Home » From Italian banks 7 billion in taxes on 2023 profits. But three groups pay between zero and 17% thanks to tax credits

From Italian banks 7 billion in taxes on 2023 profits. But three groups pay between zero and 17% thanks to tax credits

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From Italian banks 7 billion in taxes on 2023 profits. But three groups pay between zero and 17% thanks to tax credits

MILANO – Tax season is upon us. How much will Italian banks payreturning from a record 2023 with approx 25 billion euros in profits aggregate net? While waiting for the financial statements, which will show the indirect taxes, and the withholdings on dividends, it can be estimated that the institutions active in Italy will pay a total of around ten billion euros to the tax authorities.

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Almost double that of the previous year, and despite not a single euro of the “extra profits tax” introduced six months ago by the Meloni government. The bulk, approximately 7 billion, are income taxes, a sharp increase compared to the 4 billion paid by the sector for the 2022 vintage. What we can see now, from official communications, are instead the direct taxes based on the taxable income of the institutions for the closed year. And we notice that, like the Trilussa chicken, the average rate of 20% on profits is very diversified, among those who will pay a “normal” rate of around 30% of the gross profit – typical Intesa Sanpaolo, Bpm Bank, Popular from Sondrio, we – and other groups who will not pay anything like Mpsor little (like Unicredit e Bper), thanks to tax credits resulting from past losses or devaluations.

Who takes advantage of the tax benefits and who doesn’t

The calculation is obtained from the tables of the institutes’ press releases on the 2023 data: simply compare the gross current result to the taxes item. The increase in the two items, theoretically related to each other, is consistent. The gross profits of the seven largest Italian credit groups have almost doubled, thanks to the impetuous contribution of interest margins, and exceed 30 billion euros in aggregate. The related taxes amount to 6.25 billion for the seven groups. But the tax rate is very low so he was able to benefit from tax benefits from previous activities. Groups like I have “normal” ratesntesa Sanpaolo (29% tax rate), Banco Bpm (30%), Sondrio (30%) and Credem (32%). Among those benefited by the tax there are instead Bper (10% rate on 2023 profits), Unicredit (17%) and Mps, which has positive taxation for 345 million.

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(Source: company press releases, reclassified consolidated income statement tables)

Tax differences are almost always linked to deferred tax assets (Dta), deferred tax assets that under certain circumstances become tax credits. DTAs are generated following write-downs of accounting items (as is the case with Unicreditwhich brings them from the previous management, and of the 20 billion lost by Mps last decade); or in the face of acquisitions of other banking brands in difficulty, which following their losses had deferred tax assets or tax credits: and it seems to be the case of Bper with Ligurian Carige. In the press release Mps on the 2023 accounts we read that the positive taxes of 345 million (lower than the 427 million at the end of 2022) are “mainly attributable to the evaluation of the DTAs net of taxation relating to the economic result of the year, which also benefits from the acceleration of the recovery in value of Dta from tax losses following the repeal of the ACE from 2024”, ordered by the government. The Sienese bank still holds 2.6 billion Dta “can be progressively recorded in the financial statements in the coming years and in particular in 2024 when the projections underlying the probability test will be updated, as envisaged in the 2022-26 Industrial Plan”. It can be deduced that this year too Mps he will not faint for the Exchequer. Bperwhich paid almost no taxes in 2022 thanks to its merger with Carige (from which 947 million in goodwill arose), had a positive tax benefit of 175 million in the fourth quarter of 2023, thus limiting the tax outlay on 2023 profits to 173 million. Unicredit, which paid 1.9 billion in taxes of 11.5 billion in proceeds, informs that “the fourth quarter of 2023 was positively impacted by 893 million in tax losses carried forward in Italy and by the positive outcome of theaudit tax in Germany”.

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The zero of the “extra profits tax”

The 2023 taxes would have been much higher for everyone, if the government decree on “extra profit tax” of last August had not been amended with the possibility of not paying by creating “a special non-distributable reserve 2.5 times higher than the amount of tax due”. It is a possibility that all the banks have made use of, leaving the proceeds at zero for the government, which had estimated around 2.5 billion in revenue. Intesa Sanpaolo estimated having to pay 828 million euros for the new tax, Unicredit 440 million, Mediobanca 90 million, Banco Bpm 151 million, Popolare di Sondrio 43 million, Credem 38 million, Mps 125 million, Bper 126 million, Crédit Agricole Italia 87 millions. Nobody will pay in the end, but the entire sector will create “non-distributable reserves” amounting to 6.5 and 7 billion. Which made it possible, among other things, to reduce mandatory provisions for credit risks to a minimum: on the 2023 balance sheets of the five largest banks (Intesa Sanpaolo, Unicredit, Mps, Bper, Banco Bpm) this item fell by 47%, from 6.7 billion to 3.5 billion overall. With the somewhat squinty effect of allowing the institutions to gain more, estimated at 3-4 billion. However, taxes are due on these.

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