Italy: Property Taxes On Real Estates And Financial Assets Owned Abroad By Italian Residents And On Assets Subject To The Tax Amnesty

Last Updated: 25 June 2012
Article by Batini Colombo Saottinis' Tax Team

1 INTRODUCTION

Article 19 of the Law Decree no. 201 dated 6.12.2011 converted into the Law dated 22.12.2011 no. 214, called "Monti's Decree", has introduced:

  • A new tax equal to 0,76% on real estate properties placed abroad and owned by individuals resident in Italy, starting from 2011;
  • A new tax equal to 0,10% for 2011 and 2012, and to 0,15% starting from 2013, on financial assets owned abroad by individuals resident in Italy;
  • A new special duty stamp tax equal to 1% for 2012, to 1,35% for 2013 and to 0,4% starting from 2014, on amounts repatriated according to the tax amnesty and still not disclosed;
  • An extraordinary tax equal to 1% on amounts subject to the tax amnesty that have been partially or fully withdrawn from the deposit.

Afterwards, article 8 of the Law Decree no. 16 dated 2.3.2012, converted into the Law no. 44 dated 26.4.2012, has substantially modified the above mentioned new taxes, introducing:

  • A specific taxable base on foreign real estate properties in case they are placed in the European Union (EU) or in the European Economic Space (EES) that grant information exchange (Norway and Island);
  • The measure about the new tax on financial assets owned abroad that is now calculated on a fix base and is applied to accounts opened in a financial institution resident in the EU or in the EES granting information exchange.
  • Some amendments to the calculation taxes due on assets subject to the tax amnesty and deadlines for their payments

Enforcing measures

With disposition of the Tax Agency no. 72442 dated 5.6.2012 the enforcing measures have been issued .

2 THE NEW TAXATION ON FOREIGN REAL ESTATE PROPERTIES

The so called "Monti's Decree" has introduced a new tax on real estates value (buildings and land) placed abroad, for any use, owned by individuals resident in Italy.

The tax is due for real estate properties owned with any right.

Real estate properties disclosed under the last tax amnesty through the regularization procedure are also subject to the new tax.

2.1 EFFECTIVE DATE

The said new taxi s applied starting from 2011 (therefore they have to be included in the UNICO 2012 form).

2.2 TAXABLE SUBJECTS

Are subject to the payment of the new tax on foreign real estate properties the individuals considered resident in Italy for fiscal purposes who are:

  • Owner of the properties (landlords);
  • Or owner of any other real right.

On the contrary the following real estate properties placed abroad are excluded from the new tax:

  • owned by companies and similar legal entities;
  • trusts;
  • non commercial entities.

2.3 TAX CALCULATION

The tax rate is set at 0,76% and has to be applied:

  • on the cost value of the property as deriving from the sale-and-purchase agreement or from any other agreement available;
  • in case none of the above is available, on the market value of the property available for the place where it is placed.

In case the asset is no more owned by the tax payer on December 31st, the value that has to be considered is the one at the end of the period of ownership.

The value of real estate properties acquired through an inheritance procedure is the one included in the inheritance return or in the registered SPA or, if none of the above is available, the cost suffered by the late parent or by the donor as resulting from any documentation, or in case of missed documentation, the market value of the property available for the place where it is placed.

In case the value is expressed in a currency different from Euro, the exchange rate to be applied is the one applicable for the filing of RW paragraph of the UNICO form.

2.3.1 Value of real estate properties placed within the European Union or within the European Economic Space

The value of real estate properties placed within the European Union or within the European Economic Space that grant an adequate exchange of information (Norway and Island), the value is the cadastral one used to pay property taxes in the foreign country.

The same criterion is applied even when assets has been acquired through an inheritance or donation procedure.

In case this value is not available the tax payer has to consider the cost coming from the SPA or, when missing, from the market value of the assets in that place.

2.3.2 Tax features

With relation to this new tax, we'd like to outline that:

  • it is proportionally applied to:
    • the quote of ownership of the property;
    • the period of the year calculated in months when the property has been own, to the extent that the month is considered in full if the ownership endured for at least 15 days;
  • the tax paid in the foreign country can be deducted up to the amount of the new domestic tax.

With modifications introduced by the Law Decree 16/2012, for real estate properties placed in the European Union member states or part of the European Economic Space that grant information exchange (Norway and Island), the tax payer is allowed to deduct a tax credit equal to property and income taxes, if not already deducted on personal income tax (IRPEF), paid on the same asset.

Moreover in case the property tax paid abroad on the same asset is higher than the one already deducted from Italian Personal Income Tax (IRPEF), the difference can be deducted from the new property tax.

2.3.3  Limits to benefit from exemptions

The Law Decree 16/2012 states that the tax is not due if its total amount doesn't exceed 200,00 Euro.

