It’s levied at between 0.4 and 0.7 per cent of a property’s fiscal value ( valore catastale), the rate being decided by the local municipality according to a property’s size, location, age, condition and official category ( categoria), as shown in the property deeds ( rogito). Categories are decided by the land registry ( catasto) according to the type of property ( abitazione di tipo) as follows:
- A/1 - Signorile (refined)
- A/2 - Civile (civilian)
- A/3 - Economico (economical)
- A/4 - Populare (working class)
- A/5 - Ultrapopulare (‘ultra-working class’)
- A/6 - Rurale (rural)
- A/7 - Villini (small detached)
- A/8 - Ville (detached)
- A/9 - Castelli, palazzi di eminenti pregi artistici o storici (castle or building of eminent historic or artistic importance)
- A/10 - Uffice e studi privati (private offices and studios)
- A/11 - Allogi tipici dei luoghi (typical housing of the region)
A property’s category has a relatively small influence on the amount of tax payable. If a property is unfit for habitation, property tax is reduced by 50 per cent.
Property tax is usually paid in two instalments: 90 per cent by 30th June and the remaining 10 per cent between 1st and 20th December (for uninhabitable properties, the figures are 45 per cent and 5 per cent respectively). If it isn’t paid on time, you can be fined in the form of a surcharge or additional tax ( sopratassa) of up to 200 per cent of the amount due.
The form for paying tax is complicated and many people (particularly foreigners) employ a commercialista or agent to do it for them. You can also pay property tax from abroad using registered post, addressing payment to the tax office of your comune. Payments must be up-to-date when a property is sold and you should check this before buying.
Other property-related taxes include communal services ( servizio riscossione tributi ruoli) for owners of condominiums and other community properties, refuse tax ( tassa communale dei rifiuti) and water rates. Property owners also pay income tax on their property, which is based on its cadastral value.
This article is an extract from Buying a Home in Italy from Survival Books.