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Switzerland top choice for Italian tax dodgers

More than two thirds of the assets and capital hidden by Italians abroad and declared under an ongoing Italian tax amnesty were held in Switzerland.

This content was published on February 17, 2010 - 15:11

The Bank of Italy announced on Wednesday that €59.9 billion (SFr87.95 billion) of the €85.1 billion declared by February 15 had been concealed across the Swiss border.

Of the Swiss total, €24.9 billion have returned to Italy while the remaining €35 billion have only been technically repatriated through a special instrument designed to dispose of ownership of the assets, while remaining in Switzerland.

The original three-month amnesty expired on December 15 but the Italian government decided to extend it, with a higher tax rate, until the end of April.

Those who met the February 15 deadline had to hand over six per cent of the total declared. The rate now rises to seven per cent for the final two months. In December alone the amnesty netted €5 billion for the Italian exchequer.

While the majority of Italians with assets to conceal brought their business to the Italian-speaking Swiss canton of Ticino, the second most popular destination for undeclared Italian funds was Luxembourg (€7.3 billion), according to the Bank of Italy.

Monaco, San Marino and Austria also had their share of Italian account holders.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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