This limit has to be calculated without considering the tax credits mentioned above.

As a matter of fact the tax is not due in case the value of the foreign real estate property doesn't exceed the amount of 26.315,00 Euro.

If the value exceeds this limit, the tax is due for the full amount.

2.3.4  Employees of public institutions working abroad or working for international organizations

Following the modifications introduced by the Law Decree 16/2012, a specific discipline has bee introduced for:

  • employees working abroad for the Italian State, for a political or administrative subdivision or for a local entity;
  • individuals working abroad at international organization, who calculate their residence according to criteria of the Italian General Tax Law (TUIR) or according to international agreements.

Reduced rate

The above mentioned calculate the new property tax with the reduce rate of 0,4% if the building is appointed as the tax payer's home-building.

This reduction can be applied only until the employee works abroad and chases when it comes back to Italy.

The ordinary rate of 0,76% will become applicable from the period when the employee acquires the Italian residence again according to ordinary rules, and not on the base of international agreements.

Tax deductions

On the amount due on said estates, the tax payer can deduct an amount of 200,00 Euro compared to the period of the year when the building has been its home-building.

In case the same unit has been shared by more subjects, the deduction is allowed to each of them with the same proportion the house has been their home-building during the year.

For years 2012 and 2013 this deduction is increased of 50,00 Euro for each son not older than 26, if leaving with parents in the same home-building.

The total amount of this additional deduction can't exceed 400,00 Euro (deducted the original 200,00 Euro).

The Tax Agency has clarified that in case the above mentioned deduction brings the amount due under the limit of 200,00 Euro, this will be due in any case (the tax payer will not be exempted).

Exclusion of real estate assets from personal taxable income

The real estate asset used as the home-building of the tax payer doesn't concur to the determine the taxable income as it should be under article 70, paragraph 2 of the Italian General Tax Law.

2.4 TAX PAYMENT

The payment of the new tax has to be made within the deadline set for payment of the balance due for taxes referred to the previous year.

For the effect of delays disposed by the Prime Minister Counsel dated June 6th 2012, the payment related to 2011 has to be made:

  • within July 9th 2012 with any additional charge;
  • or within August 20th 2012 with an additional charge of 0,4%.

To this extent we'd like to clarify that:

  • no pre-payments are due;
  • payment has to be made through the F24 form using the tax code "4041"
  • payment can be divided into instalments according the same rules foreseen for the personal income tax (IRPEF);
  • the F24 form has to be filed according to the Resolution of the Tax Agency nr. 54, dated June 7th 2012, that has introduced the new tax code.

Real estate properties administered by a trust company

In case of real estate properties, included the one juridical repatriated through the tax amnesty procedure, administered by a trust company, the new property tax has to be calculated and paid by the trust company itself through funds provided by the original tax payer.

In that case:

  • Payment with F24 form has to be made using the specific tax code "4042" (introduced by the said Tax Agency Resolution nr. 54 dated June 7th 2012)
  • The trust company has to make the payment in just one solution for all administered subjects;
  • The payment can't be divided into instalments.

2.5  PERSONAL INCOME TAX ( IRPEF ) DISCIPLINE ENFORCEMENT

All rules related to calculation, assessment, collection, penalties and tax trial, applicable to the Personal Income Tax (IRPEF) become applicable also to this new property tax.

3  NEW TAXES ON FINANCIAL ASSETS OWNED ABROAD

The so called "Monti's Decree" has introduced a new tax on the value of financial assets owned abroad by individuals resident in Italy.

3.1 EFFECTIVE DATE

Also this new tax is applicable starting from 2011 (UNICO 2012 form).

3.2 TAXABLE SUBJECT

Taxable subjects are all individuals resident in Italy for tax purposes who own financial assets abroad.

3.3 RELEVANT FINANCIAL ASSETS

The new taxi s applied on the following financial assets, if owned abroad:

  • participations to the share capital of resident or foreign companies, domestic or foreign bonds or similar assets, domestic public securities and similar values issued in Italy or abroad, securities not representing good or mass certificates (including OICR quotes), foreign currencies, deposits and bank accounts opened abroad indenpendently from their feeding;
  • any agreement having a financial nature with non resident conuterparts, among which financing, futures, or securities' lending, or life insurance policies and capitalization policies signed with foreign insurance companies;
  • derivate assets and other financial relationships signed outside the Italian country;
  • raw precious metals or coins;
  • stock purchase options or similar rights;
  • any other financial assets that can generate capital gains.

Exclusions

The new tax is not due with reference to those insurance policies issued by insurance companies working in Italy under the free circulation of services regimen and signed in Italy, under the condition that the above mentioned insurance companies pay the ordinary duty stamp tax on policies.

