Italian MP defends taxing the 'sharing economy'

Recently, I wrote a short piece on how Italy is looking to regulate (read: to tax) the 'sharing economy' – internet businesses such as Airbnb or Uber, which have been going unattended for quite some time now, more often than not being in the centre of various protests by the people on the outside.

Now, one member of the Italian Parliament has written a short blog post explaining the initiative, and has also reached out to The Register to say that the average user will actually pay less tax if the new initiative gets implemented.

Stefano Quintarelli says casual labour must be protected, and new monopolies and oligopolies must be curbed. He also added that internet monopolies put large areas of civic life beyond governance.

“The widely deregulated and rapid immaterial dimension is often characterised by increasing returns that tend to give rise to global monopolies and oligopolies which, in a few years, have created (and are still creating) positions of dominance in intermediating the services of the material dimension without any of the guarantees or restrictions foreseen for their predecessors,” he wrote in a blog post here.

“They are replacing local intermediaries operating in the material dimension with multinational intermediaries operating in the immaterial dimension: in other words, allowing the presence of gatekeepers in the immaterial dimension is leading to a loss of governance of a large part of the material dimension.”

Writing to The Register, he says that an adult earning €10,000 p/a would pay €1,610 today, but €700 under the cross-party legislation he co-wrote.

“Present due taxes are 23 per cent up to a 15k income, with a no tax area which varies, depending on some personal parameters, but no less than 3k EUR,” he wrote. “So let's focus on an income of 10k as proposed in our bill. As today, due taxes are 0 per cent on 3k + 23 per cent on the remaining 7k which equals 1610 EUR of taxes on a 10k income.

"With our proposal it would be 0 per cent on 3k + 10 per cent on 7k which equals 700 EUR. So it would be 700 vs. 1610. The reduction we propose is 910 EUR, or a reduction of 56.5 per cent on taxes due today.”