I had a nasty surprise the other day and I just had to tell you about it. I got one of those dreaded pec (posta elettronica certificata) emails with the title ‘Agenzia delle Entrate – riscossione‘. They put the living fear into me and for obvious reasons. This time it was nothing significant, but still an issue relating to something my old commercialista did, or didn’t do, back in 2012, 2015 and 2017. My new commercialista has launched an investigation and hopefully we can park that particular communication in a draw somewhere, but I suspect I will end up having something to pay.
Why you should ask for a copy of your Unico!
With my horrible experience in mind, I decided to write this article where I want to just briefly touch on why you should really be asking for a copy of your Unico from your commercialista or whoever declares your taxes.
If you are unsure what an Unico is, it is merely a copy of your declared tax return pages that have been submitted to the Agenzia delle Entrate.
And will normally be about 20/30ish pages long, depending on how complex your financial affairs are.
You also want to request a copy with the receipt on the back pages, as this is confirmation that it has been lodged with the tax authorities.
That page should have a header as follows:
Now, you may ask why I am telling you this?
In the last few years, I have widened my services to my clients to incorporate a check on their declared financial affairs in Italy, to ensure that everything is being reported correctly. I decided to do this because it had become apparent that some errors had been made by various commercialisti and the odd client had been incurring higher taxes than necessary, as a result.
Checking your tax return may seem a complicated procedure, and you may be reluctant to do so, but actually, for most of the International English-speaking community living in Italy the entries in the tax return should be relatively simple. Apart from any declaration of income, which you would find under section Quadro RN or RT for investment income, you can also check on things like your accrued medical expenses under Quadro RP.
[An interesting point about the medical expenses section is that this year my commercialista contacted me about my receipts for farmacia expenses for 2021. However, he didn’t just asked me for the scontrini, but actually sent me a screenshot from the Agenzia delle Entrate website detailing all my farmacia spending for the whole year, where I had given my tessera sanitaria, which I found quite unsettling!]
The main sections that I would suggest that you check over are Quadro RW and RT. These are where overseas assets, incomes and capital gains have to be declared. These include properties, portfolios, bank accounts and other overseas assets, such as art or vintage cars, for example. These are the sections where I find the most errors. It might be that the market value of a property has been reported instead of a purchase value or local authority value or they have misunderstood the nature of a pension and declared it as an investment portfolio.
Also, remember when checking these figures that they must be converted into EUR from the foreign currencies in which you may have an asset. To do this you need the exchange rate for your respective currency. The Agenzia delle Entrate publishes those conversion rates and where valuations have been provided for the 31st December, for example, then you would need to use the declared rates from the Agenzia delle Entrate for that month. The link below takes you to the AdE provvedimento for Dec 2021 that provides exchange rates on all world currencies.
In more recent years, where I have started working with commercialisti more closely for my clients, I have managed to iron out these problems and, in most cases, a good commercialista will be happy to learn the nature of an overseas asset and ensure it is declared correctly. However, there are still instances where mistakes can be made.
In brief, I would advise you to request a copy of your Unico for the last financial year. A good commercialista shouldn’t be worried about providing you with a copy. There shouldn’t be anything to hide if they have done it all correctly. You can also download this directly from the Agenzia delle Entrate (AdE) website. If you have not already done so, you can request access details to register with the AdE from a local office, and then create your access point. If you have a SPID (Sistema Pubblico di identità Digitale) you can access the website using this means, which is much easier. You want to find section Cassetto Fiscale > Dichiarazioni Fiscali.
Do a check of your declared financial position! There is unlikely to be anything wrong in most cases, but you may just be the one who is paying more than you need to because of an incorrect code or misplaced figure. Do not leave the exclusive responsibility of your finances in the hands of your commercialista or fiscalista and if you are unsure of how to interpret the data in there then you can always ask for my help by contacting me on: firstname.lastname@example.org or call/whatsapp on +39 3336492356
Bonus and Superbonus Edilizia
I have been asked a number of times recently about whether I think the new Italian government will stop the current range of bonuses for doing work on your property and/or upgrading your white ‘elettrodomestici‘ goods. Well, I had written a long article explaining the hypothetical new arrangements that could be announced to begin in 2023, only to be usurped by the Italian government which have now announced how things will change for 2023, as I explain below.
My thinking has always been that they are likely start to phase the bonuses out rather than cull them altogether. But, I can’t see a long-term sustainable economic plan for the country with continued ‘Bonus Edilizia‘ at the current levels, particularly the 110% bonus.
Under the legislation brought in by Draghi the 110% Bonus would have been in place for the whole of 2023, after which it would fall to 70% in 2024 and 65% in 2025. For ‘ville‘ and properties which are classified as ‘unifamiliare‘ the bonus would only be available until the end of 2022. But this is Draghi legislation. He has now gone and the new administration want to put their stamp on things, hence the revised measures coming into force from Jan 2023.
So, the new measures announced last week are as follows:
1. The superbonus will be reduced from 110% to 90% from the 1st Jan 2023 for all condomini (buildings with more than one property).
For ‘unifamiliare‘ properties, i.e villa’s or standalone houses, the same percentage will be offered, as long as it is used on the ‘prima casa‘. However, a new measure for ‘unifamiliare‘ properties has been added. They will now also assess the ‘reddito familigiare‘ of the occupants of the property and reduce any bonus accordingly. The maximum income and formula for the reduction in bonus have yet to be announced.
No mention has been made as to whether the superbonus will still be available or reduced significantly for ‘seconde case‘. The proposals for the ‘seconde case‘ could range from anywhere between 50% to 65% or a complete removal altogether.
The other notable plan is that the Agenzia delle Entrate have been given more powers to ramp up the controls and investigations for bonuses. More paperwork requirements are expected to be demanded to ensure that the monies for the work end up in the hands of the people actually doing the work, at a fair price and not artificially hiked to exploit the bonus regime.
As for all the other bonuses for electric white goods, etc. It looks like they will be here to stay for the coming year/s, at the very least. (Ecobonus, Sismabonus, Bonus mobili e elettrodomestici, Bonus Verde, Bonus idrico, Bonus acqua potabile, Bonus Facciate, Bonus ristrutturazione, Bonus restauro, Bonus prima casa under 36, Bonus affitti giovani under 31)
The final details have not yet been ironed out and knowing the normal process for the Legge di Bilancio we may not know the final details until after the 1st Jan 2023.
Since the superbonus scheme started the Italian government have now paid (or are awaiting payment) of €51 billion of tax rebates. The objective is to reduce that to €31 billion for the period between 2023 and 2028.
For anyone looking to apply for the ‘Bonus Edilizia‘ right now, my suggestion would be to get your requests in and push the people who are making the application on your behalf to make sure that you qualify for the current bonus amounts. If not, you may find the amount you get back is lower than you had expected.
This article was kindly provided by Gareth Horsfall from The Spectrum IFA Group and originally posted at: https://spectrum-ifa.com/declaring-your-taxes-in-italy/
The above contents and comments are entirely the views and words of the author. FEIFA is not responsible for any action taken, or inaction, by anyone or any entity, because of reading this article. It is for guidance only and relevant professional advice should always be taken before investing in any assets or undertaking any financial planning.