Italy vs Veneto Banca, July 2017, Regional Tax Court, Case No 2691/2017

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In 2014, the tax authorities issued the Italien Bank a notice of assessment with which it reclaimed for taxation IRAP for 2009 part of the interest expense paid by the bank to a company incorporated under Irish law, belonging to the same group which, according to the tax authorities, it also controlled. In particular, the tax authorities noted that the spread on the bond was two points higher than the normal market spread.

The Bank appealed the assessment, arguing that there was no subjective requirement, because at the time of the issue of the debenture loan it had not yet become part of the group of which the company that had subscribed to the loan belonged.

It also pleaded that the assessment was unlawful because it applied a provision, Article 11(7) TUIR, provided for IRES purposes, the extension of which to IRAP purposes was provided for by Article 1(281) of Law 147/13, a provision, however, of an innovative nature, the retroactivity of which was considered to be in conflict with the Community principles of legitimate expectations and with Articles 23, 41, 42 and 53 of the Italian Constitution.

Decision of the Court

The Court dismissed the appeal and decided in favor of the tax authorities.

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