On 15 December 2014, the Italian Parliament approved the 'voluntary disclosure' procedure (Law n. 186/2014).
The procedure includes many elements, among which are:
• The mutated international scenario, which will lead to automatic exchange of tax information with all the industrialised countries
• The imminent signing of a new tax agreement between Italy and Switzerland on exchange of information, that will determine the will signal the end of Swiss bank secrecy related to Italian resident individuals
• The introduction of 'self-laundering' to Italian criminal law (new article 648-ter.1, criminal code)
Effective from 1 January 2015, the new legislation will mean that individuals fiscally resident in Italy (irrespective of their nationality), who have been holding assets or income abroad without reporting them in the annual tax return (violating domestic disclosure rules set by Law Decree n. 167/1990) have the chance to regularise their violations during the course of 2015.
It must be noted that the violation of ordinary disclosure rules of foreign assets directly or indirectly held abroad exposes the tax payer to heavy annual penalties (varying from 3%-30% of the overall values of those assets).
The voluntary disclosure procedure requires a comprehensive disclosure by the Italian resident taxpayer of all assets held abroad and for all the assessable tax years. This must be initiated by filing a specific request before 30 September 2015, and guarantees:
• Protection from most of the criminal charges imposed by Legislative Decree no. 74/2000 for the following violations:
- Incorrect returns
- Fraudulent returns (including the charge of using non-existent invoices/transactions and/or other means)
- Missed return filings
- Unpaid withholding taxes
- Unpaid VAT
- Money laundering
• Reduction of administrative penalties on unpaid Italian taxes
• Reduction of administrative penalties set for violation of domestic disclosure rule
The Italian unpaid direct and indirect taxes must be paid without any reduction, unless the overall value of foreign assets is lower than 2 million euros in which case the tax payer may opt for a simplified procedure that determines an annual taxable base equal to 5% of the asset value, subject to 27% substitutive tax.
Due to its complexity and structuring, the procedure requires the assistance of qualified tax advisors.
For any information or clarification in this respect, please do not hesitate to contact RSM Palea Lauri Gerla qualified tax advisors.