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The Amazon tax appears, as it was immediately renamed, in the economic maneuver of the finance law envisaged by the Meloni government. The Council of Ministers on November 21 should give the green light to the package of measures which will then be examined by Parliament.

The annual budget law is the most important in the ordinary administration of the State. In fact, it allows public expenditure for the various chapters of intervention planned by each government. And it will be a race against time. If the House and Senate do not approve it by December 31, the provisional exercise will begin: a heavy political and institutional defeat for a G7 country like Italy.

German activists against Amazon. The Amazon tax is actually a hypothetical Italian tax on any form of e-commerce. Ansa Photo/Epa Hayoung Jeon

In the majority, the discussion on individual measures is still very open. Among the measures that could fully enter into the maneuver is the hypothesis of a tax on home deliveries, known as the Amazon tax, named after the e-commerce giant which uses couriers to deliver its products to customers’ homes. . At least in intention, the objective of the Amazon tax is to encourage local commerce in real estate stores by putting a stop to the deliveries that couriers sometimes make with polluting and non-ecological means.

Amazon tax, protests against the “green tax”

The Amazon tax was discussed at the Majority Group Leaders meeting, which was held on November 18. The hypothesis had already existed for some time. The option is also nicknamed “green tax”. Already at the end of October some criticism had been made in this regard, in particular by Netcomm, the association of the e-commerce sector. “The alleged ‘green tax’ on the e-commerce distribution network does not take into account the real economic and environmental impact of this sector on the whole economy of our country,” said President Roberto Liscia.

Netcomm’s Roberto Liscia. Photo Ansa/Guido Montani

“Putting the brakes on a strategic sector like digital, which is already slowing down due to inflation and the increase in technological and management costs for the entire network, would be tantamount to undermining Italy’s competitiveness at the level internationally,” according to Smooth. Basically, Amazon’s tax burden would be “essentially small and medium-sized enterprises, which have found in digital, in recent years, a strategic resource for the development of their exports”. SMEs have reached “consumers around the world through e-commerce”.

Zeroing of VAT on bread and milk

On the other hand, according to a study carried out by the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa and quoted by the specialized site Economiacircolare.com, online shopping is only practical from an environmental point of view under certain conditions. That is, if the alternative for the individual customer is to travel an estimated distance of around 15 kilometers.

Photo Ansa/Matteo Corner

However, the Amazon tax remains, for the moment, only a hypothesis. Other measures included in the budget maneuver include the reduction or elimination of VAT on bread, milk, pasta and children’s products. But also the reduction of the tax wedge by three points instead of two. And quota 103 for pensions. On the other hand, the hypothesis of a tax shield for the return of capital from abroad is moving away, while an intervention on tax bills until 2015 would be confirmed. Energy remains the chapter that requires the most of means in a maneuver which could include the Amazon Tax. This is more than 21 billion out of a total which should be around 30 billion.

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