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Sophia Loren wins 40-year battle with Italian tax man

Italian actress Sophia Loren poses during the arrivals for the launching of the Pirelli Calendar 2013 in Rio de Janeiro November 27, 2012. R
Italian actress Sophia Loren poses during the arrivals for the launching of the Pirelli Calendar 2013 in Rio de Janeiro November 27, 2012. R

ROME (Reuters) - It was a long time coming - nearly 40 years to be precise - but Sophia Loren finally got her revenge against someone who many love to hate: the tax man.

The Italian screen siren, 79, won a drawn-out battle over a tax dispute dating back to 1974.

Italy's top court on Wednesday agreed with the diva's accountants, who said she should have paid tax on 60 percent of her 1974 earnings - or the equivalent of 276,000 euros ($380,400) - instead of the 70 percent that had been demanded by the tax authorities. Italy at the time was using the lira.

Her lawyer, who had filed appeals for decades, called the whole process "Kafkaesque" but said his client, who lives in Switzerland, welcomed what she called "a miracle".

Loren, a Neapolitan urchin who shot to planetary stardom after World War Two and won an Oscar in 1961 for her role in "Two Women", is no stranger to tussles with the tax man.

In 1982, she spent 17 days in a women's jail in southern Italy as part of a plea bargain over her failure to file an income tax return. She blamed her accountant for forgetting to file it.

(Reporting By Philip Pullella; editing by Tom Pfeiffer)

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