Italy faces over $9bn shortfall on energy windfall tax – document

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Power lines connecting high voltage electricity pylons are seen in Montalto Di Castro, Italy August 11, 2017. REUTERS/Max Rossi/File Photo

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ROME, Aug 2 (Reuters) – Many Italian energy companies appear to have waived an initial windfall tax payment due at the end of June, leaving the government facing a shortfall of more than 9 billion euros (9 .2 billion), according to a Treasury document. .

Prime Minister Mario Draghi has budgeted 33 billion euros since January to help businesses and households facing sky-high electricity, gas and oil costs as war in Ukraine overshadows growth prospects for the third largest economy in the euro zone.

Between 10 and 11 billion euros of the total package was to be financed by an exceptional tax of 25% on energy groups which benefited from the surge in oil and gas prices.

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Under the program, producers and sellers of electricity, natural gas and petroleum products are expected to have made a 40% down payment by the end of June, with the remainder due in November.

But updating fiscal projections in the mid-year budget, a Treasury document presented to parliament this week showed revenue below expectations worth more than €9bn from all income taxes.

“The updated estimates take into account a downward revision to expected windfall tax revenues,” the Treasury said in the document without identifying those who had not complied.

State-controlled energy group Eni (ENI.MI) said last week it had already paid the first installment of the Italian windfall and Italy’s biggest utility Enel (ENEI.MI) said it had reserved 2.6 billion euros to pay the exceptional taxes imposed by the Italian, Spanish and Romanian governments.

Several energy companies have complained about the windfall tax, saying energy price volatility is also creating problems for their businesses.

Companies that missed the end-June deadline still have the option of paying the tax in the coming weeks or months with accrued penalties and interest, the document adds.

However, there is no impact on public finance targets at present, as rising consumer prices and energy costs lead to an increase in indirect taxes such as VAT on sales.

The government has said it plans to approve a new relief package worth 14.3 billion euros this week in what will be one of the last major acts of the Draghi government ahead of national elections this month. next. ($1 = 0.9770 euros)

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Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte Editing by Keith Weir and Bernadette Baum

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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