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Italian Flight Capital Flying Home

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

07 December 2001


According to Italy's central bank, the country's pre-euro scheme to entice illicit overseas funds back home had a successful first month in November. The Bank's head of fiscal services, Carla Panzeri said that large sums had been repatriated, including one individual payment of 50 million euros. He added: "The fiscal shield is not an amnesty. It does not mean that we are ending any legal action currently underway."

Returning money is charged a tax of just 2.5%. The Bank thinks that up to 500 billion euros is illegitimately sitting abroad in tax havens, and hopes that 20% of it might flow back under the scheme, which will run until February 28th, when the lira ceases to be legal tender.

Soon after the launch of the scheme, Deputy Economy Minister Vito Tanzi said: "Perhaps we will reach 40 billion euros, which would represent 4% of Italy's GDP." The country's biggest banking group Intesa-BCI believes 50 billion euros is likely to be repatriated, while Italy's second largest bank Uni-Credito puts the likely figure at 75-100 billion euros.

"If these estimations are confirmed, it would represent an extraordinary success," said Tanzi.


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