Details of the regime
The Italian Government has recently modified the special tax regime designed to encourage the movement of “human capital” to Italy (lavoratori impatriati”).
- The current regime provides that 70% of qualifying income from employment carried out in Italy is exempt from income tax. So only 30% of gross salary/net profit is liable to income tax. 100% of salary continues to be liable to social security under normal rules.
- 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
- The regime applies for five consecutive accounting periods, until revoked, or until the conditions for the relief cease to apply can be extended for a further five years if certain conditions are met
Conditions for the relief
- A University decree/highly specialized qualification. This condition does not apply for Italian citizens. If you have a degree from outside Italy you should consider requesting a Dichiarazione di Valore from the Italian consulate for the jurisdiction in which the institution awarding your degree is situated. This a certification that the degree is bona fide;
- The work is performed prevalently in Italy. This is generally interpreted as requiring that you spend more time working in italy that anywhere else;
- You must have been tax resident outside Italy in the two tax periods preceding the year in which you transfer to Italy.
- Non Italian citizens need to be in a position to prove that they were working for two full tax years, or studying full time for the same period. People studying at Italian institutions prior to starting work in italy do not appear to qualify for the relief.
- You must commit to reside in Italy for at least two years – this means you must be tax resident in italy for two full tax years;
- You need to be tax resident in Italy for the whole of the first tax year in which you start work move, otherwise the relief will not take effect until the start of the next calendar year. If you move in the latter half of any year, you will pay tax in full on any earnings for the year you move and the relief will not be available until the start of the following year (and that will be the first of the five for which the relief applies);
- Moving your residence to Italy must be made in connection with the new job.
Social Security and Wealth Tax
The exemption applies only to income taxes. It does not apply to statutory social security contributions (pension and healthcare) which will be calculated on 100% of salary.
Nor does the special regime provide any reduction or exemption from wealth tax.
Extension for a further five years
The income tax exemption applies for a further five tax periods following the end of the first five year period to an individual worker:
- with at least one minor (under 18) or dependent (over 18 but earning less that the relevant annual financial thresholds child; and
- who becomes the owner 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 can increase to 90% for impatriates purchasing/owning real estate in Italy and with at least three dependent children.
How to claim the relief
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 your payslip, a payment from the authorities or credit to offset future tax liabilities. We can assist with the refund claim.
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 get in touch.
Legislation and guidance (mainly in Italian)
Tax Agency Guidelines and Further Reading
Risoluzione no. 72 del 26 settembre 2018 – pdf – Impatrio dei soggetti di cui all’articolo 16 del decreto legislativo 14 settembre 2015, n. 147 – Attività lavorativa prestata in Italia e all’estero per società appartenenti ad un gruppo multinazionale;
Risoluzione no. 51 del 6 luglio 2018 – pdf – Residenza fiscale all’estero prima dell’impatrio per i soggetti di cui all’articolo 16, comma 2, del decreto legislativo 14 settembre 2015, n. 147;
Risposta no. 492 2019 – assignment to France – importance of lack of continuity;
Risposta Interpello no. 495 2019 – taxpayer coming from Ireland – taxed in full on first year (as non resident), commencement of special regime starting from first year of tax residence and following four years;
Risposta no. 497 2019 – taxpayer working abroad, not registered with the AIRE;
Risposta no 59/2020 – Timing of the benefit – interaction between time of starting work and first year of tax residence – importance of claiming relief either by request to the employer or in tax return for first period of residence or lose – possibility of claiming relief for remaining years;
Risposta no 533 2020 – Two years residence abroad for study purposes (Master’s Degree) not sufficient;
Risposta no. 42/2021 – Employee assigned abroad, returning to Italy – importance of non continuity;
Risposta no. 596/2021 – Impatriate’s regime available for employees working remotely for non Italian companies.