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1, Insert the words in the correct place in the text!

Tax evasion is every Italian’s moral right. Is that the view of the Mafia? The crime lords of Napoli? In fact, this bizarre ethical take came from former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, expressed in an address to the Guardia di Finanza, the finance police, in 2004. “If [the state] asks you for more, or a lot more, then you are being 1……………by the state and so you set about inventing systems of avoidance or even evasion that you feel are in accordance with your private sense of morality and which do not make you feel guilty,” he said. Just in case there was any doubt, Mr Berlusconi later clarified: “If taxes are too high, it is thus justified to practise avoidance or evasion.” This sums up a 2,……… among many in Italy, where evading taxes can be seen as furbo: crafty. It has led to Italians being declared among the biggest 3,………….. in the European Union. A 2018 study by the European Commission found the VAT gap – the difference between expected revenue and collections – in Italy was 25.9 per cent in 2016. By comparison, the gap in Sweden was 1.1 per cent. The results are visible in Italian cities. In Rome, it is common for buses to catch fire as the city cannot pay for repairs; 22 4,……… into flames last year. Wild boar roam the Roman streets. Even the Pope lamented the degrado or decay of the city. But Italy is fighting back. A radical new VAT system is making evasion and avoidance almost impossible. It works like this. Every invoice must be 5………… in electronic format to an online tax hub called the SDI (sistema di interscambio). The authorities check the invoice is correct and, if approved, the invoice is passed on to its 6……….. recipient. Sending VAT invoices direct to clients is now illegal. Every invoice goes through the government hub. “The leap in Italian VAT 7…………. was in the order of 20 per cent,” says Richard Asquith, vice president of indirect tax at Avalara, a tax software company. “SDI has been a real success.” The SDI system puts Italy streets ahead of the UK. “It’s much more invasive than [the HMRC’s] Making Tax Digital,” says Mr Asquith. “The tax authorities are getting in at the transaction level in real time. If they wait for three months and only see aggregated numbers, there’s no detail and it’s not fast enough. 8………. can commit an offence and move on.” It’s not just Italy. Spain has launched a similar system called SII (suministro inmediato de información). All invoices must be submitted to the SII hub for 9……… and approval. And Poland, Greece and Hungary have implemented their own electronic VAT reporting systems. “Unfortunately, each European country is implementing electronic invoicing in its own way,” says Marco Da Veiga, compliance manager at Ryan VAT Systems, a tax consultancy firm. “There are a lot of similarities between the different systems, as they are based on the same principles and thinking, but each has its nuances.” The 10,………. was developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The Standard Audit File for Tax, or SAF-T, sets out the way electronic data should be treated, but the interpretation is left open for each nation. What all these new electronic VAT systems have in common is the ability of tax authorities to see every transaction, rather than aggregated data. Tax inspectors can also compare the data of counter-parties, to make sure the transactions match. Errors and unexplained tax “discounts” can be 11……….. immediately. In Finland, the authorities are looking at individual payment transactions, to identify vendors who sell in Finland, but are not registered for VAT. There is an additional pay-off . Since the VAT data is reported in near real time, national macro-economic statistics are more accurate.  The days of waiting months for GDP quarterly data to be corrected should be over. “Digitisation means governments will be able to see reliable, real-time economic data that will never be materially 12,…………..,” says Mr Asquith. “It will be easier to track import and export data more accurately.” Electronic invoicing via Italy’s SDI, Spain’s SII or similar systems means significant changes for companies. Fortunately, software vendors will help with the transition. And the underlying technology at the invoice level, called XML, has been a 13,………. in financial reporting for years. Finance offi cers ought to be 14,………. with all the concepts involved. “The main challenge is the data,” says Steven Smith, director of product management at Thomson Reuters, maker of a leading tax reporting platform. “Every corporation has data in a multitude of different systems. Pulling that data together, making sure it is complete and refactoring it into the right format for different tax authorities is a challenge. And while the OECD says there is best practice, every country applies it in a different way. There is no 15, ………….” More countries are set to adopt VAT e-invoicing in the near future. The complexity of complying will increase as it is 16,…………. OECD nations will agree on a universal standard. Even EU nations seem set to retain their unique approach to VAT collection. “Countries are protective about their taxation rights,” says Mr Asquith of Avalara. “They don’t want the EU to be the 17………,. as they are worried where that will end up. They see it as the thin end of the wedge.” There are of course benefits for companies too. Mr Smith argues that companies will be able to see their tax situation in richer detail. “Tax is becoming more 18, ……….. in strategy planning. It will be possible to see the variations, month by month. When you run predictive analytics, you can see warning signs and find ways to address tax with your business operations. It allows businesses to be more financially tuned,” he says. Elimination of manual and paper processes will ensure companies are slick digital organisations. And tax will become a level playing field as avoidance and evasion are curtailed. Even buying un caffè in Rome will change. “From July, if you go to a store, the 19, ………. must be connected to the tax authority,” says Ryan’s Mr Da Veiga. “The shop cannot avoid giving a receipt.” Evaders will need to be a whole lot craftier to avoid paying their 20………..

standard setter, intended, altered, overwhelmed, familiar, mindset, inspection, unlikely, tax dodgers, cash register, burst, staple, prevalent, submitted, global standard, dues, template, revenues, spotted, fraudsters

2, Choose the right form of the verb!

