Why the Italian government might give you up to €500 to go on holiday in Italy

Why the Italian government might give you up to €500 to go on holiday in Italy
A deserted hotel bar in Jesolo, near Venice. Photo: AFP
As Italy seeks to stimulate the economy in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, the Italian government is offering to help lower-income residents take a holiday this year. (This article was updated on June 18th)
Italy on Wednesday June 17th confirmed details of a new “holiday bonus” scheme under which low-income households could receive up to 500 euros ($560) each to help get the country's battered tourism sector back on its feet.
 
Part of the ambitious 'Relaunch Decree' unveiled in mid-May, the 'holiday bonus' could be worth up to €500 to families who choose to travel in Italy.

It aims to boost Italy's tourism sector, which accounts for 15 percent of the country's jobs and has taken a massive hit from travel restrictions imposed by Italy and other countries during the coronavirus pandemic.

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“All sectors have suffered badly during this crisis, but tourism has paid the heaviest price for the consequences of this epidemic,” said Italy's Tourism Minister Dario Franceschini as he announced a raft of exceptional stimulus measures for the industry, which also include tax breaks for tourist accommodation, bars and restaurants.

The government said it was setting aside 2.4 billion euros for households earning less than 40,000 euros a year to receive a financial incentive to
holiday in Italy rather than go abroad.

Who can claim the 'holiday bonus'?

There are two conditions:

1) It's for residents, not overseas visitors: you must pay taxes in Italy, since part of the bonus takes the form of a tax deduction. (If you live outside Italy and would like to know when you might be allowed to visit, you'll find our latest information here.)

2) It's for lower-income households: your combined income, as calculated on your ISEE or 'Equivalent Economic Situation Indicator', should total no more than €40,000 per year.

Families, couples and individuals can all apply for the bonus. If you're applying as a couple or family it will only be paid per household, not per person.

READ ALSO: 'Without tourists, Venice is a dead city': Not all Venetians are glad the crowds have gone


Photo: Marco Sabadin/AFP

How much is it worth?

The government says it will pay €150 to people travelling on their own, €300 for two people and €500 for families of three or more.

How is it paid?

The bonus will be paid out in two ways: 80 percent of the cost will be shouldered upfront by your hotel, B&B, agriturismo or other accommodation and should be discounted directly from your bill. You should plan to stay in one spot, because you'll only be able to claim the bonus from a single place of accommodation.

Accommodation owners will then claim the money back from the government in the form of a tax credit. They'll need to make a note of your personal codice fiscale (tax code) and issue a complete bill or receipt.

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The decree states that payment must be made directly by the guest or via a travel agent, but not through any other kind of portal or intermediary – which means that stays in AirBnBs, which are booked on the company's own platform, are not eligible for the bonus.

It's up to guests to claim the remaining 20 percent of the bonus, which can be deducted from your tax bill for the 2020 financial year.

When can you travel?

The bonus can be paid on trips taken between July 1st and December 31st 2020.

Italy started allowing tourism from the EU and from Schengen countries again on June 3rd.
 
No date has been confirmed yet for non-EU travel to restart, but this is not expected to be until after June 30th.
 

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