For members


‘How we claimed Italy’s building bonus twice for the same property’

For those looking to make renovations to their property in Italy, the government is offering considerable sums of money to help. But look into the small print and it turns out you could access the same state funds more than once for the same property. Here's what we found.

The Italian government’s superbonus scheme is an incentive measure following the coronavirus crisis, which could see homeowners benefit from a 110 percent tax deduction on expenses related to property renovation.

Linked to costs for making homes safer and more energy efficient, the superbonus was introduced in the government’s Decreto Rilancio (Relaunch Decree) last year.

READ ALSO: The building bonuses you could claim in Italy in 2021

There are potentially hundreds of thousands of euros in savings to be made, spread across the so-called ‘ecobonus’ and ‘sismabonus’, which can be used in conjunction and offer state funds for making energy upgrades and reducing seismic risk respectively.

But it turns out property owners could make even bigger savings in renovation costs, as we discovered the ‘sismabonus’ – worth up to a considerable €96,000 – can be claimed more than once for the same property.

Photo: Milivoj Kuhar on Unsplash

So how can you access this hefty bonus multiple times?

Here’s a closer look at the government regulations and the pitfalls to watch out for.

Note: The schemes are complex and subject to change, so it’s important to get professional advice before buying and renovating.

What funding is available and who is it for?

The Sismabonus is for properties at risk of earthquakes. To claim from this kitty, the property must be in an area with a seismic risk level of 1, 2 or 3 (high, medium or medium-low). Those with a risk level of 4 (low) don’t qualify.

The scheme covers shared areas of buildings, detached houses, social housing and single-family homes, even within multi-family buildings.

There’s also no limit to the amount of properties you can renovate with this particular pot, which may be of particular interest to those with second (or multiple) homes in Italy.

What’s more, we stumbled upon the fact it can also be claimed more than once for the same property – in fact, you can claim a staggering €96,000 up to four times.

We were taken aback too. And absolutely elated.

Of course, there was a hint of caution and suspicion. Had we read it right? Can this be legitimate?

We’d had four months to pore over the terms and conditions of the superbonus, as that’s how long it’s taken for the sale to go through following submitting an offer.

READ ALSO: How to stay out of trouble when renovating your Italian property

It’s the first time I’ve bought a house – a wreck in need of demolition and complete rebuilding in fact – but I was pretty sure it goes a bit quicker where I’m from, in the UK.

Friends back home laughed at the system I’d found myself in and confirmed my frustrations were founded. This was a long time.

On the other hand, we were doing our sums and riffling through Italian bureaucracy in the meantime, to work out how much of a mortgage we’d need and how much of the various bonuses we may be eligible to claim.

And that’s how we unearthed this surprising discovery.

Photo: Katy Cao on Unsplash

The Agenzia delle Entrate (Italian Revenue Agency) stated, “The relief is also available if the work is carried out on buildings that are not condominiums, as they consist of several building units (up to four) owned by a single owner or in co-ownership.”

Nowhere does it plainly state that you can claim up to €96,000 more than once, which is why it’s easy to miss.

However, in a question posed to the Italian Revenue Agency, officials published a response that clarified how it’s possible to claim the sismabonus repeatedly on the same property.

A case study of coinciding Sismabonus claims

A petitioner submitted a query as co-owner of a property with her husband.

Along with their home, they have an independent garage and two other units, C/2 ‘magazzini e locali di deposito’ (warehouses and storage premises) and C/6 ‘stalle, scuderie, rimesse, autorimesse – senza fine di lucro’ (stables, sheds, garages – non-profit making).

The applicant stated that her residence is separated from the latter two units by a partition and “is functionally independent in that it has all its own installations and independent access from the outside.”


Their renovation plans include “total demolition and reconstruction of the above-mentioned building units, without any increase in volume”, the document stated.

This is in order to merge the house with the extra buildings.

Therefore, the four existing building units will be demolished and that, once the work is completed, the result will be a single-family dwelling and a garage.

They asked for clarification on the maximum amount of expenditure permitted in the superbonus, as they believed that they could access the superbonus “as individual units since they are functionally independent”.

With regard to the earthquake-proofing interventions, they stated the expenditure limit of €96,000 should apply to “each of the three initial real estate units considered independent from each other” (the house and the other two units C/2 and C/6).

