Sunday, June 29, 2008

the hydra rears her ugly heads

I've often been accused of berating Italy a bit too much. Things are bad all over. Bureaucracy and corruption exist in every country.

A true story...

My husband has been in Italy for the past two weeks and will be returning tomorrow. He filed his 2007 tax return while he was there. The government, powers that be, many headed hydra, owes him nearly 1500 Euros. This money would mean more than I can say to us. We've just signed a contract on a house. We are literally scraping the bottom of every barrel and emptying every old purse and pocket to come up with the down payment. With today's exchange rate that money would be quite a few dollars.

But we won't be seeing that money any time soon. In Italy, your current employer pays you your tax refund. If you are no longer employed, because you moved abroad, started your own business, decided to stay home, got sick, whatever, the hydra must pay you your refund.

In five years.

With no interest.

The criminal truth.

La vita รจ bella.


jen said...

que sera sera?

ps. don't smack me. love you.

Romerican said...

Yep. Ridiculous, isn't it? It is by far one of the most corrupt & unjust systems in the WORLD.

The same kind of crap happens with reimbursements from gas/light company- it takes years to get the money back and obviously they don't take interest into account.

Hang in there!

G in Berlin said...

Most people probably don't mind because the economy of Italy runs black and they have made any difference off by skimming somewhere else. And I say that with all love, because I love Italy and Italians. But they are crooked to my American eyes and they consider me naive. Btw, America has the highest rate of voluntary tax compliance in the world (and the lowest %age of enforcers in a 1st world country).

Jennifer said...

As a freelancer in Italy, all I can say is I hear ya. The system penalizes people who comply and rewards those who evade. They just arrested a bunch of guys near where I live who'd been declaring no income for years, and yet owned multi-million euro homes and yachts and fancy cars. They will get a discount on what they owe and then go back to their homes and yachts and fancy cars.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

What a criminal shame. Literally. I love many things about Italy, but this is one of the reasons that I'd never consider moving there, even though I love visiting. To be fair, I wouldn't move back to NYC, either, and that's where I grew up. I LOVE visiting there, too, but living there is just too difficult in terms of the things that are most important to me.

I hope that somehow you get a windfall.

anno said...

Mind-boggling. And too big to argue with, I expect. My sympathies.

Greg said...

So, in five years you can throw one hell of a party and invite all of your blogging friends to the Rockies, okay :)
Sorry for your ordeal. It seems that governments of every flavor present frustrations and hardship to their citizens.

Becca said...

Gee, and people (me included!) complain about the IRS here in the states.

Love your blog - thanks for introducing yourself today on mine :)