The pope said today that paying taxes is sometimes interpreted as “putting your hand in your pocket” but that in reality “it is a sign of legality and justice” and “of redistribution of wealth.”
In a speech to a delegation from the Italian Tax Administration Agency, Francis stated that paying taxes allows “protecting the dignity of the poor, who always run the risk of being crushed by the powerful.”
The pontiff added that “taxes, when they are fair, are for the common good” and called for “work to grow the culture of the common good and to take seriously the universal destination of goods.”
Francisco confirmed that the work of the Treasury “seems ungrateful in the eyes of a society that places private property as an absolute and does not subordinate it to the style of communion and sharing for the good of all.”
He condemned “cases of tax evasion”, “black payments” and “generalized illegality” but also recalled that “one can speak of the honesty of many people who do not evade their duty, who pay their dues and thus contribute to the good common”.
“The scourge of evasion is answered with the simple rectitude of many taxpayers, and this is a model of social justice,” he added.
He also asked Treasury employees for “transparency” because this makes “people more motivated to pay taxes, especially if the collection contributes to overcoming inequalities, to making investments for more employment, to guarantee good health and education for everyone, and to create infrastructures that facilitate social life and the economy”.