Here’s the response

“The superbonus also applies to interventions carried out by individuals, outside the exercise of business, art or profession, with reference to interventions on buildings consisting of two to four separately stacked real estate units, even if owned by a single owner or co-owned by several individuals,” stated the Italian Revenue Agency.

That means for property owners hoping to get government funds for renovations – you can claim the bonus on each part of your property, as long as they are separate units.

So for example, a garage, a shed or storage building are all eligible for up to €96,000 of bonus each in addition to your home. That’s confirmed in the amended article 119 of the Relaunch Decree.

We worked out that we can now claim up to €96,000 for the main property and the ‘magazzino’ (storage building) separately.

That’s €192,000 in government aid to contribute to our house building fund – a life-changing figure for us.

Photo: Maria Ziegler/Unsplash

What to watch out for

As we haven’t yet got to the part where we actually claim the state aid, it’s still a case of wait and see if it’s too good to be true. However, after a conversation with our geometra (surveyor), it all looks above board and good to go.

There are other exceptions to watch out for, though.

First of all, the bonus doesn’t extend to certain types of buildings – prestigious villas and castles, for example, are excluded.

To access the bonus, you’ll also need to remember to hire an expert to assess the seismic risk and provide a certificate to prove the work has been effective in guarding against earthquakes.


The final result must demonstrate a reduction in seismic risk by one or two classes.

If you’re buying a wreck to knock down and want to rebuild it completely differently, you’ll need to make sure it’s not in a historic centre, for example.

If it is, it’s essential to maintain the previous characteristics of the old building and rebuild the property the same size.

Next Steps

To check whether you are eligible, speak to a professional and check the Agenzia delle Entrate website before you begin any work on property.

If you’re keen to buy, you may also want to take a look at our guide to the additional costs you might not be expecting, and read up on some of the common mistakes to avoid when buying a house in Italy.

See more in The Local’s Italian property section.

Member comments

  1. So far as I have read these monies are not a grant but a tax abatement/saving. Yes increased from about 50% to 110%. Not many people can recover 192,000 in tax otherwise payable in the likely short life time of such a baited trap…. BEWARE.

  2. Do I have the maths correct? To gain 192,000 in tax refund one needs an income of 834,783 taxed at 23% to recover the bonus?

  3. Of course everyone in Italy wants to utilize the ecobonus 110% and sismabonus so many architects (who do all of the extensive documentation) are accepting all clients and their deposits without limit. The end result is that architects have way more projects than they can handle and many projects are going nowhere.

    In Sicily there is widespread doubt that the government money will ever arrive and if not, the projects get stuck in limbo as construction teams won’t work without funds.

    Hoping for the best but in the south very few projects have started work and we’ve heard of none that have been finished/paid yet.

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For members


How to get a discount on the cost of solar panels for your Italian property

Solar panels are an understandably popular choice in Italy, and if you're thinking of installing them on your own home there's funding available to help lower the cost. Here's what you need to know.

How to get a discount on the cost of solar panels for your Italian property

As utility bills rise, more home and business owners in Italy are looking at installing solar panels as a possible way to reduce costs in the long term.

Solar panels are already hugely popular in Italy, with the nation ranking top worldwide for solar-powered electricity consumption.

READ ALSO: Who can claim a discount on energy bills in Italy?

And no wonder: it’s a solid bet in a country where there is sunshine in abundance. But what about the costs of installation?

The good news is that there’s financial help available from Italy’s national government aimed at encouraging uptake of solar energy, as well as other incentives from regional authorities in many parts of the country.

It’s in the government’s interest to incentivise solar power, as Italy has vowed to transition to greener energy with its National Integrated Plan for Energy and Climate (Piano Nazionale Integrato per l’Energia e il Clima 2030 or PNIEC).

So how could this benefit you? Here’s a look at what you can claim at both a national and a regional level.

Regional funding for installing solar panels

As well as the national government subsidies available for covering the cost of solar panel installation, some regions have introduced their own bonuses or discount schemes.

The sunny southern region of Puglia and the wealthy northern region of Lombardy have seen the highest number of residential photovoltaic systems installed, according to market research.

it’s not surprising, then, that these two regions’ governments are offering cash incentives to help cover the cost of installing solar panels.

