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Italy's taxman to run checks Fiat's move to UK

Italian-based companies must pay tax here, Befera says

30 January, 12:12
Italy's taxman to run checks Fiat's move to UK (ANSA) - Milan, January 30 - Italian inland-revenue agency Agenzia delle Entrate said Thursday it would check whether Fiat Chrysler Automobile's decision to move its tax base to the UK is legal.

The announcement came the day after Italian automaker Fiat consolidated its full acquisition of Detroit-based Chrysler to create the world's seventh-largest car manufacturer and announced that the new company would have registered legal headquarters in the Netherlands and its tax base in the UK, probably London.

"We will verify that Italian tax laws are being fully respected," said Agenzie delle Entrate director Attilio Befera.

"Since there is free circulation of capital and of goods and services it is normal that the tax authorities can only intervene through the rules set down by law," he explained.

If Fiat Chrysler maintains stable organisations and companies in Italy these will pay tax in Italy, he added.

The new company - the result of a $4.35-billion deal with a United Auto Workers union healthcare trust that held the remaining 41.46% share of Chrysler not yet acquired by Fiat - will be listed on the New York stock exchange with a secondary listing in Milan. On Thursday London's Financial Times played up the "politically sensitive" decision to move away from Italy and stressed how Chrysler is needed to shore up the struggling Fiat brand, which would otherwise have closed 2013 with a net loss.

On Wednesday company CEO Sergio Marchionne said the creation of Fiat Chrysler had laid "solid foundations for a global automaker with a mix of experience and know-how on a level with the best of our competitors".

Marchionne was a driving force behind the merger that took five years to achieve.