After being postponed earlier this year, the “tax receipt lottery” is now fully effective. To participate in this lottery, customers and/or shoppers who are at least 18 years old and have their residence in Italy, are to provide retailers with a “lottery code” (codice lotteria) as downloaded from an online portal, the official lottery website, of the Italian Customs Agency. Indeed, this new initiative is taylored to encourage shoppers to insist on receipts, which become lottery tickets. Therefore, the fact that only people who ask for receipts can take part to the lottery and win cash prizes should ensure transactions are duly recorded and that a levy is paid on them so as to reduce tax evasion. Indeed, the lottery complements another program in which shoppers can get cash back of up to 10% of whatever they spend until the end of the year, up to a total of €150, if they use their card.
How does the lottery work? - The lottery is designed to achieve several goals at once: boosting consumer spending, encouraging businesses to log sales with tax authorities, and incentivizing electronic payments. Shoppers apply for a personal lottery number that they can show to the cashier each time they make a purchase. Each euro spent with electronic tools from merchants that electronically transmit the fees will be able to generate virtual tickets valid to participate in the first prize draw.
Who is eligible? - Anyone who is resident in Italy, has a codice fiscale (tax code) and is over 18 can take part. There are prizes for both consumers and business owners. Yet, businesses must have an electronic cash register, registratore telematico, capable of issuing a lottery code, for them and their customers, which is outomatically transmitted electronically to the Italian tax authorities.
What can you win? - There are two prize draws for both buyers and sellers, beginning on 11 March, with the first monthly draw that will distribute prizes ranging from 100,000 euros to 10 buyers and prizes from 20,000 to 10 merchants on the receipts sent and registered to the lottery system in February. In details, each draw has weekly, monthly and yearly prizes, all of which are tax-free. Here's what's on offer in the regular consumer draw starting from June:
- Every week: 15 prizes of 25,000 euros each week for those who buy and 15 prizes of 5,000 euros for those who sell;
- Every month: ten prizes of 100,000 euros to 10 buyers and ten prizes of 20,000 euros to 10 merchants;
- Once a year: will be assigned one grand prize of € 5 million to a buyer and € 1 million to a merchant. Particularly, for the debut of the fiscal lottery, the first annual draw will be held at the beginning of next year, which will reward one of the purchases made from February 1st to December 31st 2021 by assigning € 5 million to a buyer and € 1 million to a merchant.
Winners will be informed either by certified email, if they have a valid posta elettronica certificata (PEC) address, or by registered post to the address where you're officially resident. You can also register to receive an SMS alert. However, if you win you'll have to contact the Italian Customs Agency within 90 days to claim your prize.
Only purchases with cards give the right to take part to the fiscal lottery, not online – As already pointed, only who pays with credit cards, debit cards, bancomat, prepaid cards or apps can participate in the lottery. Cash and online purchases are not worth it. Expenses deducted with the health card are also excluded.
How to take part to the lottery - The first step is to generate your lottery number, which can be done online by using your codice fiscale, is entering it on the official lottery website. Once done, you'll receive a personal code that you can print out or store on your smartphone. To participate you must show your lottery code at the time of purchase. The lottery code is a bar code and alphanumeric that can be obtained, as already explained, by entering your tax code on the portal www.lotteriadegliscontrini.gov.it