Monday 24 February 2014

Classic Veneto palazzo for sale between Vicenza and Padova

Monday 17 February 2014

Tax up-date

If you are not aware by now Enrico Letta has resigned as Prime Minister for Italy and the incumbent PD party leader Matteo Renzo is the likely to be the new PM. 
This is not what I am communicating today but something rather more urgent and if the piece of legislation is long lasting, it will have far reaching consequences, probably for you, me and every other expat that lives in Italy.   As I have explained in the past a drift net procedure is often applied to new tax rules and this is one of the most archaic and serious to date.  It will affect most: yound, old, strong, weak, rich poor, and the list goes on.  If you have read this far, I would urge you to read on. 
As of February 1st 2014 banks in Italy will be obligated to withold 20% of the amount relating to transfers coming into personal accounts from abroad.  The 20% will be witheld at source, by the bank, and unless an exclusion has been applied for it will be up to the tax payer to prove that the money is not 'income' from financial transcations abroad. The witheld tax will be assumed to be an advance tax on 'profit from investment' and that the tax will need to be declared and paid on it anyway on the end of year RW form.  The tax will be witheld every 16th of the month following the transfer and the accumulated amount can be used as a deduction against your end of year tax bill.  (Profit from investment includes 'interest from savings, income from property (i.e rentals, gains from the sale of property etc.  This is what they are trying to target!!!)
Even if an exclusion is filed for and granted (at the bank) your name and details will be submitted to the Agenzia delle Entrata.  In addition, you have until the 28th February following the year of the deduction (28th February 2015) to apply, to the bank, for an improper application of the witholding tax and request a refund. 
The exclusion will be granted by production of a self certification in the form of a letter sent to the bank.  It is likely that this self certification will cover a full tax year, in which the remittances were made, but as yet the rules are unclear. 
As you can imagine the banks have been caught a little bit on the hop and are not really ready for the implementation of this little piece of legislative wonder.    However, if you are remitting funds into Italy in the form of pensions, bringing cash in to renovate a house, income from running a business abroad etc then you must go and speak with your bank manager about how to self certify that the funds have not been generated from profit on investments abroad.  
The main aim of the witholding tax is obviously to flush out those who are avoiding paying tax on assets overseas.  The government is very cleverly avoiding the necessity of tax collection through third party intermediaries and instead going directly to the source of remittances into the country, the banks and other financial institutions.   Since the banks are wholly unprepared for this it could mean a messy period whilst it gets sorted out.  The banks are likely to be inundated with self certifcation letters and the hope is that they can administer this without problem.
As an example of the chaos, it is unclear at the moment whether remittances under a SEPA transfer will be subject to the witholding tax although it is just a matter of time before that is resolved.  
The whole idea seems rather counter productive to me, in that 20% on an amount remitted into Italy is not the same as 20% on the interest on funds that have been legitimately held abroad as savings.   Ultimately, the funds being remitted into the country are less than before and hence less funds to spend and use in the economy.  I have my sneaking suspicion that this is merely a way to generate more information for the Agenzia.  For those who are declaring their assets and incomes correctly and are 'in regola' it will be mostly a form filling exercise, lodging these foms with the bank and ultimately, the legislation will be of little concern. The only benefit being that the Agenzia has more ways of matching assets held abroad versus remittances from abroad and amounts declared on the RW (end of year tax declaration) and ensuring that 1+1+1=3
That does not deter from the fact that this interim period is likely to be rather stressful for those of us who need to remit funds into the country to pay our bills.  I would urge you to speak with your bank manager and commercialista as soon as possible. 

On a last note, I will be looking into some possible ways to plan around the witholding tax over the course of the next few days.  I will communicate these once I have any more information. 

If you would like to contact me to discuss this or any other matter you can do so on  or call  me on +39 333 6492356. 


I would also urge you to send this information to every expat you may know to ensure that the word is received loud and clear before real damage can be done. 


Wednesday 12 February 2014

Time for (more) political change in Italy?

