Campione d'Italia

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Campione d'Italia

Post by TopContender on Fri Jan 01 2010, 19:35

In the past we have talked about how tax havens have been killed, but this one seems really cool. Henrik does this place really have an advantage over other havens?

http://baumanblog.sovereignsociety.com/2008/03/back-door-to-sw.html

Back Door to Switzerland - Campione d’Italia

Switzerland probaby is the world’s most famous financial haven, but there’s a residential tax haven that is most unsusal. It's a little lakeside enclave geographically surrounded by Switzerland -- and it’s under Italian jurisdiction!

"Commune di Campione," as the Italians call it, on the shores of beautiful Lake Lugano, is unique; a little plot of Italian soil, completely surrounded by Swiss territory. There are no border controls and complete freedom of travel.

Home to about 3,000 people (including a thousand foreigners) in the southern Swiss canton of Ticino, it's about 16 miles north of the Italian border and five miles by road from Lugano, Switzerland, a beautiful scenic drive around the lake which you'll enjoy as much as I have.

With no Campione border controls, there is complete freedom of transit. The village uses Swiss banks, currency, postal service, and telephone system. Even automobile license plates are Swiss. Strangely enough, because of ancient history and treaties, the enclave legally is part of the territory of the Republic of Italy.

Campione_2 Campione is a pleasant place to live, located in the heart of one of the best Swiss and nearby Italian tourist areas. The region boasts lakes, winter sports, and the cultural activities of Milan, Italy, only a hour away by auto.

All that’s needed to become an official resident is to rent or buy property here, although formal registration is required. However living here is very expensive; a very small townhouse may cost US$750,000 or more. Foreigners can buy real estate without restrictions, unlike in Switzerland. But real estate prices are well above those in surrounding Ticino. Condominiums range from US$5,500 to $6,500 per square meter, and broker fees add a 3% commission. The real estate market is very small and prices extremely high. The same apartment across the lake in Switzerland can easily cost half of what it costs in Campione.

This small market is served by a few local real estate agents, some of whom operate rather unprofessionally and some without a license. A foreign buyer has to be very careful. If you're interested in a residence in Campione and purchasing real estate, you should be represented by a competent lawyer from the beginning.

Business

Corporations registered in Campione have advantages over Swiss companies. They use Swiss banking facilities and have a mailing address that appears to be Swiss, while escaping Switzerland’s income and withholding taxes. Corporations are governed by Italian corporate law and can be formed with a minimum capitalization of about US$1,000. Corporations can be owned and directed entirely by foreigners, a status Swiss law limits to some degree. Corporate registrations are usually handled by Italian lawyers in nearby Milan, and fees are modest. As part of Italy, EU business regulations do apply to Campione businesses, as do Italian corporate taxes which can be high.

The official currency is the strong Swiss franc and the euro as well. Banking is done through Swiss banks, which gives residents legally guaranteed financial privacy. A famous gambling casino generates substantial revenue, another reason local residents enjoy special tax concessions. Campione is exempt from the Italian value added tax (VAT). However, the tax advantages only apply to private persons resident in Campione, and not to companies domiciled or managed from there.

Residents of Campione do not pay the full Italian income tax. Based on a special provision in Italian law, the first CHF 200’000 (US$163,000) of income is changed into euros, the official currency in Italy, at a special exchange rate. This produces a lower taxable income and consequently a lower tax rate is applied. However this only applies on the first CHF 200’000 of income. Besides this special concession, the usual Italian tax laws and tax rates apply. As in Italy, there are no inheritance or gift taxes, and income from interest of foreign bonds paid through an Italian bank is taxed at a special, reduced rate of 12.5% only. To say that the Italian authorities are less than zealous in collecting taxes here is an understatement.

Residence

To obtain a Campione residence permit, you must buy an apartment or a house. There is very rarely an opportunity to rent. Usually police clearance from the Italian authorities as well as approval by the local Campione authorities is also required. While residence permits are issued by Italian authorities, access to the territory of Campione is governed by Swiss visa regulations. This means that the passport you hold should allow you to enter Switzerland without a visa otherwise you will have to apply for a Swiss visa beforehand. A passport is required for entry into Switzerland but a visa is not required for U.S. citizens for stays of up to 90 days.

Obtaining facts about Campione is much more difficult than for other tax havens because the enclave does not promote itself. There is no central office of information. Outsiders are not unwelcome, but no one readily volunteers news about this secret haven. A personal visit is mandatory for anyone seriously interested in making this their home.

If you're interested, I have a full chapter all about Campione d'Italia in my new book, just published, Swiss Money Secrets, Click here: https://www.sovereignsociety.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=73
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Re: Campione d'Italia

Post by Henrik on Fri Jan 01 2010, 21:02

Yeah, Campione is a very interesting place. The casinos are popular for people from Lugano and Zurich. The problem is that it is fairly difficult to get established there although it is always possible. If you are interested I could probably help you get some more information about it.

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Re: Campione d'Italia

Post by TopContender on Fri Jan 01 2010, 22:40

Oh I won't be doing any serious banking like that for a few more years. I just came across an article, and thought it was cool.
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Re: Campione d'Italia

Post by Henrik on Fri Jan 01 2010, 22:51

I have to say that the only recommendation I can give to people domiciled in the US is to declare. It is becoming almost impossible to avoid paying these days, and the foreign and off-shore banks are more and more simply refusing US domiciled people as clients.

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