The 2019 “Decreto Crescita/Growth Decree”, updates and improves the tax regime (originally enacted in of Article 16 of Legislative Decree 147/15) for those “impatriates” (lavoratori impatriati) who move to Italy to work for at least two years while transferring their tax residence to Italy from 2020 onward.
The changes are:-
- The new regime increases the exempt portion to 70% – so only 30% of gross salary is liable to income tax. 10% of salary continues to be liable to social security under normal rules
- The requirement to have a University decree/highly specialized job has been abolished
- The requirement to perform services for an Italian company (or foreign company belonging to an Italian group) has been abolished. The geographical requirement is now that the services are carried out mainly in Italy
- The exempt portion is 90% (so 10% taxable) if you take up residence in one of the regions of Abruzzo, Molise, Campania, Puglia, Basilicata, Calabria, Sardinia, Sicily
To access the regime you need to show that you were resident abroad for tax purposes in the two tax (previously the requirement was five) periods.
The other requirements remain the same:
- you need to transfer your residence in Italy in accordance with art. 2 of the TUIR (and therefore – very briefly – registration in the registry office of residents or movement of the main center of business and interests in Italy or stay in Italy for the greater part (more than 183 days) of a tax period);
- you need to maintain your status as tax resident in Italy for at least two tax periods;
Italian citizens who were not registered with AIRE (register of Italian nationals resident outside Italy), can prove that they were resident abroad in the two years preceding their move to Italy by reference to terms of the relevant Double Taxation Treaty;
The income tax exemption applies for five tax periods with an extension for a further five to workers:
- with at least one minor (under 18) or dependent (over 18 but in full time education) child ; and
- who become owners of at least one residential property in Italy after moving (or 12 months prior to becoming tax resident).
- during the extension period, the tax exemption drops to 50%, but goes to 90% for impatriates with at least three minor or dependent children.
You cannot benefit from this regime if you are also benefit from another beneficial regime (e.g Euro 100k flat-tax, or the special regime for university teachers and research workers).
If you are an employee you need to make a written letter of request to your employer. For the self-employed (and those employees who have not presented the letter of request in time) the benefit can be claimed in the relevant annual tax return which will generate the refund either via or payslip, a payment from the authorities or credit to offset future tax liabilities.
If you would like advice on whether you qualify for the relief and/or a pre-compiled copy of the letter you need to send your employer please click here
Legislation and guidance (in Italian)
(c) all workers (e.g. non-managerial employees, football players without a university degree, etc.) may benefit because the worker will no longer be required to have a high level of qualification or specialisation;
d) the work must be carried out mainly in Italy;
The changes to the regime, greatly enhances the attractiveness of the regime for people coming to work in Italy and the Italian tax authorities have been taking quite a liberal approach in their responses to requests for guidance via the official ruling procedure.
The tax exemptions do not apply to social security contributions – which can represent a significant cost.