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Italian Finance Minister announces success of Tax Amnesty

Tax Amnesty

The Italian Finance Minister, Giulio Tremonti, at his year-end new conference has declared that the “Scudo Fiscale” (Tax Amnesty) has succeeded in unearthing more than 80 billion euro. The majority of Italian funds are held in Swiss bank accounts, and these banks are now complaining bitterly at what they describe as intimidation by the Italians.

The figure, which equates to approximately five percent of the Italian GDP, establishes a record haul Italian overseas tax amnesties. The generous terms and anonymity guaranteed by the amnesty have ensured its success and put Italy ahead in the table of European countries operating such an amnesty. Italians are under no obligation to repatriate their funds, and so most of the money is likely to remain abroad.
According to estimates by the Bank of Italy, Italians hold around five hundred billion euro in undeclared funds outwith Italian territorial confines.

In the past, a previous Berlusconi government managed to turn up 78 billion euro during an amnesty in 2002-03 and subsequently 100 billion was uncovered in a further amnesty. Tremonti went on that fiscal havens have had their day, confirming that the Italian crackdown on tax havens was part of a global tightening-up on fiscal evasion and that in the future relations with Swiss banks must see an end to banking secrecy.

The tax amnesty was originally due to have expired on 15 December, but was prorogued to the end of April, due a a late rush in applicants.
 


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