The micro and small Italian companies with a turnover of less than 5 million euros – made mainly by artisans, small traders and VAT numbers – in 2019 they have paid 21.3 billion euros in tax more than the web companies.
This is what the Cgia (the Artisans of Mestre) explaining that two years ago the subsidiaries in the WebSoft sector had a turnover in Italy of 7.8 billion; (11 thousand employed), but they paid 154 million to the tax authorities. In the same year the people of the VAT numbers (3.3 million), with a turnover of less than 5 million, generated a turnover of 814.2 billion and gave to the taxman 21.4 billion, about 140 times higher than the revenue paid by the multinationals of the web.
The pandemic has accentuated it imbalance. The CGIA underlines that with the boom of electronic commerce, in the last 15 months the multinationals of the web have increased their revenues in Italy, while the majority of micro and small enterprises have suffered a worrying decline in revenues. The average level of taxation of these big techs is, for Mediobanca, 32.1%, in our small businesses it is around 60%: practically almost double.
For the CGIA it is necessary to drastically lower the burden of taxes on small businesses which, even today, remain at unbearable levels. The CGIA, recalling that the lack of fiscal “transparency” of these technological companies is a problem, welcomes the agreement signed between the EU Parliament and the Council which requires multinationals and their subsidiaries with an annual turnover of over 750 million and that operate in more than one country, to publish and make accessible the amount of taxes paid in each Member State.
According to the CGIA, the reason why the subsidiaries of the web multinationals in Italy benefit from a tax rate of 32.1% lies in the fact that about half of the pre-tax profit is taxed in countries with subsidized taxation which has given rise to cumulative tax savings which, in the 2015-2019 period, amounted to 46 billion.
But it is not only the foreign giants of the web that take advantage of the advantageous taxation granted by many EU countries, there are also some large Italian players – Cementir, Campari, Eni, Enel, Exor, FCA, Ferrari, Illy, Ferrero, Luxottica Group – who have transferred the tax or legal office, perhaps only of a subsidiary, abroad. And many have decided to move their registered office to the Netherlands, for example, because there it is possible to benefit from both very favorable corporate legislation – which allows historical shareholders to have double the votes in the meeting, a modality that allows better defend itself from possible takeovers by foreign investors – and possibly a rather generous tax treatment that the Dutch government reserves for every big company.
With these operations, formally unexceptionable from a fiscal-corporate point of view, for the CGIA the tax base of those who pay taxes in Italy has been reduced, penalizing, in particular, small and very small entrepreneurs who, unlike large companies, they do not have the possibility to move elsewhere.