Do you have a house in Italy? Don't forget to pay the annual tax on real estate (IMU)

Do you have a house in Italy? Don’t forget to pay the annual tax on real estate (IMU)

You bought a house in Italy because you would like to move to Italy in the future, or as an investment, or just to feel at home when you come to Italy to enjoy the wonders of the Italian peninsula, such as art, history, nature, or food and wine. However, no one, including the real estate agent or the notary you went to, told you that if you buy a house in Italy while living abroad, you will have to pay a property tax.

Yes, that is right. In Italy, there is a property tax that real estate owners have to pay every year, which is called IMU (imposta municipale unica).

WHAT IS THE IMU (IMPOSTA MUNICIPALE UNICA O IMPOSTA MUNICIPALE PROPRIA) TAX 

The IMU tax was originally established by Legislative Decree no. 23/2011, as subsequently reviewed and amended (Decree-Law 201/2011, converted into law no. 214/2011, law no. 44/2012, etc.).

In general, the IMU tax applies to the possession of houses (technically fabbricati) – with the exception of the primary residence (abitazione princiale o prima casa) included in specific cadastral categories (see below) – of building areas, and agricultural land. The tax is due by the owner, or by the holder of other rights (usufruct, use, etc.), by the concessionaire in case of the concession of state property areas, and by the lessee in the event of leasing.

WHEN IS THE IMU DUE AND CASES OF EXEMPTION

The condition for the payment of the tax is the possession of real estate. In fact, the IMU tax is due for the mere fact of owning property in Italy.

However, there are some cases of exemption from the payment of the IMU tax, among which are the following:

  • law no. 147/2013 has established that, starting from 2014, the primary residence (abitazione principale o prima casa) classified in the cadastral categories A /2, A /3, A /4, A /5, A /6, or A /7 is exempt from the payment of the IMU. This means that if you reside in a house classified in one of the above cadastral categories, you will not have to pay the IMU tax. (N.B.: this exemption does not apply to primary residence homes classified in the cadastral categories A /1 (noble type house), A /8 (villa) and A /9 (castles, palaces of eminent artistic or historical value) and their appurtenances, which are considered “luxury estates, for which a reduced rate and a € 200 deduction apply).

The “primary residence” is considered to be the real estate unit in which the “taxable person” (e.g. the owner) and his family formally reside and usually live.

The IMU, therefore, regularly applies to “second homes”.

  • Another exemption concerns the case of a single real estate unit owned as property or usufruct, by Italian citizens not residing in the territory of the State and registered with AIRE (Register of Italians residing abroad), already retired in their country of residence, provided that the real estate is not rented or loaned for use.

In light of the above, if you bought a house in Italy but are residing abroad, or if you are not formally residing in your Italian house, or if you reside in your Italian house that is classified in the (“luxury”) cadastral categories A /1, A /8, and A /9, you will have to pay the IMU tax.

AMOUNT

To simplify, we can say that to calculate the IMU tax you will need to know what your tax base (base imponibile) is, and the aliquota rate set for your particular case.

In order to determine your base imponibile, you will need to know the cadastral income of your property, that can be found in your deed (the act of purchase of your real estate).

HOW AND WHEN DO YOU PAY THE IMU TAX 

The payment of the tax must be made through your Italian bank by filling in the Modello F24. The IMU is paid in two installments. The first must be paid by June 16 of each year, while the second must be paid by December 16th. However, it is possible to make one single payment by June 16.

Interests and sanctions will be added to the due amount in case of late payments.

If you need assistance with the payment of the IMU tax, please send an email to assistance@vademecumitalia.com or fill in the Contact Us form to receive a price quotation
 

N.B. In order to calculate the exact amount that you will have to pay, among other elements, you will need your Italian tax code, that you should have already requested in order to purchase the property. If, for any reason, you do not have an Italian tax code, or if someone else you know needs an Italian tax code, please send an email to assistance@vademecumitalia.com

36 Comments
  1. David filled out the proper forms for me and the process was very easy after that. Just took them to the local Poste italiane and it was all done. Thanks!

    • Hi Tom,
      Thank you for your nice comment.

      As promised, I will send you the forms for the December 16 payment, within the first days of December.

      Please let me know if there is anything else that I can do for you.

      David.

  2. If i close my property and leave it empty do I still have to pay imu ?

    • What do you mean when you say that you close a property?

      In general, the IMU tax is a tax on the property that the owner has to pay regardless of the fact that someone is living in the property.

      Regards.

    • Hi. Keeping that in mind that whether one is a resident or non resident living in abroad and not in Italy they will still need to pay IMU.

      What if you are no longer coming back to Italy, no longer wish to own that property. Is there another option or solution to this, if you no longer wish to pay IMU tax?

      • Dear J,
        Unfortunately, the fact that you do not wish to pay a tax is irrelevant from a fiscal point of view, and it’s not a case of exemption from the payment.

        If you are the owner of the property, which is not your primary residence, you will have to pay the tax,with the exception of a few specific cases.

        Regards,
        D.

  3. Hey David, I am glad I came across this useful piece of information. Will definitely share this article with one of my relative who happen to live in Italy. Thanks for sharing this!!

  4. Hi David. Just wanted to say thanks for sorting out my Imu tax calculation and payment. You made it all really easy and were quick to respond.

