Case Note on Supreme Court case Cass. 2618- 2020 – National Westminster Bank Plc as Trustee of the Baring Global Growth Trust v Italian Revenue Agency

Di Philip Baker -

The decision of the Italian Supreme Court (la Corte Suprema di Cassazione) of 5th February 2020 in the case of National Westminster Bank Plc as trustee of the Baring Global Growth Trust v Italia Revenue Agency has been drawn to my attention. (1) That case discusses a claim by the trustee of a trust in the United Kingdom to the benefit of the double taxation convention between the United Kingdom and Italy (“the Convention”), (2) and I have been asked to comment on this case, particularly from the perspective of UK taxation of the trust. For reasons explained below, and with the greatest respect for the Supreme Court, the case should have been decided in the opposite way in my view, and the decision is problematic for collective investment vehicles (“CIVs”) investing in Italy.