Depending on the type of system you opt for, you could expect to pay between around €5,000 and €13,000 for installation, design, labour and paperwork.

To contribute to this initial outlay, the local authority in Puglia has created a pot to help homeowners on lower incomes move towards renewable energy.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about installing solar panels on your home in Italy

Newly introduced in 2022, the so-called Reddito energetico (energy income) offers households with an annual income below €20,000 a bonus of up to €8,500 for installing photovoltaic, solar thermal or micro-wind systems in their homes.

The bonus is intended for residents who have citizenship of an EU country or, if you are a citizen of a non-EU country, you can still claim the bonus if you have been resident for at least one year in a municipality in Puglia.

The €20,000 annual income refers to a household’s ISEE – an indicator of household wealth calculated based on earnings and other factors.

A worker fixes solar panels. (Photo by Ina FASSBENDER / AFP)

For this particular scheme, if you claim this bonus from the authorities in Puglia, it precludes you from also claiming funds at national level concurrently – such as through the popular superbonus 110 home renovation fund (see below for more on this).

Although there are other government bonuses, such as the renovation bonus (bonus ristrutturazione) that offers a much higher maximum total expenditure of €96,000, it can only be claimed as a 50 percent tax deduction spread over 10 years in your tax return.

For lower income families in Puglia, this may not be as cost effective as the grant from the regional authorities, which may equate to more money towards the cost and supply of solar panels.

For more information and to apply for Puglia’s renewable energy bonus, see here.

Lombardy is also stumping up funds to continue the solar power momentum experienced in the region.

While the coffers for private properties are currently closed, the region has made funds available for those with small and medium-sized businesses – again, in a move designed to lessen the impact of rising energy costs.

Business owners can claim a 30 percent grant for the installation of solar panels. There are more funds available to cover the cost of consultancy during the process too.

For more details on applying for this energy bonus in Lombardy, see here.

Other regions have also taken the initiative with encouraging more homes and businesses to change to solar-powered energy.

The region of Tuscany is offering an incentive on installing solar panels to residents in the form of tax deductions spread out over several years.

Works permitted include installing winter and summer air conditioning and hot water systems using renewable sources. This covers heat pumps, solar panels or high-efficiency biomass boilers.

For further details and information on how to apply, see here.

Each region may have its own solar panel bonus, either in the form of grants or tax deductions, available to private residents and/or businesses.

Check your regional government’s website to find out what may be currently on offer.

Solar panels are an increasingly popular option for those renovating homes in Italy. Photo by Jeremy Bezanger on Unsplash

National subsidies for installing solar panels

If your region isn’t offering any cash incentive to install solar panels on your property, there are government funds available, which cover all 20 regions.

The authorities introduced and extended a package of building bonuses in order to galvanise the construction industry following the economic downturn caused by the pandemic.

While there is no single, separate package of incentives for installing solar panels in 2022, you can take advantage of other government bonuses that include the cost of solar panel installation and supply.

As noted, you could use the renovation bonus (bonus ristrutturazione), which amounts to a 50 percent tax deduction spread over 10 years in your tax return – or through the superbonus 110, a scheme that promises homeowners a tax deduction of up to 110% on expenses related to property renovation and making energy efficiency measures.


The property must make at least a double jump in energy class or reach the highest efficiency rating when accessing these bonuses.

There’s a substantial amount of funds on offer to install your solar panels.

Using the renovation bonus, there is a maximum total expenditure of €96,000 (per single housing, including condominiums). Remember this amounts to a 50 percent tax deduction, so the maximum saving you would make is €48,000.

The renovation bonus has been extended until 2024 and, where solar panel installation is concerned, you can claim for the costs of labour, design, surveys and inspections, as well as VAT and stamp duty.

You must tell Italy’s energy and technology authority, ENEA, that you’ve done the works within 90 days in order to access the state aid for solar panel installation.

If you choose to use the superbonus route to claim funds for your solar panels, however, you can spread out the tax deduction costs over five years. Alternatively, you can apply for it as a discount on the invoice (sconto in fattura) or through the transfer of credit (cessione del credito).

The limit when using this bonus is €48,000, which can now be accessed for a while longer as the government extended the deadline for single family homes.

See HERE for details on how to claim it.

See more in The Local’s Italian property section.