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Insights Vol. 5 No. 8: Updates & Other Tidbits

Insights Vol. 5 No. 8: Updates & Other Tidbits

This month, Rusudan Shervashidze, Neha Rastogi, and Nina Krauthamer look at several interesting updates and tidbits, including (i) potential tax reasons for Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Italy, (ii) a law suit brought by high-tax states against the U.S. Federal government in connection with the T.C.J.A. limitations on deductions for state and local taxes, (iii) the finding of the European Commission that the aid given to McDonalds by the Luxembourg government did not constitute illegal State Aid, and (iv) a successful F.A.T.C.A. prosecution against a former executive of Loyal Bank Ltd.

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Joint Audits: A New Tool for Cross-Border Tax Evasion

Joint Audits: A New Tool for Cross-Border Tax Evasion

When a large corporate taxpayer receives an audit notification letter from the tax authority in its country of residence, the taxpayer typically knows what to expect: a lengthy process of documenting and defending its tax position. It also knows the process under domestic law for appealing adverse tax adjustments, and if cross-border issues are raised, it knows how to take advantage of Mutual Agreement Procedures between competent authorities under an income tax treaty. The full process can take years to resolve. Now, however, a pilot program between German and Italian tax authorities empowers a joint cross-border audit team to conduct a single joint audit of cross-border operations between the two countries. The joint audit is intended to be more effective for resolving issues of double taxation in cases involving complex facts related to (i) transfer pricing issues, (ii) residency or permanent establishment issues, and (iii) aggressive tax planning schemes. Marco Orlandi of Ludovici Piccone & Partners, Milan, examines the actual process followed in the pilot program and comments on whether the goals of the joint audit have been achieved.

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A New Definition of Permanent Establishment in Italian Domestic Income Tax Law

A New Definition of Permanent Establishment in Italian Domestic Income Tax Law

Italian domestic tax law has adopted the permanent establishment (“P.E.”) concept when determining whether business profits of a nonresident are taxable in the absence of an applicable income tax treaty.  Earlier this year, changes to the definition of the term broadened the scope of activity constituting a P.E.  Effective January 1, 2018, (i) a digital P.E. is treated as a fixed place P.E., (ii) the scope of the specific activity exemption has been scaled back, (iii) an anti-fragmentation rule has been adopted applicable to groups of companies, and (iv) the scope of an agency P.E. has been broadened. Stefano Loconte and Linda Favi of Loconte & Partners, Milan, explain the new rules.

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Circular Letter No. 25/E Clarifies Italy’s New Carried Interest Regime

Circular Letter No. 25/E Clarifies Italy’s New Carried Interest Regime

Early last year, the Italian government announced new rules regarding favorable taxation of carried interests.  Graduated tax rates and social charges would be replaced by a flat 26% tax on investment income.  Towards the end of the year, guidelines were published by the Italian tax authorities providing significant clarifications on the scope, requirements, and conditions under the new tax regime.  Andrea Tavecchio and Riccardo Barone of Tavecchio Caldara & Associati, Milan, examine how the new regime will work in practice.

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Circular Letter No. 17/E Clarifies Special Tax Regime for Italian “New Residents”

Circular Letter No. 17/E Clarifies Special Tax Regime for Italian “New Residents”

Late last year, the Italian government enacted a new regime designed to entice wealthy individuals into becoming tax residents.  In late May, operating rules for the new tax regime were announced.  In broad terms, the regime imposes an annual tax charge of €100,000 in lieu of tax imposed at standard rates and an exclusion from inheritance and gift tax on foreign assets.  Andrea Tavecchio and Riccardo Barone of Tavecchio Caldara & Associati in Milan, Italy explain the details of the new regime.

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Caveat Dominus: A Comparison of Post-Employment Entitlements in the U.S. and Italy When Executive Employment is Terminated Without Cause

Caveat Dominus: A Comparison of Post-Employment Entitlements in the U.S. and Italy When Executive Employment is Terminated Without Cause

When companies expand business operations across the Atlantic Ocean, various cultural differences between the U.S. and Europe come to the fore.  The most noticeable are found in the area of employment, and among those are expectations of the rights of employers, employees, and executives at the time of termination of employment.  George Birnbaum of the Law Offices of George Birnbaum P.L.L.C. and Ariane Rauber and Fabio Tavecchia of Palmer Studio Legale compare and contrast employee rights in the U.S. and Italy.

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Italy Introduces a 15-Year Preferential Tax Regime for Wealthy Individuals Taking Up Tax Residence in Italy

Italy Introduces a 15-Year Preferential Tax Regime for Wealthy Individuals Taking Up Tax Residence in Italy

As non-domiciled (“Non-Dom”) residents of the U.K. scramble to restructure in light of the new rules for persons holding Non-Dom status for more than 15 years, Italy has adopted new measures to attract high net worth individuals.  The rules are clearly derived from the Non-Dom rules in the U.K., but the weather is better.  Fabio Chiarenza of Gianni, Origoni, Grippo, Cappelli & Partners explains the new provisions.

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A Year of Guest Features

A Year of Guest Features

This month, we reminisce on the best of 2016, with articles contributed by guest authors from around the world.

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Italy Modernizes Tax Treatment of L.B.O. Transactions

In a Circular Letter issued in March by the Agenzia delle Entrate, the Italian tax authority, rules were issued providing for rational tax treatment of costs and gains arising in the context of leveraged buyout transactions.  Luca Rossi and Marina Ampolilla of Studio Tributario Associato Facchini Rossi & Soci explain the changes and bring good news to investment bankers and their clients.

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The Italian Voluntary Disclosure

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INTRODUCTION

Italy has a long history of tax amnesty programs established under a broad variety of names and rules. Interestingly, every new program has been described as “the last chance” for tax evaders to comply with the Italian tax code. It is no wonder that, as in all prior cases, Italy’s most recent voluntary disclosure program (the “V.D.”) has been defined as the “last call.” Having said that, and sensitive to prior performance, we firmly believe that for a wide range of reasons the V.D. will truly be the last opportunity for Italian citizens and residents to get their tax matters in order.

One indicator is heightened criticism of the typical Italian de facto tolerance toward tax evasion, which is now being blamed for the country’s ongoing economic crisis. Accordingly, the war against tax havens, as initiated by the U.S. under F.A.T.C.A. and subsequent inter-governmental agreements, has changed the way the whole world approaches such matters. Today, there is a new sensitivity toward tax compliance and no discernable government or media tolerance towards tax avoidance.

In addition, a different approach is now being taken with respect to tax amnesty matters. In the past, there was a sort of “reward” for the penitent evaders. Such individuals were granted the opportunity to regularize their positions by paying a low flat-rate extraordinary tax. The V.D. is different. Under the new provisions of the Law n. 186, dated December 15, 2014, (the “V.D. Act”), a taxpayer who enters the V.D. procedure (“V.D. Applicant”) will be required to pay every single euro of unpaid tax; the only benefit lies in the reduction of penalties, which are less than those applicable in an ordinary tax audit procedure.

Proposed Legislation for Italian Patent Box Regime

Currently. the O.E.C.D. and E.U. are finalizing new rules for the design of acceptable tax regimes for intangible property (“I.P.”) box companies – a tax benefit that is seen by the E.U. as a form of illegal state aid. Germany, France, Spain, and Italy are seen as the champions of the new regulations. However, Italy recently introduced its own I.P. tax incentive plan, known as a “patent box regime.” Stanley C. Ruchelman and Kenneth Lobo examine Italy’s incentive program, in light of the O.E.C.D. and E.U. attacks on such regimes.

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