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Revenue Authorities Investigate Austrian Banks' Italian Branches

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

08 December 2009


The Italian Revenue Agency and Guardia di Finanza (financial police) have continued with their investigations into undeclared funds held abroad by Italians in foreign banks and other financial intermediaries.

The first round in this line of investigation had been the visits by the Agency and the Guardia on October 27 to the 76 Swiss bank branches or subsidiaries in Italy, and to other financial intermediaries close to San Marino.

This time, their attention was directed to the 38 Italian branches of Austrian financial institutions in Trentino Alto Adige, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Veneto, Emilia Romagna and Lombardia.

As previously, the investigations were aimed at verifying the completeness and accuracy of information that should have been transmitted by those offices to the Agency’s database of all foreign transactions made by their Italian clients.

The Agency, in its statement, re-emphasized the importance of that database. It should contain details of all foreign transactions made by Italian clients with financial institutions in Italy, either through regular client accounts, whether open or closed, or “one-off” transactions (essentially, those made in cash or bankers’ draft, directly at the counter).

The objective is that the database should become an ever more useful instrument in the identification of foreign assets held by Italians in violation of the necessary declaration in their annual tax returns. The information on the database is collected monthly and presently contains details of 950m transactions through regular accounts and more than 90m one-off operations.

There are around 13,000 financial offices in Italy which are responsible for sending details of transactions to the Agency – for example, all bank branches, the Italian post office, financial intermediaries, investment companies, investment funds and investment management companies.

A comprehensive report in our Intelligence Report series, analysing the situation on the ground in each of the main offshore banking centres, 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_report3.asp
TAGS: Italy

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