Nobody loves the tax man, unless they get money back maybe, In Italy the taxman is even more ‘admired’.
During my last visit to the commercialista, say the italian equivalent of an accountant (you can’t do without one here) I got a bad rap on the knuckles. In order for costs to be deductible I will have to give the commercialista a receipt with an x amount of stamps within a month of purchase of the service/goods I want to deduct! If I hand in the receipts after that no deduction will be allowed.
So in practice that works out like this. I go to the supermarket to top up my telephone for say 50 euro’s. I tell the cashier I’d like a top-up, I hand over 50 euro’s and take the receipt. With that receipt I go to a special desk where they will convert this receipt into a deductible one by clipping it to a bigger piece of paper, putting on a zillion stamps and autographs before photocopying it 6 times, collect an autograph from someone else disperse the copies through the store before handing over your copy.

Mind you part of the game is to locate the desk/person who is allowed to convert your bill into a deductable one. Make sure you have some spare time since the cashier wil point you to the desk on the left of the shop which will send you to the opposite desk, in a big store at least 100 metres away, which will send you back to another cashier who will send you to the right person who turns out to have left his office in order to get a spot of lunch though it is only 11.15.
The funniest part of all this is that because of some incomprehensible flaw in the law I can only deduct a very small percentage of all my cost. But I have to take part in this paperplay for woe betide the one who does not produce paper in Italy!

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