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Revenue Agency Requests Information From Italian Banks' Foreign Branches

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

28 September 2009


In a further extension to its push to obtain information on Italian funds abroad, the Italian Revenue Agency has also requested details of operations through the foreign branches of Italian banks.

In a recently-issued circular, the Revenue Agency has provided further instructions on the details it requires Italian banks and other financial institutions to transmit to its database of foreign transactions. The stated objective is that the database will then become an even more useful instrument in the identification of foreign assets held by Italians in violation of the necessary declaration on their annual tax returns.

The database already contains details of all foreign transactions made by Italian clients with Italian financial institutions after January 1, 2005 through regular client accounts, whether open or closed, as well as “one-off” transactions (essentially, those made in cash or bankers’ draft, directly at the counter). In fact, in the circular, the Revenue Agency specifies that, for all such operations that do not pass through a regular account (even for a known client), the Agency may ask the bank, at any time, for details connected with all such transactions completed by that client for the fiscal year under review.

Therefore, such requests in furtherance of the Revenue Agency’s investigations may now also be made to the foreign branches of Italian banks. Details of all financial relationships held by Italian residents, whether through a regular account or by “one-off” transactions, with Italian banks or other Italian intermediaries abroad, need to be transmitted to its database. The foreign branches will, in future, be indistinguishable from the domestic branches in the information they provide to the Revenue Agency.

A comprehensive report in our Intelligence Report series, examining in depth the situation of offshore transparency and secrecy in a number of the most prominent jurisdictions, is available in the Lowtax Library at http://www.lowtaxlibrary.com/asp/subs_reports.asp and a description of the report can be seen at http://www.lowtaxlibrary.com/asp/description_report2.asp
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