The Receipt Lottery: the gentle (and digital) push as a new cashless incentive

Tax evasion is a major issue for many governments and encouraging digital payments can help reduce the problem.

To encourage cashless payments, the Customs and Monopolies Agency devised the Receipt Lottery in conjunction with the Revenue Agency. By paying with debit or with credit cards in affiliated stores, citizens can participate in drawings where every euro spent earns a virtual ticket at a maximum of 1000 tickets per person. After first being proposed by the Honorable Luigi Casero, Deputy Minister of Economy, in October 2016, the weekly, monthly, and yearly drawings have expanded to encourage digital progress throughout Italy.

Throughout the years, many edits have been made to the Receipt Lottery to grow the project. Cash lotteries were eliminated entirely under Conte II’s Cashless Plan and the State cashback, and since January 2020, all retail trade operations are required to electronically store data of daily payments and electronically transmit them to the Revenue Agency. However, this deadline was pushed to July 1, 2020, due to small commercial businesses having issues with the technological demands of electronic receipts.

It was not until March 11, 2021, when the first drawing finally took place, and the Receipt Lottery had already been folded into the Cashless Plan. Many stakeholders approved of this lottery, especially since tax evasion is a transversal problem many institutions and organizations face. The most critical of the Receipt Lottery are street vendor associations like FIVA, who find the main obstacle to be having stable internet connections to allow digital payments and transmit data. However, once technological demands are met, the positives of combating tax evasion will likely outweigh the costs.

The theory behind the Receipt Lottery is to eliminate tax evasion as a rational choice for consumers. The Receipt Lottery is meant to push consumers away from tax evasion without being too costly. This project does well in making strong moves against tax evasion without greatly impacting the consumer’s day-to-day life. While encouraging electronic payments causes much change for businesses and how the economy functions behind-the-scenes, consumers must only alter what they pull out of their wallets at the cash register.