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Italy to Introduce Tax Lottery in 2017

SuperEnalotto fever is currently coursing through Italy as the massive €163.5 million jackpot creeps closer to the game’s all-time record of €177.7 million, but an entirely different kind of lottery will undergo a trial in 2017. Italian deputy economy minister Luigi Casero wants to encourage his compatriots to pay their taxes by offering “substantial prizes” in a game into which players are entered every time they make a purchase and receive an electronic receipt.

***UPDATE - The Italian tax lottery will now be delayed until 2017. Read more here.***

Italians are already used to having their tax code cards scanned when buying items at a pharmacy, with the data being used by the national health service to reimburse them, and the tax lottery will see citizens encouraged to demand electronic confirmation of other purchases, details of which will then be shared with the country’s tax authorities. These receipts will then be entered into a draw, with both customers and retailers benefiting from a winning ticket. No details of the prizes on offer have been released yet, but Casero has confirmed they will be valuable, admitting that “otherwise the mechanism won’t work.”

Italian tax evasion costs the government an estimated €109 billion (£97 billion) per year and it is hoped the tax lottery will mean that retailers will no longer be able to hide transactions from inspectors, as customers hoping to bank a big reward will demand that every purchase is officially recorded. Each transaction will be electronically associated with the player, meaning they do not need to keep stacks of paper receipts as proof of entry.

A number of other countries have successfully introduced similar schemes with significant success. Portugal offers cars and government bonds as prizes, whilst Chinese regions that offer a so-called ‘Tax and Win’ game are reported to collect 20 percent more in revenue than those that don’t.

The game will be trialled in 2017, before being rolled out across the country in 2018 and draws will take place on a monthly basis.

Whilst Italian citizens await more news on the new game, you can get involved with Thursday’s draw by playing SuperEnalotto online or buying tickets from authorised retailers across the country.

26th October 2016

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