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  • Antonio N. L’Abbruzzi

Buying a luxury home: what are the arrangements for foreigners.

Our law allows foreigners to purchase luxury real estate or luxury properties in the following and different ways:

foreigner who is not legally resident: he can buy a property only if an international treaty allows it or if there is a condition of reciprocity between Italy and his country of origin, that is, if an Italian is allowed to buy in his country of origin a house;

legally residing foreigner, family member in good standing with the stay of a legally residing foreigner and stateless in Italy for less than three years: they can purchase a property, without verifying the existence of the condition of reciprocity, if they are holders of a residence permit for reasons of subordinate work or self-employment, for the exercise of an individual business, for family reasons, for humanitarian reasons, for reasons of study or an EC long-term residence permit (residence card);

EU citizen, citizen of EEA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway), stateless person or political refugee residing for more than three years: no particular requirements are required to proceed with the purchase.

It is therefore necessary - in order to know which documents are needed in practice to be able to acquire rights in Italy - to identify which of these categories a foreigner can refer to.

In the case of a foreigner who is not resident in Italy, the first step is to request the Revenue Agency to issue the Tax Code. It will then be necessary to open a current account at a bank or post office.




- registration tax of 2%

- fixed mortgage tax of € 50

- fixed cadastral tax of 50 €


- registration tax of 9%

- mortgage tax of € 50

- cadastral tax of € 50

From manufacturing COMPANY

WITHIN 4 years from the completion of the works

- 4% VAT (22% if the property is luxury)

- fixed registration tax of 200 €

- fixed mortgage tax of € 200

- fixed cadastral tax of 200 €

Second house:

- 10% VAT (22% if the property is luxury)

- fixed registration tax of 200 €

- fixed mortgage tax of € 200

- fixed cadastral tax of 200 €

From manufacturing COMPANY

AFTER 4 years from the completion of the works

- VAT exempt

- registration tax of 2%

- fixed mortgage tax of € 200

- fixed cadastral tax of 200 €

Second house:

- VAT exempt

- fixed registration tax of 9%

- fixed mortgage tax of € 200

- fixed cadastral tax of 200 €

Translation of the Italian document into a foreign language

The Italian foreign notarial deed must be accompanied by a translation into a foreign language certified in accordance with the Italian text by an official translator (who can also be the Italian notary who knows the foreign language), unless the foreigners who purchase do not declare that they understand and read perfectly the Italian language.

Tax concessions for foreigners linked to the purchase of the so-called "first house"

The foreigner is also allowed to enjoy the "first home" benefits if he meets the requirements, which obviously are the same as those required for Italians.


To enjoy these tax advantages, the buyer must declare in the deed, under penalty of forfeiture, that:

• the property is located in the territory of the Municipality in which you have or intend to establish your residence, within 18 months of purchase, or in which it is based or where the buyer carries out his main activity or, if transferred for work , where the employer is based;

• you are not already the exclusive owner or in communion with your spouse of the right of ownership, usufruct, use and home, of another home in the municipality where the property to be purchased is located;

• you are not already the owner, not even for shares or in legal communion, throughout the national territory, of the rights of ownership, usufruct, use, dwelling and bare ownership on other property for residential use purchased, including by the spouse, with the facilities " First house".

At the time of purchase, the buyer pays 2% (registration tax) if he buys from a private subject, or 4% (VAT) if he buys from a business or company (except in particular cases), plus mortgage and cadastral taxes in a fixed amount (currently totaling Euro 400.00).

Legally residing foreigners who are registered on the employment lists or carry out subordinate or self-employed work activities have the right to access, on equal terms with Italian citizens, public residential housing and subsidized credit in the field of construction, recovery, purchase and lease of the first home.

Another tax relief related to the purchase of the "first home" concerns the deductibility (to a certain extent) from income tax of interest paid on mortgages stipulated for the purchase of the so-called first house.

Finally, the income produced by the "first home" is not subject to income tax.


On the website of the Foreign Department it is clarified that "in the drafting of the list relating to the condition of reciprocity in the matter of real estate purchases, no information is provided regarding mortgage loans which, unless otherwise indicated, do not require further verification of the condition of reciprocity, since these acts are connected to the purchase transactions ". Therefore, there is no need to verify the existence of reciprocity in the stipulation of mortgages, in the absence of an express indication to the contrary in the aforementioned office.


The foreigner can set up a company in Italy, create an association, or any other operation, under the same conditions as mentioned for the purchase of the house. With one caveat: reciprocity can exist only for certain subjects. If, for example, in a certain country an Italian can set up a company but not buy a house, the foreigner (not legally resident in Italy) from that same country can set up a company in Italy but not buy a house.


A person cannot always express his will directly: for example, because he is abroad, or in any case far from the place where a specific act or contract should be concluded.

In these cases, a power of attorney can be used, that is, a document that gives a person the power to perform a material or legal act in place of another.

For example, if the husband is abroad and a house purchase deed must be concluded urgently, the husband - before leaving or from abroad - can give his wife a power of attorney so that the wife can conclude the contract. for both.

If the power of attorney comes from abroad, all the rules relating to the foreign deed will apply.


A foreigner can give his possessions as a gift to anyone who wants to live, that is, make donations.


Also for foreigners it is necessary to clarify the matrimonial property regime.

The property regime is the set of rules governing the ownership and methods of administration of assets purchased by two people married to each other while the marriage lasts and when the marriage is dissolved for any reason (death, divorce).

In other words, the property regime indicates the rights that each of the spouses has over the assets acquired (by one or the other spouse, or both) during the marriage, both for the period in which the marriage exists and for the case of dissolution.

In Italy the "normal" regime established between two married people (unless they make a different express choice) is the "legal communion" of assets. However, the spouses can choose the "separation of assets" (not to be confused with the "legal separation" of the spouses), or a regime of communion but with particular rules ("conventional communion").

The choice affects both the possibility of selling or mortgaging the property without the consent of the other spouse, and the rules for the division of assets in the event of the dissolution of the marriage.

Based on art. 30 of Law 218/95, foreign citizens residing in Italy can also choose one of the property regimes provided for by Italian law and this can facilitate their integration into common life in Italy.


Legal communion of assets is the property regime that Italian law links "automatically" to marriage, while leaving the spouses free to choose different rules (such as separation of property or conventional communion).

In summary, legal communion provides that, in principle, all the assets acquired by the spouses during the marriage, even if formally registered in the name of only one, actually belong to both. This means that to sell, donate, mortgage or otherwise dispose of them, the consent of both spouses is required and the value of the assets themselves is half due to each spouse. In summary, only goods for strictly personal or professional use, and the remuneration for one's work, are excluded.


It is the property regime according to which two spouses continue to purchase assets, after marriage, exactly as if they were not married to each other. The property purchased by each spouse remains personal to her, without the other being able to claim any rights over the property itself.

Of course, the spouses can buy an asset even halfway between them, but each can then resell (or donate) her share even without the consent of the other (unlike what happens with the legal communion of assets).

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