Maurizio Leo

Expanded inheritance tax, the secret plan of the Meloni government

The expanded inheritance tax could be the Meloni government's secret plan to raise cash, even if it is denied for the moment.
According to what was anticipated by La Repubblica, in fact, the tax package would have taken into consideration the extension of the tax to deal with the lack of other coverage.
Definitely a sensitive topic, considering that the contestation of inheritance tax is one of the cornerstones of the centre-right, so much so that it was abolished by the first Berlusconi government, before being reintroduced by the Prodi executive.
To date, the Deputy Minister of Economy Maurizio Leo has denied an imminent intervention, declaring that "For the moment there is no talk about it".
Even if it will not be implemented together with the rest of the tax package, the expanded inheritance tax has nevertheless been seriously evaluated, ready to prove to be a series B plan to be pulled out if necessary.
According to what was reported by the newspaper, in fact, the sources of the Department of Finance clearly indicated that the discussion on the inheritance tax took place this week between Minister Giorgetti and Deputy Leo.
Not exactly an initiative in line with the government's ambitions, given that instead of abolishing it – or at least reducing it – there is talk of raising the inheritance tax.
Expanded inheritance tax? What can change According to rumors, there is an important change to the inheritance tax under consideration, with a much more burdensome tax for relatives in the 3rd degree and above.
But let's clarify, here is the inheritance tax regulation currently in force, with the rates and exemptions present for the different heirs.
Rate of 4% for spouse and relatives in the direct line (ascending and descending) on the value exceeding 1 million euros for each heir; rate of 6% for bequests to brothers and sisters, calculated on the value exceeding the 100,000 euro deductible for each; rate of 6% for other relatives up to the 4th degree and similar in collateral line up to the 3rd degree without any deductible; 8% rate for the inheritance of all other beneficiaries, calculated on the entire value without deductibles; exemption of 1.5 million euros for disabled people (law no.
104/1992) with the rate based on the degree of kinship.
This system is provided for by Legislative Decree no.
262/2006, but it could soon be modified by extending the 6% taxation to heirs above the third degree.
However, it is not clear – also because the Meloni government has for the moment denied an intervention – which point of the Decree will be modified, therefore how the exemptions will change for the heirs to whom the 6% rate will be extended.
Presumably, relatives excluded from the reduced rate of 4% will be included in the category reserved for brothers and sisters, thus maintaining at least the reduced deductible of 100,000 euros.
Otherwise, in the worst case scenario (but not entirely unlikely), the heirs from the 3rd degree onwards will also be deprived of the exemption and will be included in the current provision for relatives from the 4th degree onwards.
Basically, the 6% rate will be extended to grandchildren who will receive the inheritance from their uncles and vice versa, but it is not clear whether the regulations on in-laws will also be modified.
read also Budget 2024, the government is hunting for funds The government's secret plan The extension of the inheritance tax could come in handy when implementing the Budget, which is undoubtedly poorly covered in its 22 billion euros.
Indeed, the Bank of Italy has also announced the weakness of the fiscal package, bringing the GDP forecast to 0.8% in 2024 and declaring that the decrease in the incidence of public debt is "only marginal, with risks tending towards the upside".
However, it is true that the Mef denied this, declaring that the discussion on inheritance tax remained "just an idea, like many that are being examined".
A prompt reassurance that was unsuccessful in its intent, given that Forza Italia's response immediately arrived to distance itself completely from this initiative.
“We are absolutely against any hypothesis of an extension or increase of this tax” declared Raffaele Nevi, while the group leader in the Chamber Paolo Barelli completely denied the discussion of the inheritance tax.
The main elements of the 2024 budget law will be discussed in the Council of Ministers on Monday 16 October and actual clarifications may arrive in this regard.
read also Tax reform, from zero VAT to tax reductions for those returning from abroad: what the government will do

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