Public speaking commonly comes top of the list in surveys of people’s fears. In fact, accepted wisdom says that a huge 75 per cent of individuals feel anxious to a greater or lesser extent when 1………. with presenting to an audience. But exactly what is it that makes a good or bad speaker and what key qualities, characteristics and skills are required to wow listeners? In the view of Bradley Mauleffinch, portfolio director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at event organiser Imago Techmedia, it 2,……… content and style, both of which are equally important. “People want to feel speakers know what you’re talking about, but ‘personality’ is the secret ingredient,” he explains. “If you can’t make the session 3,………., you can have the best content in the world, but you’ll be in trouble.” It also helps if presenters are famous in their field, while 4………. controversial and even somewhat opinionated often adds a bit of spice too. More inexperienced speakers in the form of young social media influencers or entrepreneurs are also an increasing draw but can be complemented by veteran subject-matter experts to ensure the programme is a balanced one. As to what having ‘personality’ actually means, Mr Mauleffinch describes it as “being able to bring your knowledge to life in some way”. This is important because “the ability 5………. people at a human level is crucial”, he believes. Jay Sutri, a business presentation coach and author of Ultimate Presentations, agrees. “You can be the biggest expert in the world in your subject, but if you don’t think about how to put your content 6………. in a way the audience can process, it undermines your credibility,” she says. “So it’s about being natural and connecting with people by being yourself.” Major no-nos include never looking up from your computer screen, reading from a slide deck, giving meandering speeches that overrun, and doing anything that distracts the audience from the message being discussed, 7………. gesticulating or moving around the stage too much. Moreover, while props can be useful, it is crucial that they have a clear function and enhance an  individual’s presentation 8…….. detract from it. For instance, slides should not be covered in wordy bullet points that people will 9………. read rather than focus on what is being said. Instead they should include visual images and no more than three words to help illustrate an argument. Paul Russell, managing director at soft skills training provider Luxury Academy, explains: “It’s about the message and people connecting with the message, and everything else, including body language and visual aids, should enhance that message. The aim is to bring the audience along with you on the ride, and 10………. that involves showing you are confident in both yourself and your subject – and that you don’t take yourself too seriously.” As a result, he recommends that presenters start with an anecdote based on self-deprecating humour – rather than a gag, which may prove unwittingly offensive to different demographic groups. Asking the audience questions in a mini-quiz or taking a straw poll of opinions related to the topic in hand can also be useful tricks to 11,………. people’s attention and engage them quickly. As for controlling the inevitable nerves, it is worth 12………. in mind that obsessing about it only makes things worse and a speaker’s anxiety is always more noticeable to themselves than others. Ms Sutri advises: “Nerves are just an adrenalin rush resulting from your fight or flight mechanism, so focus on feeling confident rather than scared as your brain will go where you tell it to and your body will follow. Remember to breathe and 13………. a confident body posture and you’ll start to feel more confident

1, a, they are  b, faced  c, being  d, speak

2, a, comes down to  b, comes down with  c, gets down to  d, gets down on

3, a, distracting  b, emphasizing  c, engaging  d, impressing

4, a, having  b, being  c, showing  d, presenting

5, a, relating with  b, to relating with c, relating to  d, to relate to

6, a, through  b, over  c, across   d, along

7, a, such as  b, rather  c, even  d, while

8, a, even if  b, along with  c, unlike  d, rather than

9, a, distinctly  b, actually  c, inevitably  d, hopefully

10, a, to do b, if you do c, when doing d, even doing

11, a, distract  b, catch  c, hold  d, grab

12, a, to keep  b, bearing  c, changing d, to have

13, a, adapt  b, accomodate  c, identify  d, adopt

Listen to this video and do the related exercises!

1, What is his job?

2, The topic of his talk:

3, The worst idea:

4, Cars became:-……………  -……………..  -…………………..

5, Portland’s policy. -……………….  -…………………  -………………..

6, Its consequences.

7, who tend to move there?

8, The best economic strategy for a city:

9, What do these figures refer to?

1 in every 10

1 in every 3



1/ of the children born after 2000:

10, the outcome of the experiment?

11, San Diego’s system?

12, 14 Americans die in……….and 12 out of 100 000 in………………..

13, What did the carbon map show?

14,  What do people traditionally do to try to be more environmentally friendly?

15, What enhances the quality of life traditionally and according to the lecturer?

16, What did Churchill say?





3-tax dodgers

4- burst

5- submitted


7- revenues

8- fraudsters

9- inspection

10- template



13- staple

14- familiar

15- global standard

16, unlikely

17- standard setter

18- prevalent

19- cash register

20- dues


1-b, 2-a, 3-c, 4-b, 5-d, 6-c, 7-a, 8-d, 9-c, 10-a, 11-d, 12-b, 13-d


1,city planner, urban designer

2, America

3, suburbian sprawl

4, gas belching, time wasting, life threatening

5, urban growth boundaries, skinny streets, investing in bicycling and walking

6, people drive less, have more bookstores, strip clubs and spend more money on their homes, recreation and alcohol

7, college educated millenials

8, to become a place where people want to live

9, 1in 10 were obese in the 70s, 1 in 3 are obese now, are overweight, of men and women are so fat that they are not suitable for military service, will become diabetic,

10, gaining weight has more to do with inactivity than genes or anything else

11, they rank every address based on how walkable they are

12, asthma- car accident

13, if households were examined it showed that the emission is stronger in the suburbs

14, buy environmentally friendly, energy saving gadgets

15, traditionally education, housing etc his opinion: walkable cities

16, Americans will do the right thing once they have exhausted all the other alternatives