After reviewing the most relevant issues in the economic literature, the paper offers a comparative review of the main features of capital income taxation in Italy, the EU and the US. The paper also analyses the evolution of capital tax revenue and portfolio allocation in Italy in recent years.
The analysis points to high heterogeneity in the type of tax system and in the level of taxation. In the light of recent developments concerning the automatic exchange of information at international level, differences between tax systems are expected to persist, and governments' degrees of freedom in the choice of their preferred tax system are expected to increase. In Italy the recent rise in tax rates has led to an increase in revenues, but the composition of households' financial portfolio has not changed significantly.