It would seem that governments really do exploit disruptive / destructive events to tighten the tax net on citizens and this has, once again, been used effectively during Covid.
This time it is the turn of the short-term rental market (I assume short-term means anything up to a month in duration).
The Italian government is about to launch a platform to collect relevant information on ALL activity, across Italy, involved in short-term lodgings / holiday lets. The objective being to create a clear map, across the country, of who is involved in this activity.
Everyone who is involved in short-term rental will be required to register with the platform and will be provided with an identification code specifically for their activity. This code will need to be quoted on every advert for a rental where a rental is advertised on a ‘homes 4 rental’ style website, with the local estate agent or on social media. Failure to quote the number will generate a fine of between €500 and €5000 for every advert where the code is not listed. The fine will be doubled for a repeat offence!
Some regions, such as Lombardia, already have this system in place. They operate the Cir (codice identificativo regionale). This information is automatically communicated to the comune in which the short-term rental is located. If a region does not operate the system, owners will now be required to register on the national platform and obtain the identification code this way. The information gathered will be passed back to the respective comuni.
The legislation for the platform is set to pass within the next few weeks and then will go into force 90 days after the publication in the Gazzetta Ufficiale. The specific date to list the identification code will be communicated at this time.
Just one more bureaucratic hurdle
This is clearly another administrative burden that rental property owners are going to have to jump through in the search for income and/or profit from property rental.
The government are trying to weed out the ‘in nero’ rentals that have clogged the market in the years preceding Covid, particularly in the cities. These have changed the landscape of the cities so much that palazzi (much like the one I live and work from in Rome) are now full of apartments catering to foreign holidaymakers, rather than people who live and work in Rome. It is the same story around the world in big cities.
In the Italian government’s favour, a lot of these rentals are undeclared for taxation purposes and try to fly under the radar, but it’s difficult to see how an identification code requirement will flush them out.
Many of the people I know who are involved in this activity are unlikely to be affected as they are conforming to local and national requirements already. However, occasionally I do get contacted by people who have a home in Italy and are renting it out to holidaymakers on overseas holiday rental websites and running all the earnings through a foreign bank account, with the assumption that they do not need to therefore declare anything in Italy. Obviously, this is wrong and my advice, as always, would be to ensure that you are meeting the various fiscal and administrative requirements in Italy.
If you own a property in Italy and generate any income from it, then it must be declared to the Italian authorities first! The Agenzia delle Entrate do regularly troll through holiday rental websites and cross reference against tax returns.
Oh, and if you are in any doubt. ‘I didn’t know’ is never an excuse, so get informed!
I hope you found this article useful. I am still waiting on the latest structural tax changes to be announced shortly. There is lots of press flying around about what and how things will be changed. At time of writing the only thing we know is that the ‘catasto’ on properties is being slightly changed and the partita IVA forfettario regime will be phased out within the next 2 years. For the rest I am still waiting. I will let you know as soon as I do.