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Rome extends amnesty for tax cheaters

The Italian government has decided to extend the tax amnesty on money held in offshore accounts until April 30, 2010.

It is also increasing the fee to be paid on repatriated assets to six per cent, from the five per cent imposed under the “scudo III” amnesty, which ended on December 15 and was seen as hitting Swiss banks in the southern canton of Ticino.

According to reports, assets worth more than €100 billion (SFr150.5 billion) are going to be repatriated in future weeks.

A source told Reuters on Wednesday the government expected about €30 billion to be repatriated during the extension.

That would provide about €1.8 billion in additional tax revenues, using the new tax rate.

Government sources said the original scudo III had repatriated more than €100 billion , providing about €5 billion in tax. The figures easily surpasses government budget estimates of €3.7 billion. and agencies