A trust can be registered in Italy with the purpose of managing the assets of a beneficiary. The assets are being transferred by a trustor (which can be represented by an organization or an individual) to a trustee (the person or the company which manages the respective assets) through a fiduciary relation. The assets – including funds – are managed in the name of a beneficiary and our team of lawyers in Italy can offer advice on the main procedures which must be concluded in this case.
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Trusts in Italy
Natural persons or legal entities interested in setting up a trust in Italy should know that this type of legal entity is rather new on the Italian market. Italy doesn’t have a specific rule of law regulating trusts, but it does provide a domestic regulation referring to the taxation of such vehicles.
The recognition of trusts in Italy dates back to 1985, when an international convention was ratified with the Italian representatives.
Hague Convention in Italy
Trusts in Italy are legally recognized in this country under the regulations of the Hague Convention on the Law Applicable to Trusts and Their Recognition, signed on 1 July 1985. Italy ratified the legislation in its domestic legal system on 16 October 1989 and it became applicable in 1992. The legislation aimed at a harmonized legal system referring to the recognition of foreign and local trusts. In this sense, it is important to know that trusts are legally recognized only if they are established through a written document and our team of attorneys in Italy can offer more details.
Finance Act in Italy
In 2007, the Italian government enacted the Finance Act, which also established regulations for the taxation of trusts. Italian Agency of Revenue, the governmental institution which imposes the Italian taxation system, provides a clear image of the taxation of trusts, as follows:
• trusts are independent entities, liable to taxation;
• they are liable to paying the corporation tax.
The Italian legislation distinguishes between transparent trusts (in which the beneficiaries are publicly acknowledged) and opaque trusts (the beneficiaries are not identified).
When opening a trust in Italy, it is also necessary to obtain a value added tax number, as well as a tax code number.
Businessmen interested in further information on the Italian trusts are invited to contact our law firm in Italy for legal assistance.