At some point down the road, the US and Italy may want to compare notes about the level of interest in their respective tax amnesty programs. The IRS has made it clear that even if you decide to atone for your tax sins, your future is still a function of what side of the bed the respective tax investigator wakes up on. Then there is the Silvio Berlusconi plan. The rules are pretty simple- divulge what you're hiding abroad, pay a fine of 5% of that amount, and your record is wiped clean. End of story. As you might guess, not everybody is fully on board with the 5% stay out of jail (almost) free plan.
"Shameful," centrist Senator Gianpiero D'Alia told the Senate, "With this, Mafiosi and terrorists can repatriate illegally gained capital without any control by the state."
"This is nothing less than a gift to the white-collar class and an insult to the principles of ethics and fairness," said Giuliano Barbolini, a parliamentarian of the opposition Democratic Party.
True as that may or may not be, with Italians hiding an estimated €600 billion in the shrinking list of tax havens, the government stands to gain a decent chunk of change with the introduction of its offshore tax rate program. It appears the country still hasn't decided whether or not to embrace the work of another famous Italian politician: Machiavelli.
Berlusconi government under fire over fraud amnesty plan [Retuers]