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Tax Pills

  • Green and red lights on the application of stamp duty on non-resident deposits and periodic banking communications


    To shed light on the correct application of the stamp duty in the banking sector, particularly in the case of account deposits entitled to foreign clients, Italy’s Revenue Agency published just recently an ad hoc ruling, or interpello 496, of 25 November 2019, in reply to the demand posed by an Italian bank.

    The red effect: the stamp duty goes along with periodic communications even if sent to non-resident banking customers - At first, through its answer, the tax Administration explains to the applicant that an Italian bank that manages deposit accounts is strictly required to prepare and send periodic communications, all subject to stamp duty, to its customers, even if they do not reside in Italy. In fact, the communication answer to the requisite, and the duty, to summarize, periodically or at least once the year, the position and value of the financial products to the bank clients, even if they are non-residents. Moreover, in the case subject to the ruling, the Revenue Agency points out that periodic banking communications are also subject to stamp duty even if sent to non-resident customers.

    The green effect: no stamp duty on deposit contracts stipulated with non-residents – With the same interpello, the Revenue Agency underlines how the deposit account contracts, stipulated by the bank with non-resident customers in Italy, are not subject independently to the stamp duty, since it is included in the substitute tax - article 13, paragraph 2-ter of the tariff, part first attached to the d.P.R. n. 642 of 1972.

    The framework proposed by the applicant - In particular, the ruling rises from the request sent by an Italian bank asking the Agency if, for a deposit account contract with and for communications to be sent to non-resident customers regarding their deposit accounts, all managed through the IT platform of a German company with which the Italian bank carries out financial activity "at a distance ", should be considered applicable the stamp duty - article 2 and article 13, paragraph 2-ter, of the first part tariff, attached to the dPR n. 642 of 1972.

    Stefano Latini

  • Italy: here is the new web tax that will apply from 1 January 2020 - 1

    Indeed, the Finance Bill for 2020, still in the process of final approval, has amended a prior version of the Italian digital services tax as introduced by the Budget Law 2019. Anyway, the last form of the web tax, as currently proposed and designed, closely aligns to the features of the proposed European Union (EU) DST Directive, with a rate of 3% on revenues generated from certain business-to-business and business-to-consumer digital services that are provided to Italian customers by companies or groups of companies that satisfy certain criteria.

    Let us to tax the tech giants, however on certain conditions – The entities subject to the web tax, whether separately or on a group basis, would have to satisfy both of the following requirements for the calendar year prior to the year in which the taxable revenue was obtained: first of all, the total amount of worldwide revenues for the relevant financial year must be at least €750m; then, the total amount of taxable revenues (i.e., those derived from the above digital services) obtained within the Italian territory during the relevant financial year must be at least €5.5m.

    Why a new web tax - Based mainly on information technology, which represents its strategic pillar, the digital economy includes all the economic activities that have developed over digital technologies and, directly or even indirectly, refer to them. The ever greater interconnection with the traditional economy, however, makes any more precise definition difficult and elusive. For example, among the various forms that the digital economy can take on is the e-commerce, a new scheme to trade and sale goods or services that is carried out through the Internet, with IT platforms of different kinds and structures. Indeed, the advent of the digital economy has led to important challenges from the fiscal point of view. In a globalized panorama of the world economy, in fact, traditional fiscal rules have found themselves facing phenomena of high mobility of taxpayers and capital, high number of cross-border transactions and internationalization of financial structures. Tax administrations have fallen behind and so governments have decided to fill the normative fiscal gap by developing new taxation models, suited to the new age of the digital economy. The web tax, or digital taxes, that are rising all over, are an answer particularly in filling the gap in identifying the tax base, a real undertaking in the digital economy, due to some specific circumstances: first of all, the supply of goods and services without a physical or legal presence; secondly, situations in which consumers access digital services free of charge, against the mere payment of their personal data and finally, the application of rights to e-commerce transactions.

    Stefano Latini