Italy's new foreign real estate property tax
Recent legislation enacted by the Italian government to improve Italy's budget and stem the sovereign debt crisis introduced a new tax on real estate properties located outside of Italy. The tax is charged at the rate of 0.76%, calculated on the purchase price of the property as appearing from the purchase documents or alternatively on the fair market value of the property. A tax credit is granted, reducing or offsetting the Italian tax due, for any property taxes paid to the country in which the property is located. Individual taxpayers residing in Italy for tax purposes are liable for the tax. This include Americans and other foreign nationals who work and live in Italy and file Italian individual tax returns as Italian residents. Based on the language of the statute, properties owned or managed through offshore or foreign entities are not subject to the tax. Taxpayers who directly own rental or investment properties outside of Italy are encouraged to restructure their investment and own and actively manage those properties through a foreign owing or managing entity to avoid the application of the tax.