Sunday, June 11, 2023

"Billionaires Are Moving to Italy for Tax Relief. Should I Join Them?"

Bringing to mind the quote attributed to Oscar Wilde.*

Mansion Global via Barron's Penta, June 9:

Every week, Mansion Global poses a tax question to real estate tax attorneys. Here is this week’s question.

Q. How much should I make in order to take advantage of Italy’s tax relief scheme for new residents and how does it work?

Introduced in 2017, Italy has a special tax status for foreign nationals, or non-Italian tax residents, that was designed to increase investment from high-net-worth individuals.

The regime allows non-domiciled Italian residents to pay an annual flat-tax of €100,000 (US$107,000) on foreign income instead of ordinary progressive tax rates. This is regardless of the amount of income produced during the tax year. Family members can be part of the scheme and their assets are taxed at an additional annual fee of €25,000.

So, how much do you need to earn to make it tax efficient?

“It’s difficult to say as it depends on the individual’s tax planning and the taxation of the individual before they moved to Italy. They would need to be paying above the tax threshold [€100,000] annually to make it worth their while,” said Michele Menato, an Italian and English solicitor and senior partner at B & M Law LLP in London.

Under the rules, the Italian “non-dom” regime applies to any individual of any nationality for up to 15 years from the first year of tax residence. It reduces tax filing obligations and has other financial benefits, including the family member allowance, which offers tax savings. The relief has attracted investors previously deterred by Italy’s high rates of taxation.

The tax break covers most non-Italian sources of income, but it does have some restrictions including Italian-sourced income and capital gains on foreign investments and deriving from the sale of a qualified shareholdings in the first five years after opting into the flat-rate regime. They are taxable with ordinary tax rates....

*January 2019
"Join it".... 
....And the Oscar Wilde anecdote paraphrased as our headline?
Probably didn't happen.

From Quote Investigator:
“There is a Conspiracy of Silence Against Me. What Should I Do, Oscar?” “Join It.”
Oscar Wilde? Augustine Birrell? Lewis Morris? Fictional?
Dear Quote Investigator: There is a popular anecdote about Oscar Wilde that is very funny, but it is also implausible in my opinion. The story claims that Wilde was speaking with a terrible poet who had recently published a book of verse. The rhymer complained that no one was reviewing his work. He felt it was being deliberately ignored.
“There is a conspiracy of silence against my book, Oscar. What should I do?”
“Join it,” replied Oscar.
This is a cleverly cutting remark, but I do not believe that Wilde would have been that cruel. In my readings he always seemed to be a gracious conversationalist, and he would not issue this type of direct insult to someone. Could you research this anecdote and quotation?

Quote Investigator: This is an intriguing question but it is not an easy one to probe. QI has located strong evidence that some people who knew Wilde and knew about this incident expressed an opinion similar to yours. Friends of Wilde tell a version in which he did not directly insult the target of this comical barb.

Yet, the earliest published reports of this episode located by QI depict Wilde delivering the quip during a face-to-face encounter with the poet. For example, the following version of the story appeared in a review called “The Critic” on October 13, 1894, and this account was widely disseminated in other reviews and journals during the next few years [TCCS]:
The Bookman tells an amusing story of Mr. Oscar Wilde and a certain poet, who shall be nameless. The bard complained to the aesthete that a book of his had been practically ignored by certain critics. “There is a conspiracy of silence against my book,” he said. “What should you do about it, if you were I?” “Join it,” was the answer.
A very different account was presented by a biographer of Wilde named Robert Harborough Sherard in “The Real Oscar Wilde” in 1916. In this version, the poet, identified as Lewis Morris, asks for advice from the statesman Augustine Birrell. At a later time Birrell communicates the query to Wilde who responds acerbically [ROCS]:
Apropos of conspiracies of silence, there is a frequently told anecdote that the poet, Lewis Morris, having complained to Oscar that there was a conspiracy of silence against him was promptly advised to join it. I never believed that Oscar Wilde would have said such a thing to a brother poet, because I never knew him wilfully to hurt anybody’s feelings, and for another thing, this particular poet was an eminently well-meaning if tedious personage, insufficiently popular to excite anybody’s hostility....
"an eminently well-meaning if tedious personage, insufficiently popular to excite anybody’s hostility...."
Ouch again.