The theme of extra profits of energy companies is holding the bench in this phase on the basis of the discussion regarding possible fiscal interventions to redistribute them on the community. Many people are asking for an increase in the one-off levy decided by the Draghi government, already much contested by companies. The reasoning that many, especially on the Left and in the Five Star Movement, make is that the profits of companies like Eni and Enel are “spoiled” from the excessive costs with which gas, electricity and other products are priced after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine. And that consequently should be hit openly to find resources in this difficult phase.
In particular, to give examples related to the two major majors, in the first half of 2022 Enel recorded an increase in revenues of + 85.3% compared to the same period of 2021 while Eni closed a very positive half-year, with an adjusted net profit that has risen more than six times (a 7.08 billion euros) compared to the first half of 2021. The big energy companies, this is the reflection, should be struck by these results considered out of the market. But in the logic there is a flaw, which Francesco Gattei, Chief Financial Officer of the Six-legged Dog, highlighted by speaking with The sun 24 hours and commenting on the increase from 550 million to 1.4 billion in the levy for Eni’s extra-profits. “A surtax on profit is reasonable,” she said, “but we need a transparent, clear and easily representable tax base.”
Gattei recalled that Eni has made most of these results “selling oil and gas abroad as a producer“and by trading gas at” prices indexed largely to the Ttf “which represents the main European market, while in Italy” from 2014 to 2021 Eni lost 11 billion euros at operational level in Italy “, mainly due to the fact that “refining was at a loss”, like other sectors “such as chemicals, gas production and reclamation companies”. And “if we also add financial charges and write-downs, the losses rise to 20 billion”. 600 million euros also for operating losses of the first semester in Italy: from this point of view here, we understand how slippery it is to indicate as predatory the profit of an Italian major that largely does not reach break-even on the national market front, and moreover represents the guarantor of productive investments often blocked by unfriendly energy and environmental policies with little incentive for the market.
On the contrary, who certainly did Extra “profits” from this stage is the Italian state. In the first half of the year, the revenues linked to energy exchanges soared, according to a trend that is destined to consolidate in the autumn. This was reported by the tax analyzes of the study center of the National Union of Enterprises for the period January-May. The quantity of VAT resources collected for internal exchanges increased from 46.025 to 52.952 billion (+ 15.1%), while on the VAT front for imports we went up from 5.463 to 8.735 billion (+ 59.9%) mainly due to cause of expensive energy. The excise tax on energy products rises, by 1.7%, enough to bring revenue growth from 7,699 to 7,829 despite the 30 cents per liter moratorium on fuels decided by the Draghi government. Instead, those on natural gas for combustion take off (+ 35.7%, from 1.268 to 1.721 billion euros) and that on electricity (+ 20.9%, from 1.053 to 1.273 billion).
Registration taxes increased by more than a tenth (from 2,050 to 2,293 billion, + 11.9%), while all other indirect taxes increased from 15.782 to 17.932 billion euros (+ 13.6%). Overall, indirect taxes are increased by 16.9% due to the dynamics linked to energy: from 79.340 to 92.735 billion euros, an increase of 13.395 billion euros due to internal trade that was paid for, yes, with the resources of the citizens. And which represents a decisive part of the growth of the overall tax collection of the tax authorities, which rose by 18.5 billion euros according to the overall data studied by Unimprese for the first five months of the year, passing from 170.1 of the first months of 2021 to the current 188.6.CopyAMP code.
In the increases also the effects of expensive life and of inflation rush: + 19.8% in the first five months of 2022, during which additional resources were received by the tax authorities for 10 billion euros. The increases offset the decreases in other sectors, also thanks to a moderate growth in personal income tax. “The IRES revenue, for example, shows a drop of -6.9%, from 834 million euros last year to 630 million in 2022”, writes Here Finance. “And Italian families are depriving themselves more and more of vices and pleasures. The tax on tobacco consumption fell by 10.6%, from 4.2 billion euros to 3.7 billion, while the revenue from the lot is dropped by 14.9%, from 3.5 billion to 3 billion “.
From this point of view, the tax on energy extra-profits risks being advanced as originally planned increase this levy which, in the midst of the inflation and expensive energy crisis, adds to Italian citizens and businesses a problematic tax such as the tax extra profit of the State. Real and measurable, from which it is necessary to draw the real resources aimed at reviving policies capable of lowering system costs, bills and the effects of the cost of living for citizens and businesses in the coming months. Otherwise, the risk is that of contributing to the de-development of the country-system. In which, once again, taxes could play a decisive role.