They Don't Pay ANY Taxes?
About a 20-minute drive from my home sits an enormous casino which dominates the lakefront town of Campione D’Italia. In fact, if not for the casino, you'd hardly take any notice of this place!
The modern building, designed by the internationally renowned Mario Botta, ensures that the citizens of Campione D’Italia pay NO personal or municipal income taxes! No taxes? Wow what a concept!
The building that fuels this tax free town dominates over it. Photo credit: www.campioneitalia.com
One of The World’s Most Unique and Least Known Tax Havens!
Campione is one of the world's most unique and least-known tax havens, and therefore a very attractive option for those looking to escape the tax man! It is located on the lake Lugano, about a 10 minute drive from the city of Lugano and about 45 minutes from Milan.
This strange place is an Italian enclave in Swiss national and economical territory and is entirely surrounded by Switzerland. There are no border controls which means that there is complete freedom to pass in and out of the town.
The town benefits from a ferry service as well as abundant docking facilities. Photo credit: www.campioneitalia.com
What is an Enclave?
- In political geography, an enclave is a country or part of a country lying wholly within the boundaries of another country.
- The word enclave comes from the French, which in turn is derived from the Latin inclavatus meaning “shut in, locked up”.
- Some enclaves are countries on their own which are completely surrounded by another one. Examples of this would be San Marino in Italy, Vatican City and Lesotho in South Africa.
Here you see the well maintained lakefront with the city of Lugano in the distance. This and all other photos are mine.
What Are The Tax Benefits of This Haven?
Economically speaking Campione belongs to Switzerland with regard to banks, currency, duty, traffic, the postal system and the phone system.
Contrary to the rest of Switzerland there is no problem for foreigners to obtain residence as long as they provide proof of property ownership. In theory, it would even be enough to prove having rented an apartment or a house but in practice there is virtually no property available for rent because of both scarcity and demand!
The local authorities check to ensure that registered residents live at least some of the time in Campione. I can tell you that after many years of working in the area a vast number of the dwellings remain uninhabited and are quite obviously used to avoid taxation.
I once had a neighbor of mine who was a dentist and he kept a residence there but lived most of the time in Germany and in a nicer house near my home. The reason for this was simple. He paid NO TAXES!
A closer look at the colossal casino which was designed by the world famous local architect Mario Botta.
Although Campione's tax law is made within the framework of Italian tax law it has its own special regulations. There are no personal income tax and no municipal taxes at all in Campione because all of the community's income comes from its Casino!
According to a treaty between Switzerland and Italy it is necessary to use Swiss banks and therefore Campione is a part of the Swiss currency area with all payments and investments being made in Swiss Francs. Campione residents, unlike other foreigners in Switzerland, are not subject to Switzerland's double taxation agreements which it has with many other countries including the U.S.A. For this reason profits from real estate, stocks, bonds, and other transactions, whether national or international are not registered for tax purposes. They must however, be funneled through Swiss banks.
Quick Facts About Campione D’italia
- It has a small area of just 2.2 km²
- The population is about 2,200
- The enclave is, as the crow flies, less than 1 km from Italy but the mountainous terrain makes it a minimum of drive of 14 km.
The non border which marks the entrance to the town.
What is The History of Campione D’Italia?
- The Romans first settled it in the first century AD when they founded a garrison and called it Campilonum.
- In 777 Totone da Campione left the territory to the Milan and to the Monastry of Saint Ambrogio which was part of the ancient church built between 379–386 AD
- When Ticino (the southern Italian speaking Canton of Switzerland) chose to become part of the Swiss Confederation in 1798, Campione chose to remain part of Lombardy, which then became part of Italy in 1859.
Will You be Purchasing a Property in Campione D’italia?
What do You Think?
- Do you pay too much in taxes?
- Are there any tax havens near you?
- Do you actively do tax planning?
I hope that you enjoyed this article about "A Foreign Tax Haven Within Switzerland."
Until next time,
@kus-knee (The Old Dog)
Remember, if you upvote my post and leave a comment I will do my best to upvote it with some of my 41,000 plus Steem Power!