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An In-Depth Guide to Taxes in Italy

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Italy’s rich history, stunning landscapes, and exquisite cuisine make it a popular destination for tourists and expats alike. However, navigating the labyrinth of taxes in Italy can be a daunting task for newcomers. This comprehensive guide will provide you with an in-depth understanding of Italy’s tax system, covering everything from property taxes to capital gains, and even tax incentives for businesses. So, buckle up and let’s embark on this enlightening journey through the world of Italian taxes.

Key Takeaways

  • Understand the complex Italian Tax System to manage taxes properly.
  • Property transactions are subject to sales taxes, while property owners must pay maintenance taxes like IMU and TARI.
  • Filing deadlines and payment methods vary depending on type of tax. Consult a professional for specific requirements.

Understanding the Italian Tax System

italy property tax calculator

Italy’s tax system is a complex web of income, property, and other taxes. The country imposes various taxes on residents and non-residents alike. Some examples include:

  • Non-resident individuals may be subject to up to 43% tax on their rental income.
  • Non-resident companies may face a tax rate of as natural person on their rental income.
  • Italian property owners must pay a wealth tax, known as the IMU (Imposta Municipale Unica), based on the property’s cadastral value.

Property taxes in Italy fall into two primary categories: sales taxes and maintenance taxes. Sales taxes and registration tax apply to property transactions and, in specific cases, may include Value Added Tax (IVA in Italian). Maintenance taxes, such as the annual property tax (IMU) and waste collection tax (TARI), are applicable to real estate property owners. In addition to these, personal income tax is another form of taxation that individuals must consider.

Understanding the structure and rates of these taxes, although challenging, is key for property owners and investors.

Property Taxes in Italy: An Overview

how much are property taxes in italy

This section offers a comprehensive examination of Italian property taxes, highlighting the nuances of sales taxes on property transactions and maintenance taxes for property owners.

A thorough comprehension of these taxes equips you to make informed decisions about buying, selling, or maintaining a property in Italy.

Sales Taxes on Property Transactions

If you are American or simply a foreigner that want to buy a home in Italy, you should know that property transactions may be subject to sales taxes, including VAT. Registration tax is always due. The standard VAT rate (IVA) in Italy can vary from 4 to 22% depending on the cases. On the other hand, the registration tax, incurred upon the registration of a property transfer, applies to all property transactions.

There is also a significant difference if you own a property as an individual or as a legal entity. If you own a property as an individual and sell it after 5 years, no sales tax is due. On the other hand, if it is a legal entity, typically the difference between the purchase cost, minus depreciation expenses, and the selling cost will be subject to taxation.

These sales taxes should be factored in when considering the purchase of one or more real estate properties in Italy. They can significantly impact the overall cost of buying or selling a property, so make sure to account for them in your budget and consult with a professional to ensure you’re well-informed. The best advice when planning to buy or invest in Italian real estate is to contact a real estate lawyer who can provide legal assistance with all legal aspects, such as the proposal contract and the notary, and at the same time can coordinate with a tax professional.

Maintenance Taxes for Property Owners

As a property owner in Italy, you’ll be responsible for maintenance taxes, such as the IMU. The IMU is a common property tax based on the property’s cadastral value, with resident homeowners exempt from payment. The calculation of the amount is quite complicated and is based on the revalued cadastral value multiplied by a series of factors, typically 160 and 1.05, in addition to the local property tax, which varies from Municipality to Municipality.

IMU is due annually in June and December. Staying current with these maintenance taxes is necessary to avoid penalties and ensure your property remains in good standing. Keep in mind that even if you rent out your property, you’re still responsible for paying the IMU.

Capital Gains Tax in Italy

cadastral value italy

Capital gains tax, or plusvalenza, is another crucial aspect of the Italian tax system. This tax applies specifically to the profits made from selling assets, such as real estate properties and investments. When you pay capital gains tax, you are contributing to the country’s revenue based on the gains you have made.

The forthcoming sections will delve into the Italian capital gains tax, with a focus on real estate and investment capital gains.

Real Estate Capital Gains

When selling a property in Italy, the profit made from the sale, when some circustances are met, is subject to capital gains tax, known as plusvalenza. In general, this tax applies only, as seen above, to legal entities or individuals who sell before 5 years of ownership. The tax rate is different: if it is a legal entity, the value is recorded on the balance sheet and contributes to revenues, if it is an individual, the value is usually taxed according to the income tax brackets (IRPEF) or with a substitute tax at the rate of 26% upon notarization. However, some exemptions and deferrals may apply depending on the classification of the property and the seller’s circumstances.

This tax should be taken into account when planning to sell an Italian real estate, as it can affect the net profit from the sale. Consult with a professional to understand your specific situation and any exemptions or deferrals that may apply.

Investment Capital Gains

Investment capital gains tax in Italy applies to profits made from investments in a wide range of assets:

  • stocks
  • bonds
  • mutual funds
  • real estate
  • other financial instruments

Except for real estate transactions subject to a specific tax regime, the general tax rate is 26% and must be paid electronically.

