You will be aware that since January 2016 the Common Reporting Standard has now been in effect. This is an OECD agreed standard for most nations around the world to automatically report tax and financial information of individuals, to one another, on a regular basis. This circumvents the historical need for the individual to accurately report their financial information on a tax return to ensure that the relevant level of tax revenue is collected. Now, this information is reported directly to the tax authorities and the information declared in your tax return needs to ‘tally’ with that which the authorities, theoretically, already know.
So, were you one of the 30,000 at the start of 2018? I was !
You may wonder what this relates to? In January 2018 it is reported that the Agenzia delle Entrate sent out up to 30,000 letters to people whom they knew had money held overseas, to ask them to report accurately the money they held outside Italy and to ensure a ‘ dichiarazione integrativa’ was completed before the next tax filing date in order to correct any discrepancies. I was the lucky recipient of one of those letters.
Thankfully my overseas financial affairs have always been ‘in regola’ with the Italian authorities. However, the letter prompted me to take a closer look to ensure I had not missed anything. Indeed, it turned out that I had missed a grand total of £500 from my last Italian tax return.
However, this does beg the question whether the Agenzia delle Entrate knew about this or whether it just sent a generic letter ( all the letters were the same and generic in nature) to put the cat amongst the pigeons, to coin a phrase. I am of the mind that it is the latter, but am I willing to take the risk? Absolutely not.
Are you paying more than you need to be?
My experience over the years has been, that in most cases, you may be paying more than you need to. There are a number of financial planning opportunities, to protect, reduce, and avoid certain taxes in Italy, that few take advantage of unless you undertake a closer look at your full financial affairs whilst living in Italy.