    Regards

    Kevin

  5. If you do not pay your property tax in Italy, will they just repossess the house? Or are there further penalties?

  6. Hello my dad inherit a property from his Dad ( farmhouse) , he lives in Canada, does he have to may property taxes on the house and if so can he do it online

    • Dear Rose,
      It depends on the property.

      Please send me an email with more information and I will let you know what you will have to do.

      Regards,
      David.

  7. David is wonderful and fast. I live in the United States and he helped me figure out how to pay my property taxes in Italy. If it wasn’t for him it would have been difficult to pay my taxes. My property taxes are paid. And I will always use his service.
    Thank so much.
    Saundra

  8. What happens when you don’t pay poperty taxes can you lose the property will it be auction off ?

  9. vivo alestero e sono pensionato e sono isgritto al commune gio una casa al paese voglio sapere se devo pacare imu grazie

    • Urbano,
      Dal 2020 non è più prevista l’esenzione IMU per i pensionati iscritti all’AIRE (quindi residenti all’estero). Se questa è la sua condizione, dovrà quindi pagare l’IMU. Ora, salvo che il suo Comune abbia stabilito una proroga, il termine per il pagamento dell’acconto era al 16 giugno. Se ha bisogno di assistenza con il pagamento dell’IMU, può scriverci a assistance@vademecumitalia.com

      Grazie,
      D.

  10. Hi,
    I need to pay the IMU and have the calculation already done but I cannot get online access from my italian bank account. Would you be able to assist me to pay this amount since I am travelling and not in italy to go to the post office.

  11. Hi David. I need to pay IMU before December 16. Can I send payment to the relevant authorities from the uk? How do I make sure I pay correct amount? Thank you for any assistance

    • Mario,
      You can pay from the UK but you need to know how and the exact amount you have to pay because the Comune will not calculate it for you.

      If you want we can assist you with the payment.

      I look forward to hearing from you.

      Thank you,
      David.

  12. I usually pay my IMU at the post office of my town but due to corona virus I have been unable to travel to Italy. I don’t have a bank account in Italy, is there a method of online payment so I can make the second instalment for 2020.I have the forms printed and I would like to pay the first instalment for 2021. Many thanks, Jill

  13. I have discovered my husband has not paid the IMU since 2007. He assured me that we were not liable for this tax as it was our first house. We are not resident in Italy. I now know better but am terrified of the potential huge bill we could be faced with. Is there a statute of limitations. What is the best way forward except selling the house

    • Angela,
      First home benefit refers to the case you are formally a resident in that property not that it is your first purchase in Italy.

      Please send an email to info@vademecumitalia.com with more details.

      We will then asnwer asap.

  14. Ciao David io vivo in canada e pago tassa di proprieta in italia.. la mia banca in canada vuole sapere se pago le tasse anche in italia tu sai perche’ lo vuole sapere?

    • La tassa di propreità è cosa diversa dalle tasse per reddito. Dovrebbe informarsi chiedendo maggiori informazioni alla sua banca.

  15. Hello:
    I live in Canada.
    I inherited and own an apartment in Sicily as well as a property in Campagna.
    I don’t care to continue paying taxes for the property in Campagna, as the
    taxes for said property are too much for what it is worth.
    I believe a “simple Modlule F24” is completed each year.
    1. Is there a special form to complete indicating I only want to pay for the apartment?
    2. If taxes are not paid at all on the apartment and a sale happens and closes. Are outstanding taxes passed on to the new owner?

  16. Hello,
    My husband and I love Italy and hope to move there when he retires. We want to buy a home sooner than later because he should be ready to leave within 18months. We plan to buy in a southern region that complies with the 7% rules. Would you tell us what happens if we start out in a town with less than 20k and the population increases to over the 20k limit. Do we still get the tax benefit in this case? We definitely know that we will need to pay taxes annually on the property and will need assistance in filing. Do you take care of clients in Abruzzo or Puglia?
    Thank you,
    Kelly

  17. Hi David: I was just notified July 30th, of what looks like a tax foreclosure bill dated March 15, 2022 of an outstanding 2015 property tax bill that my Dad has on his home in Rome. From what I can understand, the notice states that I have 90 days from the dated registered mail to redeem the tax before it goes into auction. Since that time has already expired, it looks like I have a final 120 days to redeem? Can you notify me if my dad has lost his home to foreclosure or if there still is time to redeem it?

  18. David was amazing in calculating outstanding taxes on a property I own in Italy. He replied to my query very quickly and within 24 hours had contacted the Commune to understand the situation. Once the taxes had been paid he even contacted the clerk to ensure they were aware I had made the payment. He really went above and beyond in my opinion and saved me a lot of stress. We will certainly be using him next year. Thank you David, your service was outstanding.

  19. Hi David,
    I was born & live in the U.K.
    I have just got my Italian Citizenship through my mother. So I’m registered AIRE now.
    I’m also retired however with a company pension.
    Do I have to pay IMU ? on my property in Italy ? as I have just received a bill for non payment of IMU, I guess my AIRE registration has opened up a can of worms ?

  20. Hello would you kindly tell me how much you charge to prepare imu paper i am looking to buy a small house in Sicily about 50sqm are taxes very high? Thank you. Kind regards

    • Francoise,
      I am very sorry but we cannot send you a quote for the IMU tax payment service at this time if you didn’t purchase the property yet.

  21. Dear David, I have been in dispute with a member of my family over my fathers estate and I need to find out what we owe in EMU for the last 10 years can you assist me with this

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