The new taxi s not due on additional pension contribution (paid on a volunteer base) incorporated or managed by foreign companies.

3.4  FINANCIAL ASSTETS' FOREIGN OWNERSHIP

According to the Italian Tax Agency, the meaning of "financial assets owned abroad" include also all those financial assets that have been object of the tax amnesty procedure know as "tax shield".

Financial assets formerly owned abroad and repatriated with the above mentioned procedure (both juridical and physical) are not considered as owned abroad.

3.5 TAX CALCULATION

To the financial assets owned abroad the tax payer has to apply the two following rates:

  • 0,1%, for 2011 and 2012;
  • 0,15%, starting from 2013.

The taxable income on which apply the to above mentioned rates is made by:

  • the market value, considered at the end of every calendar year in the place where financial assets are owned, even using the documentation available at the foreign broker with reference to the single asset;
  • if the above mentioned value is not available, the value to be considered is the facial value or the pay-back value.

In case the value of said financial assets is expressed in a foreign exchange different from Euro, the tax payer has to apply the exchange rate foreseen for the filing of RW paragraph of the Personal Income Tax Return (UNICO).

With relation to this new tax we'd like to underline that:

  • it is proportionally applied according to the days of ownership;
  • in case of shared ownership, the tax amount must be shared on the same base of the rate of ownership;
  • any property tax paid abroad can be deducted (under the form of a tax credit) within the limit of the tax due in Italy on the same financial assets.

In case those financial assets are no more owned on December 31st of the taxable year, the tax payer has to consider their value at the end of the period of ownership.

Negotiated securities

Securities negotiated in ruled markets have to be valued according their listing take considered on December 31st of each year or at the end of the ownership period or not more owned per December 31st.

To this extent the tax-payer can use the documentation available at the foreign financial or insurance broker for every sing asset.

In case during that day the security was not listed on the stock exchange market, the tax-payer has to consider the most recent day available near to the said day.

Not negotiated securities

Securities not negotiated in ruled domestic or foreign markets, and whenever the financial assets, although negotiated have been excluded from negotiation, have to be valued at their facial value or, if missing, to their pay-back vale, even if officially re-determined.

Financial assets that haven't neither a facial nor pay-back value, have to be considered in any case: the value to be included will be their purchase value.

Bank accounts and saving-books owned within the European Union or within the European Economic Space

With the Law Decree 16/2012 the tax burden on bank accounts and saving-books owned within the European Union or within the European Economic Space that grant an adequate information exchange (Norway an Island), have been lightened.

In fact the individual tax payer has to include in its personal income tax return (named UNICO form) a fix amount of 34,20 euro. This tax:

  • is compared to ownership's day and, in case of shared accounts, it's shared according to every single ownership quote;
  • it is not due in case of a medium amount available on account, retrieved from bank statements, doesn't exceed 5.000,00 Euro.

3.6 TAX PAYMENT

This new tax payment has to be made within the deadline set for the payment of annual balance on personal income tax.

For the effect of delays disposed by the Prime Minister Counsel dated June 6th 2012, the payment related to 2011 has to be made:

  • within July 9th 2012 with any additional charge;
  • or within August 20th 2012 with an additional charge of 0,4%.

To this regard, we'd like to underline that:

  • differently from the new tax due on real estate properties owned abroad, the exemption limit of 200,00 Euro is not applicable in this case;
  • no pre-payments are due;
  • payment has to be made through the F24 form using the tax code "4043";
  • the tax payer is allowed to divide the amount into to instalments according to the same rules foreseen for the personal income tax (IRPEF);
  • the F24 form has to be filed according to the Resolution of the Tax Agency nr. 54, dated June 7th 2012, that has introduced the new tax code.

3.7 ENFORCEMENT OF THE PERSONAL INCOME TAX DISCIPLINE

All rules related to calculation, assessment, collection, penalties and tax trial, applicable to the Personal Income Tax (IRPEF) become applicable also to this new property tax.

4 NEW DUTY STAMP TAX ON "SHIELDED" ASSETS

The "Monti's Decree" has introduced the annual special duty stamp tax to be applied to all financial assets that have benefit from the tax amnesty under the procedure called "tax shield".

4.1 EFFECTIVE DATE

The said tax is applied starting from 2012.

4.2 TAXABLE FINANCIAL ASSETS

The said special duty stamp tax is applied :

  • only to financial assets (securities, shares, etc.) and not also to properties of other natures (buildings, land, yachts, etc.)
  • to financial assets still not disclosed.

While the special duty stamp taxi s not due on regularised financial assets that haven't adopted the undisclosed regimen.

The special duty stamp taxi s due also by inheritors of the tax-payers that has repatriated financial assets under the confidentiality regimen and died after December 6th 2011.

