Geneva

Italy-Swiss tax treaty won't be in force before 2015

Berlusconi proposed scrapping IMU tax with money from treaty

Italy-Swiss tax treaty won't be in force before 2015

Geneva, February 22 - An Italian tax-treaty with Switzerland - which Italian ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi proposed using to scrap the much-hated IMU property tax - will not go into force until at least 2015, according to correspondence between Swiss politicians shown to ANSA on Friday. Berlusconi was accused of trying to buy votes earlier this month when he announced a "shock" proposal to wipe out the property tax as part of the centre right's election campaign. A subsequent campaign letter sent to millions of Italians this week was mistook by many for an actual property-tax rebate and prompted a legal complaint. Berlusconi proposed financing the reimbursement of IMU taxes paid in 2012 - as well as ditching the tax going forward - by striking a deal with Switzerland to tax financial activities there by Italian citizens, and by boosting tobacco and gambling duties. According to correspondence between Ada Marra, a member of parliament for the Vaud Canton in eastern Switzerland, and the Swiss Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlump, the Swiss tax treaty will not come into effect until at least 2015. The IMU was introduced last year by outgoing Italian Premier Mario Monti's emergency technocrat government to help Italy put its public finances in order and ease out of its debt crisis. IMU's predecessor ICI was abolished by Berlusconi's 2008-2011 government, a move which many, including Monti, have said contributed to the financial crisis that forced Berlusconi to resign as premier in November 2011.

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