Italian Tax Regime Applicable to Interest on Loans Granted by Non-Italian Resident Banks to Italian Residents – Certain Considerations in Light of the Recent Positions of the Italian Tax Authorities

The Italian tax authorities together with the Italian tax police are sending tax questionnaires to non-Italian financial institutions and banks aimed at assessing whether the mentioned non-Italian entities have realized Italian-source income (including, inter alia, interest on loans granted to Italian individuals not acting as withholding tax agents) which has not been reported and taxed in Italy. Such tax questionnaires follow the release of Ruling 41/2018, whereby the same tax authorities stated that interest on loans, granted by a Swiss bank without an Italian permanent establishment to Italian residents, qualifies as Italian-source income to be taxed in Italy at the rate provided by the applicable tax treaty even when the borrower does not qualify as Italian withholding tax agent. This article intends to provide a preliminary description of the Italian tax rules applicable to interest on loans granted to Italian residents by non-Italian resident banks also in light of the recent changes in laws and recent guidelines issued by the Italian tax authorities.