Italy recovered some 19 billion euros (20.3 billion U.S. dollars) from its fight against tax evasion in 2016, the economy minister said on Thursday.

The figure marked a new record-high for the country, compared to 14.9 billion euros of unpaid taxes collected in 2015, and 14.2 billion euros in 2014.

The latest data were unveiled at a conference held here by Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan and Italian Revenue Agency’s director Rossella Orlandi.

“The Italian government does not wink at tax evaders,” Padoan said.

“If anything, it winks at honest taxpayers and companies, helping them fulfil (their duties) and encouraging them to correct possible mistakes, without resorting to a pointless punitive approach,” he added.

Preliminary estimates showed tax revenues overall reached some 450 billion euros in 2016, which would also mark an increase compared to 436 billions collected in 2015, and 419 billions in 2014, according to the revenue agency’s annual report.

In latest years, Italian authorities have tried to both increase and diversify their approach against tax evasion, which is a heavy issue for the country.

An average 88.1 billion euros were evaded in the period 2011-2014, of which some 12.4 billions due to mistakes, and 75.7 billions due to full concealment of the taxable income, a treasury’s commission stated in a report in Sept. 2016.

Unveiling the total sum gathered from anti-evasion efforts in 2015, the revenue agency said last year the amounts of unpaid taxes recovered were more than tripled during the last decade. (1 euro = 1.07 U.S. dollars) Enditem

Source: Xinhua/

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