4.3 TAXABLE BASE

The taxi s calculated as follows:

  • on the amounts and their market value of financial assets owned at the reference date;
  • in case of missing market value, on the base of their facial value or their pay-back value.

The value of the financial assets is the one per:

  • December 31st of the previous year;
  • Or December 6th 2011 for the tax due in 2012.

Financial assets that haven't neither a facial value nor a pay-back value, have to be valued at their purchase value.

The market value of those financial assets is the one reported by financial brokers according enforced laws.

Insurance policies, not having a market value or a facial value, are valued at their pay-back value on December 31st of each year (or on December 6th 2011 with reference to the amount due in 2012) considering the surrender value at that date or, for the part of the year when the insurance is paid, the actual value paid back.

4.4 TAX CALCULATION

The special duty stamp tax is due according to the following rates:

  • 1%, in 2012;
  • 1,35%, in 2013;
  • 0,4%, starting from 2014.

In case during the fiscal period ownership is disclosed, the new duty stamp tax will be due on financial assets' value according to the period when the account was undisclosed.

This measure allows to apply the pro-rata-temporis criterion, that means that the shielded asset doesn't need to be owned per December 31st of the interested period in order to apply the special duty stamp tax; in case assets are disclosed during the year, tax will be calculated according to the period when assets where undisclosed.

The un-disclosure ceases also:

  • In case of disclosure of the reserved return under tax audits by the Tax Authority;
  • Or following assessment or claim notices, including invitations, questionnaires and requests.

Deduction of the "ordinary" duty stamp paid

Any ordinary duty stamp already applied to communications to the clientele related to financial instruments and products, introduced by Law Decree 98/2011 and modified by Law Decree 201/2011, can be deducted from said special duty stamp tax.

Following modifications introduced by Law Decree 16/2012 also the fix duty stamp tax of 34,20 Euro can be deducted from the said special duty stamp tax.

4.5 TAX PAYMENT

In oder to pay this tax, financial brokers:

  • Withhold the tax due from repatriated assets, or receive the same amount from the tax payer itself;
  • Pay the amount due within July 16th of every year.

Therefore, within July 16th 2012, financial broker will pay 1% of the financial assets still undisclosed per December 6th 2011.

We'd like to remind that the original deadline for this payment was February 16th, delayed to May 16th, then to July 16th.

The financial broker has to withhold this amount with priority from the undisclosed account. Moreover, the same broker is obliged to withhold said amounts from accounts re-conductible to the subject that has benefit from the tax amnesty.

In case those account don't hold enough money, the tax payer has to supply the financial broker with the difference.

Transfer of "shielded" amounts

With reference to shielded amounts, the Tax Agency with measure nr. 72442 dated June 6th 2012 has clarified that:

  • In case the tax payer has transferred the undisclosed account to another financial broker during 2011, the broker holding the account per December 6th 2011, is obliged to apply the special duty stamp tax and pay the same for 2011;
  • In case the account is transferred to another financial broker during the following years, keeping the un-disclosure regimen, the financial broker holding the account per December 31st of each year is obliged to apply and pay the special duty stamp tax;
  • In case the tax payer has transferred the undisclosed account to another financial broker during the period 1.1.2011 – 6.12.2011 without keeping it undisclosed, the special duty stamp taxi s not due.

4.6 MISSED PAYMENT AND PENALTIES

Financial brokers are obliged to inform the Italian Tax Agency when the special duty stamp tax hasn't been applied to shielded assets.

The tax is collected through a payment notice with the application of an administrative fine equal to the amount not paid.

5  EXTRAORDINARY TAX ON AMOUNTS WITHDRAWN FROM ASSETS SUBJECT TO TAX AMNESTY

The Law Decree 201/2011 has introduced an extraordinary tax equal to 1% on financial assets that benefit from the tax amnesty and have been withdrawn from the bank account opened to adhere to the "tax shield" procedure.

The tax is applied:

  • On amounts and on the value of financial assets per the date of withdrawal;
  • Or, where missing, on their facial value or pay-back value.

Financial assets that haven't neither a facial value nor a pay-back value, must be valued at their purchase cost.

The followings are considered as withdrawals:

  • The un-disclosure, during the period 1.1.2011 – 6.12.2012, of the secret return during any audit activity by the Financial Administration;
  • The transfer of the account to another financial broker. During the said period, without keeping the un-disclosure regimen.

The tax is applied also to inheritors of tax payers that have repatriated financial assets under the un-disclosure regimen, in case the late tax payer has withdraw amounts during the said period and died after this last date.

With reference to this tax, we have to underline that:

  • it is due only in 2012;
  • measures foreseen for the new duty stamp tax analysed above, applicable to shielded financial assets, becomes applicable for its calculation, payment and penalties.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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Authors
Batini Colombo Saottinis' Tax Team
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