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Details Of Declarations Under Tax Amnesty, As Italy Continues Search

Friday, February 19, 2010

Banca d’Italia, Italy’s central bank, has given a breakdown of the amount of funds declared to date under the tax amnesty, while the Italian Revenue Agency continues its actions against tax evasion – this time against the Italian operations of Slovenian banks.

The amount of funds repatriated into Italy, according to information provided to Banca d’Italia by financial intermediaries, registered a total of EUR85.1bn (USD116bn) up to February 15, 2010.

Most of the declared funds, or EUR59.9bn, were found to have been in Switzerland. Very much lower amounts were declared from Luxembourg (EUR7.3bn), Monaco (EUR4.1bn) and San Marino (EUR3.8bn), followed by Austria and Liechtenstein, with around EUR1.25bn each. Declarations below EUR1bn were made from the UK, France, Ireland, Germany and the United States.

Just over EUR40bn of the declared funds were from current accounts, and almost EUR33bn from debt securities and shares. Around EUR35bn of the funds was repatriated as liquid funds, while EUR50bn was either repatriated without liquidating the underlying financial asset, or regularized without repatriation, under the terms of the amnesty.

Some controversy was aroused by the above statistics from Banca d’Italia, given that Giulio Tremonti, Italy’s Minister of the Economy, had previously announced that EUR95bn had been declared during the first stage of Italy’s tax amnesty to mid-December last year.

However, subsequently, the Italian Revenue Agency issued a memorandum explaining that the discrepancy between the two totals arose mainly from the repatriation of the smaller amounts and certain assets (including works of art and precious goods) which were excluded from the data collected by Banca d’Italia.

Banca d’Italia’s statistics also do not include funds which have been declared but not yet repatriated, due to underlying complications. The tax amnesty itself ends in April this year, but the final date for repatriations to be concluded is December 31, 2010. The Revenue Agency and Tremonti’s EUR95bn figure was based upon the amount of the 5% tax penalty paid up to December 15, 2009, of EUR4.75bn.

At the same time, the Guardia di Finanza (financial police) and the Revenue Agency announced that, following previous visits last year to Swiss and Austrian bank branches or subsidiaries in Italy, and to other financial intermediaries close to San Marino, visits have now also been made to Slovenian bank branches in Italy; to Italian banks with branches near to the frontiers with Slovenia and Austria; and Italian financial intermediaries with shareholdings in Slovenian banks.

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