A tax return is a document that is sent to the Financial Administration, in which you state the income you have obtained during the last tax year. If you want to file taxes in Italy you file them over the last calendar year. Partners can file their taxes together, but will be taxed separately. Employees and people that are self-employed need to follow different steps to file their taxes.
If you do not have another source of income, your employer will file your tax return for you. If you do have another source of income you can file your tax by yourself or you can ask a Centro di Assistenza Fiscale (Fiscal Assistance Centre) for help. If you decide to process your own income tax return, the deadline is 30 September and it can be done online. If you must do your tax return on paper, which is allowed under special circumstances, be aware the deadline is 30 June. You will have to fill in modello 730.
People in Italy who are self-employed, professionals with a VAT-number, have to fill in a unico tax form. You can choose to pay your taxes in June, or spread the payments between June/July to November.
The modello 730 has to be handed in online via an authorised organization (also when you fill it out yourself). The taxes that have to be paid or the money that the government owes you, will be added or subtracted from the next payslip.
Unico forms also have to be handed in online, and is filled in by the taxpayer, since he/she does not have an organization that can do it for them. If the government owes you money, you will have to make a claim to the authorities.
Income tax will have to be paid by the 16th of June of the following year (or if that day is a Sunday, the following working day). Italian authorities accept payments with a delay of 30 days, but you will be charged an interest of 0.4%.
Using a Commercialista
Because of the complexity of the Italian tax system, it’s wise to use a commercialista (a combination of accountant and lawyer) to prepare your tax return, particularly if you’re self-employed (obligatory unless you have a doctorate in Italian bureaucracy). Commercialistas fees are relatively low, although you should obtain a quotation, and he can also advise you on what you can and cannot claim regarding allowances and expenses.