Smarter successions, family agreements change


By John

The government aims to simplify the whole body legislation concerning successions and the many obligations currently foreseen. We also intervene on inheritances and taxes for stamp duty, registration, mortgage and special cadastral taxes which concern the services of the Revenue Agency. The aim is for a single tribute. There is also change in family agreements (trusts). The interventions are foreseen by a legislative decree which will arrive on the table of the Council of Ministers tomorrow and is another step of the tax reform. The aim is to also introduce self-assessment of taxes for inheritance, as already happens, for example, for tax returns. Furthermore, the trust legislation is updated and the tables relating to obligations are revised.

As regards succession – we read in a draft of the decree – «the declaration is presented using the electronic methods established by order of the director of the Revenue Agency. For non-residents, the declaration can be sent by registered mail or other equivalent means which clearly indicates the date of dispatch”. In short, even for the succession we arrive at a sort of pre-compiled. We will also say goodbye to stamp duty, mortgage and land registry taxes, special land registry taxes and mortgage taxes: they will be replaced by a single tax, “possibly in a fixed amount”, explained the Mef. To facilitate the methods of payment of taxes and make collection systems more efficient, the use of electronic means of payment is also envisaged. New rules also on trusts in the direction of facilitating generational transitions. For example, it is envisaged that transfers, also carried out through family agreements (of referred to in articles 768-bis and following of the civil code) in favor of descendants and spouses, of companies or branches thereof, of company shares and shares are not subject to the tax. The benefit applies on condition that the assignees hold control for a period of no less than five years from the date of the transfer.

Trusts are therefore also added to inheritance tax from a regulatory point of view and it is specified that if the trust is resident in the State at the time of the separation of assets, the tax is due for all assets and rights transferred to the beneficiaries. If the disposer is not resident in Italy at the time of the separation of assets, the tax will be due only on the assets and rights transferred to the beneficiary present in the territory of the State. Membership fees are not included in the regulations. For donations, the deduction of taxes paid abroad for the donation and existing assets is envisaged. The text will also be an opportunity to update rules, to do drafting, as the technicians say: “registry office” and “registry offices” (abolished since 2002) are replaced by the following: “revenue agency office”. The same for the Ministry of Culture.