Tax Residency in Italy: let’s see it!

Tax Residency in Italy

Tax Residency in Italy: A Comprehensive Guide to the Expat Tax Regime

Understanding the nuances of Tax Residency in Italy is crucial for expatriates and global professionals considering a move to this culturally rich and economically vibrant country. The Italian government, recognizing the potential of attracting global talent, has established an attractive tax regime specifically designed for expatriates. This detailed guide aims to provide an in-depth understanding of the Expat Tax Regime, its historical context, eligibility criteria, benefits, and the process of claiming these benefits.

Tax Residency in Italy and the Expat Tax Regime: An In-Depth Look

Tax Residency in Italy has become a key consideration for many foreign professionals. The Expat Tax Regime, also known as the Impatriate Tax Regime, represents Italy’s innovative approach to drawing in foreign talents. This strategy is not just about enhancing the Italian workforce; it’s a broader economic booster, offering reduced taxation on a significant portion of income earned within Italy. This can be as low as 10% for those residing in the southern regions or 30% for others, making Italy an attractive destination for global professionals.

Historical Context of the Expat Tax Regime

The Expat Tax Regime traces its origins to the Legislative Decree no. 147/2015, informally known as the “Decreto Internazionalizzazione.” This was further augmented by the Law Decree no. 34/2019, or the “Decreto Crescita.” Both legislative pieces shared a vision: establishing Italy as a premier destination for global talents by offering compelling tax incentives. This move was also aimed at rejuvenating the Italian economy and strengthening Italy’s global standing, countering the trend of talent emigration.

The Attractiveness of the Tax Benefits

The regime offers enticing tax benefits, designed to make Italy an appealing option for professionals worldwide. Beneficiaries of this regime enjoy reduced taxation on their income earned in Italy, which is a significant financial advantage.

Eligibility Criteria and Tax Benefits of the Expat Tax Regime

To fully capitalize on the benefits of Tax Residency in Italy under the Expat Tax Regime, expatriates must meet specific conditions. These foundational criteria ensure that the benefits are targeted at the right individuals, contributing to the regime’s overall effectiveness.

Foundational Eligibility Criteria

  • Previous Residency: Individuals should not have been fiscal residents in Italy for the two tax years preceding their move.
  • Commitment to Residency: After relocating, they must maintain fiscal residency in Italy for at least the next two years.
  • Work Location: A major portion of their professional activities should be conducted within Italy.

Types of Income and Tax Relief

The tax relief under this regime covers various income types:

  • Dependent Work Income: This includes salaried roles and similar financial structures.
  • Self-Employment Income: Tailored for freelancers, consultants, and other non-traditional employment structures.
  • Business Income: Only the business income directly tied to the expatriate is eligible for relief. Income from commercial partnerships or those proportionally attributed to partners based on ownership are excluded.

Initially, the tax relief is valid for five tax years, with the option to extend it under certain conditions.

Extension Provisions and Claiming the Benefits

The Expat Tax Regime’s benefits are not just limited to a short period. Under specific conditions, the tax relief can be extended, enhancing its appeal.

Conditions for Extension

  • Family Considerations: If an expatriate has at least one minor or dependent child, they can request an extension.
  • Real Estate Investments: Investing in residential property in Italy, either by the expatriate or their immediate family, also qualifies for an extension.

Procedure for Claiming Benefits

  • Dependent Workers: They must submit a formal request to their employer, supported by a self-declaration.
  • Self-Employed Workers: They can directly incorporate the tax relief in their tax returns and apply it during withholding tax applications by clients.


Understanding and navigating the Tax Residency in Italy can be complex, but the benefits are substantial for those who qualify. The Expat Tax Regime is a clear indication of Italy’s commitment to attracting global talent, offering significant financial incentives for expatriates. Whether you are a salaried employee, a freelancer, or running your own business, this regime offers a unique opportunity to enjoy the Italian lifestyle while benefiting from a favorable tax environment.

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