the limit of cash transactions from €1000 to €3000. The present limit was put in place in 2012 when the European Union was cracking down on tax evasion.  At the same time, he has raised the amount of tax that can be evaded without criminal sanctions by Italian citizens up to €150,000. Is it any wonder that the self-employed: doctors, lawyers, businesses of all types, find it really easy to submit tax returns that understate their earnings?

Critics of the Prime Minister claim that Italy has a ”black”, or shadow economy with levels of tax evasion and money laundering far beyond what exists in any other country in the West. They estimate that Italy loses around €180,000,000,000 in tax revenue, yearly. That is correct: €180 billion. This means that essential government services are starved for money, and we see it every day in dealing with the Italian courts.

In a recent case, a hearing was scheduled in November 2015; the other side filed, at the last minute, a delaying motion, so the court rescheduled the hearing date for May 2016. Not every aspect of La Dolce Vita is sweet.