A 26% base standard withholding tax (WHT) rate applies on the yields on loans and securities (bonds, shares, etc.) paid by Italian resident entities to both Italian and non-Italian resident investors.
The standard WHT rate, however, may be reduced under the applicable DTTs, EU Directives, or other special domestic tax regimes (such WHT exemptions and reductions are only granted to the beneficial owner of the income).
Interest on government bonds is subject to a 12.5% domestic WHT.
Domestic corporations paying certain types of income are required to withhold as shown on the following chart. The numbers in parentheses refer to the notes below.
|Resident corporations||0||0/26 (1)||0|
|Resident individuals||26 (2)||26||20 (3)|
|EU resident corporations||0/1.2 (4, 5)||0 (4)/DTT rates||0 (4)/DTT rates|
EU supervised mutual funds
|0||0/DTT rates (if eligible)||DTT rates (if eligible)|
|Swiss resident corporations||0 (6)/DTT rates||0 (6)/DTT rates||0 (6)/DTT rates|
|Non-resident corporations and individuals:|
|Non-treaty countries||26 (7)||26||30 (3)|
|Treaty countries (8):|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina (Yugoslavia Ex)||10||10||10|
|China, People’s Republic of||10||0/10||10|
|Congo, Republic of||8/15||0||10|
|Montenegro (Yugoslavia Ex)||10||10||10|
|Serbia (Yugoslavia Ex)||10||10||10|
|Trinidad and Tobago||10/20||10||0/5|
|United Arab Emirates||5/15||0||10|
- The actual applicable rate depends on the nature of the recipient. Applicable rates are as follows: 0% applies on loan agreements and ordinary notes when the recipient is a corporation; 26% rate in all other cases.
- For resident individuals, generally a 26% WHT applies, but there is a grandfathering regime for dividends received by ‘qualified’ shareholders (i.e. holding more than 20% of voting rights or 25% of the share capital, 2% or 5% in case of listed companies) applicable to dividend distributed in 2021 but accrued up to 2017. The rate applicable to 'non-qualified shareholders' is always 26%. Non-residents are always subject to a 26% WHT, irrespective of whether or not they are 'qualified'.
- The domestic rate applies on 75% of the gross amount of the royalty paid; however, treaty ceilings apply on the gross amount of the royalty paid.
- Pursuant to the EU Directives and provided that the requirements set forth therein are met, payments of dividends, interest, and royalties made by an Italian company to an EU resident group company can be WHT exempt. Specifically for the dividends, the minimum shareholding requirement (to benefit from this exemption) is currently equal to 10%; for interest and royalties, it is 25% of voting rights; a one-year minimum holding period applies for both.
- Should the full WHT exemption not apply, 1.2% applies on dividends paid to EU and EEA tax resident corporations.
- Pursuant to the Swiss EU tax agreement and provided that the requirements contained therein are met, payments of dividends, interest, and royalties made by an Italian company to a Swiss tax resident group company can be WHT exempt.
- Non-resident persons have the right to obtain reimbursement for up to 11/26 of the withholding effected, upon proof of the actual taxation of the dividends in the foreign country where the recipient is a resident.
- Provided that all conditions are met, domestic tax legislation is applicable if more favourable for the taxpayer. In a number of circumstances, tax treaties may provide for particular tax rates mainly dependent on the nature of the instruments and on the profile of the recipients/payers. In such cases, the applicable WHT rate must be verified from an analysis of the relevant tax treaty.