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Italy proposes €100,000 flat tax to draw foreigners

Italy on Wednesday introduced a flat tax for wealthy foreigners in a bid to compete with similar incentives offered in Britain and Spain, which have successfully attracted a slew of rich footballers and entertainers.

ROME: Italy on Wednesday (Mar 8) introduced a flat tax for wealthy foreigners in a bid to compete with similar incentives offered in Britain and Spain, which have successfully attracted a slew of rich footballers and entertainers.

The new flat rate tax of €100,000 (US$105,000) a year will apply to all worldwide income for foreigners who declare Italy to be their residency for tax purposes.

The measure, proposed in Italy's 2017 budget, is expected to immediately draw in at least a thousand people, according to local media.

But those who would want to take advantage of the tax rate would have to have resided abroad for nine of the last 10 years, and have sufficient income to make the €100,000 price tag an attractive deal.

An additional €25,000 per person would also be added to the tax rate of those who set up Italian residency for close family members.

A person is considered an Italian resident for tax purposes if they are in the country for more than 183 days, or six months.

According to Italian tax authorities, the flat tax would be renewable every year for a maximum of 15 years.

The new tax plan is an about-face for Italy.

In 2007, the Italian tax office sued countryman Valentino Rossi, a world motorcycling champion, for unpaid taxes, rejecting his excuse that his main residence was in London. Rossi eventually paid €19 million in 2008 to settle his tax bill.