Market Taxation Guide - Italy

29.09.2014

This Market Taxation Guide (Italy) provides the following details:

  • Reference information about all taxes applied at source, through Clearstream Banking and its local depositories, to securities deposited in Clearstream Banking; and
  • Instructions for obtaining relief at source or a refund of withholding tax, where these are available, through Clearstream Banking.

New and improved tax information and procedures that become available will be included on an ongoing basis.

Important note:

This Market Taxation Guide (including any attachments and other links) is for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be considered to be legal advice on any subject matter. Readers of this Market Taxation Guide, whether customers or otherwise, should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in this Market Taxation Guide without seeking appropriate legal or other professional advice.

Withholding tax

Debt securitiesHolding restriction?Withholding tax rateRelief at
source
Quick
refund
Standard
refund
No12.5% / 26% a
Residents of a White List countryYesNoYes
Central banks or other entities that manage state reservesYesNoYes
Supranational organisations recognised by Italian lawYesNoYes
Italian resident corporationsYesNoNo
EquitiesHolding restriction?Withholding tax rateRelief at
source
Quick
refund
Standard
refund
No0% / 26% a
Residents of a Double Taxation Treaty (DTT) countryYesYesYes
EU/EEA pension fundsYesYesYes
EU/EEA entities subject to corporate taxYesYesYes
Supranational organisations recognised by Italian lawYesYesYes

a. The 26% tax rate became applicable on 1 July 2014. Between 1 January 2012 and 30 June 2014 the applicable rate on corporate bonds was 20%.

Capital gains tax

Capital gains on Italian securities (that is, equities that do not constitute qualified participations1 or debt securities) are subject to capital gains tax in Italy at a rate of 26%.

The 12.5% rate applies for capital gains derived from qualified holdings on which progressive taxation applies and from transactions in Italian equities, warrants, government bonds and public debt equivalent (bonds issued by officially recognised organisations (for example, BEI, BIRS etc.)) and foreign government bonds issued by "White List" countries.

Italian securities held in Clearstream Banking are subject to the "regime ordinario" (the ordinary or declarative regime) whereby the beneficial owner declares gains in an annual Italian tax return and pays due tax directly to the Italian Tax Authorities. Clearstream Banking does not apply capital gains tax at source, either as custodian under the "regime amministrato" or as asset manager under the "regime gestito".

Customers must be aware that all transactions producing taxable capital gains (that is, if the final beneficial owner is taxable) must be reported.

Transactions in Italian securities undertaken by the following beneficial owners, under the particular conditions indicated, are subject to tax on capital gains and must therefore be reported:

  • (Debt / equities) Residents of a country that either does not have a DTT in force with Italy or whose DTT does not provide for tax exemption on capital gains;
  • (Debt / equities) Certain Italian residents that hold Italian securities through a non-resident intermediary such as, but not limited to, individuals and non-commercial entities;
  • (Equities) Residents of a country, that is not a White List country, enjoying capital gains from non-qualified participation in unlisted securities.

Customers are responsible for ensuring the eligibility of beneficial owners that can be exempted from tax on capital gains (and whose transactions will therefore not be reported) and for keeping adequate documentation available for eventual inquiry by the Italian Tax Authorities.

Furthermore, it is the responsibility of beneficial owners to comply, through their annual fiscal declaration, with all legal and regulatory requirements imposed by Italian legislation, as well as by the legislation of their country of residence, in respect of transactions producing taxable capital gains.

Clearstream Banking recommends its customers to seek advice from their tax advisor.

Stamp Duty

There is no stamp duty withheld through Clearstream Banking on securities held in Clearstream Banking. Stamp duty may however be payable on specific transactions. Clearstream Banking does not assist in this regard. Please consult your tax advisor for further information.

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1. A holding of shares and/or warrants of a listed company is a “qualified participation” if the beneficial owner has owned more than 2% of the voting rights or more than 5% of the capital of the company and has sold more than 2% of the voting rights or more than 5% of the capital of the company in any 12-month period thereafter.