Article 1, paragraphs 273 and 274 of the 2019 Budget Law, introduced article 24 ter of the Income Tax Code (TUIR) which regulates a new optional regime for natural persons receiving a pension income, who transfer their residence to Italy, pursuant to Article 2, paragraph 2 of the Income Tax Reform, in any of the boroughs of the regions of Sicily, Calabria, Sardinia, Campania, Basilicata, Abruzzo, Molise and Puglia with a maximum population of 20,000 inhabitants.
These subjects are in fact allowed to opt into the subsidy scheme for the application of a 7% substitute tax applicable to all categories of income, received from a foreign source or produced abroad.
In order to apply the aforementioned tax subsidy, the law foresees that the scheme:
§ can be opted into by natural persons who have not been fiscally resident in Italy in the five tax periods prior to that in which the subsidy scheme becomes effective, and who transfer their residence from Countries with which administrative cooperation agreements are in force;
§ is opted into on the tax return form relating to the tax year in which their residence is transferred to Italy and becomes effective from that tax year onwards;
§ is valid for the first five tax years following the year in which it becomes effective.
It should also be noted that, pursuant to the provisions of article 1, paragraph 274 of the 2019 Budget Law, pensioners who opt into this scheme are not required to complete Section RW of the Italian Tax Return Form concerning the reporting obligations of assets held outside Italy (so-called tax monitoring) and are exempt from Ivie and Ivafe tax.
With provision no. 167878/29019 of 31 May 2019, the Inland Revenue intervened by defining the methods used to opt into and opt out of this subsidy scheme, the cessation of the effects and the payment methods of the substitute tax as well as the information source to identify the Boroughs with the characteristics foreseen by article 24-ter, paragraph 1, of the Income Tax Code (TUIR).
How to opt into the scheme
The scheme can be opted into from the 2019 tax year and is concluded with the indication of the same in the tax return form referring to the tax period in which the subject transferred his/her residence in Italy pursuant to article 2, paragraph 2 of the Income Tax Code.
The tax payer shall therefore declare to be eligible to opt into the subsidy scheme in the Tax Return form, pursuant to Article 24ter of the Income Tax Code, and also indicate:
– the States or foreign territories for which the tax payer intends to opt out of the substitute tax scheme(under paragraph 8 article 24-ter of the Income Tax Code);
– the State of residence of the foreign entity paying the pension income referred to in Article 49, paragraph 2, letter a, of the Income Tax Code;
– the amount of foreign income subject to the substitute tax.
The faculty to opt out of the substitute tax scheme with reference to the income produced in one or more States or foreign territories, may also be exercised in the tax return forms relating to the tax years subsequent to that in which the opt in was exercised.
As regards the identification of the population residing in the Borough in Southern Italy to which the residence is transferred, the Provision clarified how to refer, in order to ensure compliance with the condition of establishing one’s residence in a borough with a low population, to the data resulting from the “Annual Borough Population Census” published on the website of the National Statistics Institute (ISTAT) relative to January 1st of the year prior to the first year of validity of the scheme.
This data will then be relevant for each of the scheme validity periods provided that the tax payer does not transfer his or her residence to another Italian borough.
Termination of the effects, opting out of the scheme and expiry date
The scheme is valid for the entire duration of the five tax periods subsequent to the one in which the opt in was exercised, unless a termination of the effects, opting out of the scheme or expiry of the scheme occurs.
The subsidising effects of the scheme terminate at the end of the ordinary period envisaged or may:
– be opted out of by the same tax payer in one of the periods subsequent to the one in which the opt in was exercised;
– expire if:
o the requirements envisaged by the law are no longer met;
o there is omitted or partial payment of the taxes due;
o if the residence is moved to an Italian borough other than those “subsidised” or abroad.
The opt out and the expiry of the scheme preclude the possibility of opting in again.
As regards the payment of the substitute tax, the Provision clarifies how the same shall be paid in a single instalment within the income tax payment deadline.
Chartered Accountant – Studio EPICA Treviso