ITALY: Black Market in Blanks

Tax collecting in Italy is a cat & mouse game, well understood by both sides. Italian taxpayers declare only a tiny fraction of their true incomes; the government in return automatically triples whatever declaration the taxpayer makes. This year, at the urging of U.S. Marshall Plan officials, the government decided to reform all that. Under the new tax law, filled with all kinds of clauses to tempt the taxpayer to be honest, income tax blanks went on sale (another curious Italian custom) in the nation's tobacco shops at 25 lire (4ยข) each. But last week, when tax returns fell...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!