For investors aiming to maximize their returns, it’s important to comprehend the investment capital gains tax in Italy. Knowing the tax rates and payment procedures can help you make informed decisions when managing your investments and ensure compliance with Italian tax laws.

Other Important Taxes and Fees

real estate tax italy

In addition to the taxes discussed so far, Italy also imposes various other taxes and fees. This section will delve into some of these additional taxes, which include Value Added Tax (VAT), land registry tax, and inheritance taxes that can affect the real estate properties owned.

By familiarizing yourself with these taxes, you can better navigate the Italian tax landscape and make more informed decisions when it comes to property ownership and investments.

Value Added Tax (VAT)

tax system in Italy

Value Added Tax (VAT) is a consumption tax imposed on goods and services in Italy, calculated as a percentage of the price of the goods or services. The standard VAT rate in Italy is 22%, with reduced rates of 10% and 4% applicable to specific goods and services.

Generally IVA is applied on real estate transactions when it comes to a new house sold by the construction company. To delve more into specifics, the tax is applied when a company sells within 5 years of construction or renovation. In such cases the IVA on the purchase of the first property is set to 4%.

Land Registry Tax

property tax in Italy for foreigners

Land registry tax is a tax imposed on the transfer of real estate in Italy. This tax is, in 2023, can be €50 or €200 and may be applicable alongside other taxes, such as cadastral tax and mortgage tax.

The land registry tax and its impact on the overall cost of the transaction should be considered when buying or selling property in Italy. Make sure to consult a tax professional to better understand this tax and its implications for your specific situation.

Inheritance Taxes

italian property taxes for foreigners and inheritance taxes

Inheritance taxes in Italy are levied on the transfer of property from one individual to another upon death. The amount of the tax is contingent upon the value of the property being transferred and the relationship between the deceased and the beneficiaries. The tax free area is set at 1 million or 100.000 euros depending on the degree of relationship.

Non-residents are also liable for inheritance tax on inherited property in Italy. When dealing with inheritance matters in Italy, understanding the rates and exemptions that apply to your specific situation is vital. Inherited matters can be quite complex and certainly require the support of an experienced attorney in inheritance law.

Tax Incentives and Exemptions

Italy offers various tax incentives and exemptions for property owners and businesses, aimed at promoting economic growth and investment.

This section will cover some of these incentives and exemptions, particularly those related to property tax and business tax.

Property Tax Exemptions

taxes in Italy

Certain property tax exemptions exist in Italy, such as resident homeowners, natural persons, being exempt from the IMU tax payment. Specific property classifications, such as A/1 are not eligible for exemptions on property tax, with the applicable tax percentage determined annually by each Comune (municipality).

Filing and Paying Taxes in Italy

Filing and pay taxes in Italy can be a complex process, with various deadlines and payment methods to consider.

This section aims to guide you through the process of filing and paying taxes in Italy, assisting you in staying compliant and current with your tax responsibilities.

Tax Filing Deadlines

Tax filing deadlines in Italy vary depending on the type of tax you’re liable for. For individual taxpayers, the deadline for filing the Modello 730 or Modello Redditi PF is the 31st of July. For corporate income tax, the ordinary filing deadline is the 30th of November.

Keep in mind that certain taxes, such as property tax, may have specific deadlines. Staying on top of these deadlines is crucial to ensure you remain compliant with Italian tax laws and avoid penalties.

Consult the Italian tax authorities or a qualified tax professional for specific deadlines and requirements to ensure you’re well-informed and able to file your taxes on time.


Navigating Italy’s complex tax system can be a daunting task, but armed with the knowledge provided in this comprehensive guide, you’ll be well-equipped to manage your taxes, especially if you’re a property owner or you are considering to purchase one in Italy. Corporate tax and private person tax can be very different and are very different when it’s about selling a real estate. From understanding the intricacies of property and capital gains taxes to exploring various tax incentives and exemptions, this guide has provided you with a solid foundation for making informed decisions when it comes to taxes in Italy.

Purchasing real estate in Italy can be an excellent form of investment, but only if you take into account all the legal and tax aspects. The collaboration of a lawyer who can coordinate the different professional figures can make the difference between a great purchase and a poor investment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do US citizens pay taxes in Italy?

Yes, US citizens living in Italy are required to file taxes with both the Italian and US governments. Failing to do so may result in penalties and legal consequences.

Do foreigners pay tax in Italy?

Non-resident foreigners who earn income in Italy are subject to tax. Thus, foreigners do pay taxes in Italy.

How much is registration fee in Italy?

Registration fee in Italy is 9% of the property’s value, based on both its fiscal and transaction values. In case of permanent residence the tax rate is set at 2%.

How is the IMU tax calculated?

The IMU tax is calculated by multiplying the cadastral rental value of a property by a coefficient, depending on the type of property, to determine the cadastral value, which is then applied as a percentage.

Get in Touch

Enrico Berti is specialized in civil and corporate law. He is a founding partner of Studio Legale Berti e Toninelli and has an extensive expertise on real estate.

Studio Legale Berti e Toninelli pratictises throughout Italy.

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