Italian residents get substantial tax breaks when buying their first Italian home: purchase tax is reduced from 9 per cent of the property's cadastral value to 2 per cent. The cadastral value is the nominal value of the property held in the land registry. For older farmhouse properties this can be low; 50 per cent of the sales price is not uncommon. Our Guide to Buying in Italy has more information on purchasing an Italian property.
From the time you complete on your property and sign the notary deed (Rogito) you have 18 months to request residency. For British buyers, with Brexit looming, it is advisable to have it in place prior to 29 March 2019. As Brexit is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma, what happens after that date remains uncertain.
Residency gives you access to the excellent Italian health care system, and it allows for free movement throughout the European Union.
Is residency the right thing for you? There are tax implications when becoming an Italian resident, so speak to your accountant about your personal tax status before taking that step.
If you do, you will need to show the following documents when applying:
Copy of your passport and codice fiscale, which is a tax code every Italian resident has and indispensible for living in Italy. Realpoint can arrange for your codice fiscale.
If you want to apply for residency before you actually own your Italian home, you will need to provide either a rental contract or equivalent. A purchase and sales agreement (compromesso) showing you intend to buy is not sufficient. When you do buy your house, your residency address will be moved to your new Italian home.
An initial Italian address needn’t even be somewhere rented with a formal rental contract. It can be with a friend you are staying with at the time of application, as councils accept hospitality agreements. You will need to fill out some forms of course, but we can check with the council on which formula fits your requirements best.
Copy of your Italian bank statement showing you have minimum of 5,825 Euros in your Italian bank account. You will need to be present in Italy to open a bank account and already have your codice fiscale.
Health care in Italy is considered a right of all Italian citizens and residents, including U.S. and Canadian citizens who are legal residents in Italy. With the Servizio Sanitario Nazionale (Italian Health System) most care is free or low-cost, including your GP, hospital visits, laboratory tests and medication. Each region is responsible for managing its own care, so expect differences between regions and carefully research the specific region before you buy. See our Discover Italy pages for information on the regions of Italy.
Copies of birth and marriage certificates are required.
It is always advisable to register with the council when you move to an area, it flags up to them that you've arrived and you intend staying permanently. Then when you have rental accommodation or have bought somewhere, you can apply for residency. The application process takes about six weeks. You also will get an Italian ID card which you should, in theory, carry with you at all times.
There is plenty to consider. If you want to discuss taking out Italian residency please contact us, we are always ready to help.