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Paying Tax on your Italian Property

Tax law changes each year in Italy and you must consult a commercialista (tax professional) before making any decisions which may change your status or liability. It is advisable that you also consult an accountant or advisor back home. Taxation is very high in Italy with Italians handing over 40% of their gross income to the authorities. However foreigners can elect to be a taxpayer in Italy or in their home country. It may be more beneficial to keep your tax affairs at home allowing you to enjoy the cheap cost of living in Italy, without having to pay high tax.

Once you become an owner of an Italian property, you will become liable for another new tax, ICI (Imposta Comunale sugli Immobili). This is a property tax levied by the comune (the equivalent of your local council in the UK) and based on the rateable value (valore catastale) of your house, similar to that of the Council Tax in the UK. The only way that you can pay this tax is by queueing-up at the post office twice each year (it is not possible to pay by cheque or direct debit).

Tax is payable on completion of your property purchase such as L’imposta del registro. There is also IVA (VAT) to pay if you buy property directly from a builder or a housing association. This ranges from around 4%-10% depending on whether the property is to be your main residence, a second home and whether or not you already live in the area (municipality).