Speculation mounts as to the future of Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta, with reports that the stellar rise of Matteo Renzi may unseat him as head of the current government. Read more from the BBC: Italy PM Letta in battle for survival with Matteo Renzi 

Tuesday 11 February 2014

Going, going, gone! BBC last week and now ITV and Channel 4

If it wasn't bad enough losing the BBC channels last week the ITV channels disappeared last night along with Channel 4!
Now we all know that we weren't really supposed to be watching these channels and that the possibilty to receive them was a fluke, but anyone who has actually watched Italian TV will probably understand why a bit of TV from the UK is a necessity to a Brit abroad. To make matters worse the BBC radio stations have also gone, though it is still possible to listen to them via Internet; for the moment at least..
So what to do? If the Internet connection is fast enough you can stream stuff and there are ways of hiding your IP address so that you can watch BBC I player on a computer or device of some sort. Still, it's all a bit of a palaver; so maybe we should be trying to wean ourselves off the goggle box and do something else. Monopoly anyone?

Melting glaciers in northern Italy reveal corpses of WW1 soldiers

Buried for nearly a century, the remains of soldiers lost in World War I are slowly being uncovered thanks to the melting of mountain glaciers high in the Italian Alps.

Meredith Kercher killer Rudy Guede FREED on day release to study history degree.

Rudy Guede is now on day release to study a history degree. Read the full story.

Monday 10 February 2014

Unbelievable video captures avalanche.

WATCH: Amazing video captures avalanche burying small Italian village

Read more:

Police say that the 29-year-old suspect wished to found an anti-Semitic movement.

Police say that the 29-year-old suspect wished to found an anti-Semitic movement.

Tempio Maggiore: Rome's Great Synagogue
Tempio Maggiore: Rome's Great Synagogue Photo: Arthur Wolak
Italian police have identified a far-right activist suspected ofsending boxes containing severed pig heads to Rome’s main synagogue, the Israeli embassy and a Rome museum with a Holocaust exhibition.
Italian media reports identified the man as Ernesto Morosini, 29. Police told reporters that the suspect wanted to found an anti-Semitic movement and had sent the macabre packages to gain support.
Police have opened an investigation against him for instigation of racial hatred.
Rome Jewish Community President Riccardo Pacifici issued a statement thanking the forces of order for “the speed and promptness” of “a job well done.”
The pig heads, delivered by a courier service, were discovered January 24, just days before International Holocaust Memorial Day

GEOX - An Italian success story

Interesting article about the birth of the now-world-famous Italian shoe and clothing brand: Geox


Friday 7 February 2014

Sochi schedule 2014

BBC. What are you thinking!!!

For those of you who own a second home in Italy the news that we have lost all BBC channels is devastating. This really is a bad decision by the BBC. I would strongly recommend they investigate viewing figures, past and present. They will soon realise what a terrible mistake they have made. ITV now has a perfect opportunity to strengthen their position in Europe. Someone please give the BBC a shovel! 

Wednesday 5 February 2014

Italy's treasures apparently overlooked

Italy is threatening to sue the credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's for failing to value its historical and cultural treasures. The country that gave birth to Dante, da Vinci and La Dolce Vita, thinks financial analysts would not have issued a damaging credit downgrade against Italy if they had paid more attention to its cultural wealth than its budget deficit.
According to the Financial Times, Italy's auditor general, the corte dei conti, believes that S&P may have acted illegally and could be sued for a staggering €234bn.
The paper cites a letter from the corte dei conti notifying S&P that it is considering legal action: "S&P never in its ratings pointed out Italy's history, art or landscape which, as universally recognised, are the basis of its economic strength." S&P has described the claims as "frivolous and without merit".
The investigation extends to S&P's rivals Moody's and Fitch, with further details expected to be revealed by the corte dei conti on the18th of February. Moody's dismissed the allegations, while a spokesman for Fitch said: "As we understand the prosecutor's concerns, we believe Fitch at all times acted appropriately and in full compliance with the law."

Boulder crashes onto Capri road

Tuesday 4 February 2014

Kuwait to invest 500 million euros in Italy

Build your own car at home for 4000 pounds in 60 minutes.

Only in Italy. Absolutely amazing concept. We might start giving them away if you purchase a property through us. For further information and/or to place an order go to

Monday 3 February 2014

Auerbach long-lost painting found in Milan.

Sotheby's senior art specialist Oliver Barker found the painting by Frank Auerbach  in Milan. The painting entitled Morning Mornington Crescent has been in storage since 1973. Mr. Barker had a tip-off and immediately flew out to Italy. The painting will be sold in London with an estimate of 800,000 GBP on the 12th February 2014.