Combating organised fraud and international tax evasion
The activity of the Guardia di Finanza is focused, first and foremost, on intra-Community VAT fraud, carried out with the involvement of entities which often lack effective organisation or economic consistency (so-called missing traders), set up ad hoc, usually in systems characterised by more flexible regulations and less rigid controls, and placed in liquidation or ceased shortly after their establishment. In the most complex fraud schemes, additional 'filter' companies are often interposed, so as to 'lengthen' the chain of the operation and make it more difficult to identify the company benefiting from the fraud. From a product point of view, fraud mainly concerns consumer goods, such as motor vehicles, fuel and oil products, computer products, mobile phones and household appliances.
Another illicit phenomenon to which particular attention is paid is the sale of tax credits, which is routinely carried out in order to obtain liquidity within a shorter timeframe than that required to obtain a refund from the tax authorities. These assignments are often the subject of fraudulent conduct, linked to the fictitious nature of the assigned receivables and to undue compensation with tax and social security debts, and frequently involve professionals who earn disproportionate commissions for the services provided.
Particular attention is also paid to the fight against international tax evasion, consisting of various phenomena, such as tax inversion, undeclared permanent establishments, transfer price manipulation and the concealment of assets abroad also through the instrumental creation of trusts.
The involvement of the other institutional players involved in the examination of the complex tax case, i.e. the Public Prosecutor in charge of the criminal file and the Revenue Agency, is fundamental, especially in this respect. In fact, the osmosis of knowledge and experience between authorities with different but complementary functions makes it easier to resolve any interpretative doubts and makes the assessment of the fact more complete and consistent, also to the benefit of taxpayers, who thus see the spaces of uncertainty and contradiction reduced.