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Increase in VAT numbers as Artisan numbers decline


Feb 11, 2024

The number of VAT numbers has been steadily increasing since the beginning of the Covid pandemic in 2020, with over 5 million members as of December 31st. This represents a slight increase from four years ago, but is still significantly lower than the 6.2 million recorded at the beginning of 2004, according to the CGIA Research Office.

While the overall number of self-employed workers has been increasing, not all categories within this sector are faring well. Many traditional self-employed professions, such as artisans, small traders, and farmers, are declining. In contrast, the number of unregulated professions, such as web designers, social media managers, and business consultants, is expanding.

The self-employed workers, along with their micro businesses and employees, have become a central and structural component of the economy in many regions of the country, especially in the Northeast. This sector has experienced a positive trend over the last three years, which can be attributed to the economic recovery after the onset of Covid.

The introduction of the flat-rate regime for self-employed businesses with lower revenues and compensation has made managing one’s own business less fiscally burdensome. However, the growth of the sector may also be due to the increase in “fake” VAT numbers, which currently are estimated to be around 500 thousand units.

The growth in the number of self-employed workers has been seen in some regions, such as Molise, Liguria, Calabria, and Emilia Romagna, while others like Abruzzo, Umbria, Trentino Alto Adige, and Marche have experienced significant contractions.

While the overall number of self-employed workers has been increasing, traditional self-employment activities like artisans, traders, and farmers have been declining over the years. This trend suggests a shift in the composition of the self-employed workforce.

By Editor

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