Foreigners in Italy hit by tax changes

Foreigners in Italy hit by tax changes
Photo: Alan Cleaver/Flickr
Foreigners in Italy will be forced to disclose more information about their overseas assets as part of tax rule changes that will also see authorities monitoring transactions more closely.

Foreigners will now have to declare all assets, which would usually include property, shares and savings accounts, regardless of their value, after the €10,000 threshold was scrapped.

Though they won't be charged any extra tax on smaller assets, they face stiff penalties for failing to declare the assets and will likely have to undergo more cumbersome reporting procedures, Gareth Horsfall, a financial planner at Spectrum IFA Group in Rome, told The Local.

“A new internal team of the Guardia di Finanza (finance police) has also been set up to monitor transactions taking place abroad for Italian residents,” Horsfall said.

“This is in line with European and G20 guidelines regarding a free share of tax and financial information.”

In 2012, Italy introduced new taxes on foreigners who have homes overseas (0.76 percent on the rateable value if the property is in Europe and on the market value if it is outside Europe). In addition, they are also taxed on non-property foreign assets at a rate of 0.15 percent, Horsfall said.

Still, foreigners will get some relief after IMU, the controversial property tax, was scrapped in August. It will be replaced next year with a service charge, which is expected to include all local taxes such as waste collection.

“From 2014, it will no longer be the IMU we have known so far,” Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta said in August.

“It will have a new name, TASER or tax on municipal services.” 

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