The German model of the decentralization of powers, fiscal as well, is increasingly seen as providing a pattern for the federalist organization of the Italian state. The transfer of competences from the state to the regional administrations will require a different allocation of fiscal revenues and a reorganization, on a regional basis, of the tax collection system. The German organization, characterized by the centralization of functions and jurisdictions to a single administrative structure, could furnish a valid model for Italy. The authors argue that a federalist German-style reform of the Italian tax system requires the following medium/long-term measures: a rationalization of tax legislation; a re-balancing of the relationship between the taxpayer and the fiscal authorities; the creation of a single revenues office in order to standardize administrative action. The article suggests a number of rationalization measures that could be implemented in the short term and stresses the importance of reducing tax evasion. Finally, it emphasises the crucial role of the regional tax authorities in co-ordinating and controlling local units.