HelpWorksItalia - Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a Codice Fiscale?
- I intend moving to Italy shortly. Do I need to apply for a residency permit?
- As a resident in Italy can I use my UK driving license?
- Will I be able to travel backwards and forwards to the UK with my dog?
- I pay NI contributions in the UK. Will I get free medical assistance if I move to Italy?
- What local taxes are there in Italy?
- What is a geometra?
- What is a Proposta di Acquisto?
- What is a Compromesso?
- Can I apply for a Mortgage in Italy?
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It is basically a code number (similar to a National Health Insurance Number) which identifies the individual. You require a Codice Fiscale for practically everything - opening a bank account, applying for utilities in your name, buying a car, buying a house etc...
You can apply for a Codice Fiscale at the offices of the Agenzie delle Entrate.
You will require a copy of your passport and an address here in Italy for communications. You do not have to be a resident in order to apply, but you ought first to be sure it is necessary (i.e. because you are buying a property, moving here and applying for residency, setting up in business). You don't need a Codice Fiscale if you are visiting and plan to stay for less than three months.
Italy allows all EU citizens and most foreigners to stay for up to 3 months without requesting they obtain a resident's permit.
As an EU citizen you need to register your presence at your local Anagrafe (Registry Office) if you wish to extend your stay beyond three months. In order to obtain the residency status required, you will either need to provide proof of employment or sufficient economic means for up to one year and private medical insurance. Residency status is required for buying a car, applying for a job, setting up a company etc...
Documentation pertaining to dependents (i.e. marriage and birth certificates) must be translated and authenticated by the consulate for your country.
Non EU Citizens who wish to stay in Italy for more than 90 days require a Carta di Soggiorno which can be applied for either directly at the Questura (police headquarters) or through the post office which can send on your application. There are a variety of permits one can apply for - tourism, employment, study etc..., but all require documentation that has been translated and authenticated by the consulate for your country. The permit should be applied for within eight working days of arrival in Italy and can take up to three months before being issued.
EU citizens - if you are not yet in possession of a standard EU licence you have up to 12 months after your arrival to obtain one.
You can use a foreign-registered car for up to six months. After this period you are expected to drive an Italian registered car. In order to buy a car in Italy it is necessary to first obtain residency status.
IMPORTANT: For insurance purposes, foreign registered cars must have their annual revision carried out in their country of origin.
Non-EU citizens cannot exchange their driving licences for an Italian one. They are required to take the Italian exam and apply for an Italian license (Patente di Guida).
Further information can be obtained from ACI (Automobile Club d'Italia). There are offices in nearly all cities and towns.
I live in Italy and have acquired a dog. Will I be able to travel backwards and forwards to the UK with him?
The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) allows EU members to travel in and out of the UK at will, but your pet - this scheme is only for dogs and cats - must meet the following conditions:
- It has been resident in the EU for at least six months.
- It has a microchip implant which conforms to ISO standard 11784 (or ISO Standard 11785, Annex A). Other microchips are acceptable, but the operators taking your pet may not have the necessary equipment to read them.
- It has been vaccinated against rabies (but only AFTER the microchip has been implanted).
- A blood sample, taken one month after the vaccination, has been tested at an approved laboratory.
- If it is your pet's first vaccination, a further six months must pass before it can travel to the UK. After the first visit and as long as all re-vaccination and booster injections are carried out in conformity with all norms, your pet can travel as often as you wish.
- It is treated against ticks and tapeworm between 24 and 48 hours before leaving for the UK.
- It has an EU Pet Passport which can be issued directly by an official local vet authority.
If I'm paying National Insurance contributions in the UK will I get free medical assistance if I move to Italy for three months?
For EU citizens a European Health Insurance Card is valid for low cost or free medical treatment while on holiday, but it will not cover you once you are a resident unless you can present one of the following forms: E106, E120, E121 (or E33), E109 (or E37). Until you are in possession of a Permanent Residency Card (after five years) you will be required to pay a private medical insurance which should cost in the region of €600.
As an employed resident you can apply for a Tessera Sanitaria from the Azienda Sanitaria Locale (ASL) and register with a local doctor.
Non EU citizens need to ensure they have adequate private health insurance when they enter the country.
ICI - Imposta Comunale sugli Immobili (Council Tax) is a property tax imposed by the local council on houses or plots of land with building permission. It is calculated annually (based on the size of the property and how it is categorised), of necessity by an accountant and cannot be direct debited from a bank account.
IRPEF - Imposta sul Reddito delle Persone Fisiche - (Income Tax). This is applicable to all property owners even if they do not live or work in Italy and is based on the catastal income of the property. It can be calculated at the same time as your ICI payments and again, cannot be direct debited from your bank account.
Tassa Rifiuti Solidi Urbani (Rubbish Tax). All property owners and/or residents are subject to this council tax, whether you own a property or are renting one. Floor plans of your house or apartment need to be deposited at the Ufficio dei Tributi immediately after the signing of either the rental or purchase contract. An annual bill will arrive at your house which can be paid at your local post office, but cannot be direct debited from your bank account.
A geometra is a type of surveyor who is qualified to carry out surveys, draw up plans, present projects to the local planning authorities and as Director of Works (required by law) responsible for the works carried out at your property.
However, as owner of a property, you are ultimately responsible for the legality of works carried out at your property, therefore always check before works commence that you have a copy of all relevant authorizations and that they are valid. You should also retain for at least 10 years all invoices for which IVA (VAT) is applicable at either 10% or 20%.
It is a formal offer of purchase in which all terms are set out for buying a property. You can be expected to pay a deposit of up to 10%, but as long as both parties agree, this sum can be held by the mediating agency, in the form of a non-transferable cheque, until all conditions in this offer have been met.
In the event they are not, the Proposta di Acquisto should state clearly that your deposit monies will be returned to you in their entirety.
If you'd like to know more about buying a property in Italy, download our free Guides to Purchasing Property and Restorations.
A compromesso in property terms is the same as the Contratto Preliminare di Compravendita (Preliminary Contract of Sale) and it either follows the Proposta di Acquisto or substitutes it.
In Italy up to 40% of the agreed purchase price can be requested as a deposit at the time of the Compromesso, but this is negotiable.
The Abbey National and the Woolwich (Barclays Bank) are now operating in Italy, but don't assume you will receive an English service.
Italian Banks are very keen to provide mortgages to foreigners whether resident or non-resident, so it is advisable to shop around.
Documents you will require in order to obtain a mortgage:
- Legally translated birth certificate, marriage and/or divorce certificate, Passport passport
- Codice fiscale (to be acquired in Italy - the equivalent of a National Insurance number)
- Details of income.
- For those with a company/business - balance of company accounts.
- Last three year's tax return or wage slips.
Documents relating to property
- Purchase price if a restored property.
- Estimate of costs if the property is to restore, and relative permissions/approvals from authorities for planned works (it is extremely difficult to get a mortgage for an un-restored property).
- Copy of Offer of Purchase or Compromesso.
- Evaluation of property to be carried out by a professional surveyor associated with the bank.
In order to obtain a mortgage a Notary is required to draw up a contract which has to be signed by both the purchaser of the property and the bank.
The notary's costs are approximately €2,000.
Obtaining a mortgage can take up to 3 months so make sure you have given yourself the necessary time required in your Proposta di Acquisto or Compromesso.