Italy: The Italian tax on financial transactions
International Tax Review is part of the Delinian Group, Delinian Limited, 4 Bouverie Street, London, EC4Y 8AX, Registered in England & Wales, Company number 00954730
Copyright © Delinian Limited and its affiliated companies 2023

Accessibility | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Modern Slavery Statement

Italy: The Italian tax on financial transactions



Giuliano Foglia

Giovanni d’Ayala Valva

Anticipating the decision of the Council of the European Union of January 22 2013 as to the implementation in the EU, under enhanced cooperation, of a harmonised financial transaction tax, the 2013 Financial Law (Law No 228 of December 24 2013) introduced into the Italian system a new indirect tax on certain financial transactions (also known as a Tobin tax). On February 1 2013, the Italian Ministry of Economics and Finance posted on its website for public consultation a draft of Ministerial Decree which provides specific and detailed rules aimed at implementing the Tobin tax (the English version of the draft decree is available at The final version of the Decree is expected to be enacted by the end of February.

According to the 2013 Financial Law, the Tobin tax shall apply to the following financial transactions:

(i) Equity transactions such as (a) transfer of the ownership of shares (including the acquisition of shares following the conversion of convertible bonds) and equity-like financial securities issued by companies resident in Italy (shares); (b) transfer of the ownership of financial instruments representing shares irrespective of the issuer's residence (for instance American depository receipts);

(ii) Derivatives rransactions such as (a) transactions on financial derivatives having as their main underlying asset shares; (b) transactions on financial derivatives the value of which depends primarily on one or more shares; (c) financial transactions on securities allowing mainly the purchase or the sale of shares or financial transactions that give rise to a cash settlement determined on the basis of shares (for example equity settled derivatives or cash settled derivatives, including warrants, covered warrants and certificates);

(iii) High frequency trading (HFT) of securities under (i) and (ii).

The Tobin tax shall be due irrespective of whether or not the relevant transaction is executed in Italy and regardless of where the parties reside.

The tax rates and the taxable basis shall vary depending on the type of transaction and on the relevant market.

The Tobin tax on equity transactions shall be applicable starting from March 1 2013 at the rate of 0.22% (reduced to 0.2% from 2014). For transactions occurring in regulated markets or multilateral trading facilities established in an EU member state or in a qualified EEA State, the ordinary rate is reduced to 0.12% (reduced to 0.1% from 2014).

The taxable basis for equity transactions is the "value of the transaction" which is defined as (i) the net daily balance of the transactions executed and settled on the same day by the same entity with respect to the same financial instrument; or (ii) the paid price.

The Tobin tax on derivatives transactions shall be applicable starting from July 2 2013 and consists of flat amounts (from €0.01875 to €200) varying on the value of the contract and on the type of financial derivative. The Tobin tax on derivatives is reduced by 20% for transactions executed in regulated markets and in multilateral exchange facilities.

The Tobin tax on HFT shall be applicable from March 1 2013 to transactions occurring in the Italian financial market relating to the securities mentioned above. The tax shall be applied at a 0.02% rate on the counter-value of orders automatically generated by a computerised mathematical algorithm within a certain time frame.

Certain exclusions apply to qualified transactions (such as gifts, inheritances, transactions occurring into the primary market) and qualified counterparties (for example EU central banks, and qualified international organisations).

The taxable person is the transferee for the equity transaction, each counterparty for the derivatives transactions and the person on whose behalf the transactions are executed for the HFT.

Under certain conditions, also non-resident tax intermediaries qualify as withholding agent and as such are responsible for levying and paying Tobin Tax.

Giuliano Foglia ( and Giovanni d'Ayala Valva (

Vitali Romagnoli Piccardi e Associati

Tel: +39 06 3218022 (Rome); +39 02 58 31 37 07 (Milan)


more across site & bottom lb ros

More from across our site

Mexico is advised to eliminate its zero-rating for VAT, Hong Kong cuts stamp duty, road tax rates fall across the OECD and G20, and more
Ulf Johannemann, who has been on trial in Frankfurt since September, was the firm’s most senior tax partner until 2019
Important dates for the Women in Business Law Awards for 2024 revealed
More than 1,000 PwC staff in China and Hong Kong engaged in improper answer sharing, it is understood
Yusuf Akhmadi of Indonesia’s Directorate General of Taxation reports on the country’s latest domestic and cross-border initiatives to clamp down on tax evasion
The new rate is a blow to Samsung, while two law firms have made significant tax hires into their respective Washington DC offices
Rema Serafi, KPMG’s first-ever female vice chair for tax, talks about breaking the mould in an exclusive interview with ITR
The metal multinational’s victory, in a case worth $12 million, continues the trend of companies coming out on top against India’s revenue department
Guy Bud and Matthew Greene from litigation firm Stewarts review a dispute on tiered partnerships, which raises questions on corporation tax and partnership law
The stagnating pay and tax bonuses cap follow slashed payouts for the deals team and business consolidation in the last month