On 20 October the Revenue Agency finally published the final text of Circular no. 34/E, reporting significant clarifications on the direct and indirect taxation of the institution and on the tax monitoring burden on the identified beneficiaries.
This text was eagerly awaited by professionals and in general by all the actors involved in inheritance and asset protection issues.
The main clarifications concerned the following aspects:
• Indirect taxation: the now consolidated jurisprudence of legitimacy of the Supreme Court is acknowledged by the Agency, which considers the act of "endowment" of trust assets and rights, as an act subject to fixed registration tax as it is not comparable to an actual transfer of goods or rights with concrete "enrichment" of the beneficiaries. Only the subsequent allocation of capital by the trust to the beneficiary really integrates the requirements for being subject to gift / inheritance tax
• Direct taxation: the nature of capital gains is confirmed for the attributions made by opaque trusts (ie trusts without “identified” income beneficiaries) and similar institutions (foundations) established in countries with privileged taxation in favor of Italian subjects. The purpose of this provision is to avoid that the tax residence of the trust in a country with a privileged tax regime entails the substantial de-taxation of the income attributed to Italian subjects.
The circular also incorporating the provisions of Legislative Decree no. 124/2019 emphasizes the presence of a presumption relating to the attributions to the beneficiaries, providing that if it is not possible to distinguish between income and assets, the entire amount received by the beneficiary must be considered income with the tax consequences of the case.
• Fiscal monitoring: it is specified that the beneficiaries of opaque foreign trusts as beneficial owners and on the basis of the information available, are obliged to indicate in part Rw the amount of the related credit due from the trust, in addition to investments and to financial assets held abroad.
Our staff is available to provide you with more information on the matter.