Italy’s Shifting Approach to Beneficial Ownership and Static Holding Companies

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Consulenza tributaria e tax compliance

In a series of related judgments dated December 28, 2016, the Italian Supreme Court (Corte Suprema di Cassazione) recognized that static holding companies can be the beneficial owners of dividends, emphasizing the need to apply specific criteria that account for the peculiar nature of the static holding business model. These judgments are an important step in Italian jurisprudence on beneficial ownership, and they manage to close the gap between national and international trends, rejecting any automatic correlation between static holdings and conduit companies. In this article, the authors discuss a series of recent Italian Supreme Court judgments that serve as an important milestone in the interpretation of the concept of beneficial owner (particularly as it applies to static holding companies) and help to close the gap between Italian and international rules.

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