Financial Regulatory Forum

Swiss would sign Italy tax treaty if off blacklist

By Reuters Staff
November 5, 2009

ROME, Nov 5 (Reuters) – Switzerland’s Economy Minister Doris Leuthard, visiting Rome on Thursday in the midst of a dispute over tax policies, said her country was willing to sign a double taxation treaty with Italy but only if it was removed from a blacklist of tax havens.

Italy’s conservative government, which has launched a generous tax amnesty for funds held illicitly overseas, issued a list of 36 countries where Italians could pay a one-off fine but keep their money overseas.

Switzerland was one of the countries excluded and placed on a blacklist of countries not cooperating.

The dispute escalated last week when police and tax inspectors raided dozens of Swiss banks in Italy, and Switzerland summoned the Italian ambassador to demand an explanation.

“Switzerland wants to sign (tax) deals with our most important neighbours. We don’t want to be on Italy’s black list and that would be a condition,” Leuthard told reporters.
(Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte) ((daniel.flynn@thomsonreuters.com; +39 06 8522 4394; Reuters messaging: daniel.flynn.reuters.com@reuters.net, Rome Newsroom))

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