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Budget 2022: Which of Italy’s building bonuses have been extended?

Since the Italian government made the 2022 budget into law, many reforms to Italy's various building bonuses have been extended or changed. Here's what those planning to build or renovate need to know.

Italy's 2022 budget has changed change building projects for homeowners in Italy.
Photo by MAX BEDENDI on Unsplash

The Italian government announced its raft of budget measures for 2022 at the end of last month, effective from January 1st, including tax and pensions reforms, help with household bills and funds to close the gender pay gap.

What particularly stood out for those buying and renovating property was the highly anticipated news on extensions to tax breaks for home renovations.

After much discussion over the last few months of 2021, the authorities confirmed how the various building bonuses will be rolled on and who is eligible to access them, as published in the final Budget Law (Legge di Bilancio) on December 30th, 2021.

EXPLAINED: What changes in Italy’s new budget?

To encourage investment in construction and increase energy efficiency and seismic resilience of existing buildings, the Italian authorities have continued the bonuses for building renovations, energy upgrading, the purchase of furniture and household appliances and the green bonus.

Many of them have been extended to 2024 – however, different deadlines to claim now apply.

Here’s an overview of the building bonuses for 2022 and how they’ve changed.

Renovating Italian property with bonuses.
The superbonus 110 is due to expire next June for single family homes. Photo: Sensei Minimal/Unsplash

The superbonus 110

Italy’s government launched the ‘superbonus 110‘ in May 2020, one of various measures aimed at boosting the Covid-hit economy.

Offering homeowners up to 110% deductions on expenses related to energy upgrades and reducing seismic risk, the scheme has been so in demand that homeowners are stuck amid delays on many projects as construction companies struggle to keep up.

After much speculation and concern as to how this building bonus would continue into 2022, the superbonus on single-family homes has been approved for the whole of this year.

READ ALSO:

The previous caveat has been scrapped. Now there’s no reference to only being eligible if it’s your first home and if you have an ISEE (the social-economic indicator of household wealth) of €25,000 maximum.

The only requirement is that 30 percent of works must be completed by June 30th 2022.

Condominiums, owners of buildings consisting of two to four units and third sector organisations will be able to take advantage of the benefit until 2025, with a sliding scale: 110 percent remains valid until 31 December 2023, dropping to 70 percent in 2024 and 65 percent in 2025.

Italian property renovation.
Photo: reisetopia on Unsplash

Facades bonus

Another bonus extended for 2022 is the Bonus Facciate. This scheme previously allowed you to deduct 90 percent of the amount incurred for renovating the exterior facades of buildings, with no maximum spending limits.

In spite of some initial uncertainty, the facade bonus has been extended again – although in 2022 the percentage of the deduction for restoration work on external facades has dropped to 60 percent.

There are still no maximum spending limits for 2022 for works carried out on the restoration and recovery of external facades, balconies and railings of buildings. This applies to both independent houses and condominium buildings located in historic centres, suburbs and both large and small municipalities.

This bonus has so far been extended until the end of December 2022.

The furniture and appliances bonus

The state aid available for buying household appliances – the Bonus Mobili e Elettrodomestici – has been rolled on until 2024.

The Budget Law 2022 has doubled the maximum amount of eligible expenditure to what had been discussed, now standing at €10,000.

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

This scheme applies to household goods of at least A+ class (A for ovens), intended to furnish a property undergoing renovation, and other appliances such as washing machines, washer-dryers, dishwashers. refrigerators and freezers.

It consists of a 50 percent personal income tax deduction of a maximum €10,000 expenditure or can be applied for via credit transfer or a discount on the invoice. This applies to the purchase of furniture and household appliances to furnish a property undergoing renovation.

The subsidy is linked to the renovation bonus. To be sure you can access it, the renovation work must have begun before buying any furniture or appliances – but expenses on restoring the property don’t need to actually be paid beforehand.

Renovation bonus

The Bonus Ristrutturazioni has been confirmed until December 31st 2024, allowing homeowners to apply for a 50 percent tax reduction on carrying out renovation work in both individual properties and condominiums.

The rules remain unchanged – there continues to be a maximum limit on expenses of €96,000 and the 50 percent offset to taxes is divided into annual instalments for 10 years. Or you can apply for the invoice discount or credit transfer.

There is a raft of allowances for accessing this bonus. These include making repairs on property that has been damaged, building garages or parking spaces, increasing security of the property such as installing gates, security doors and CCTV, removing asbestos and gas detection equipment.

Not only are homeowners eligible to apply for this bonus, also tenants of properties, separated spouses of the property owner and co-habiting partners are too.

READ ALSO: Italy’s building bonus: Can you really claim back the cost of renovating property?

Photo: Andrew CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP

Ecobonus

The 50 percent and 65 percent ecobonus, a tax deduction aimed at encouraging energy upgrading in buildings, will remain in force and will exist in parallel with the ‘superbonus’.

Its extension in the 2022 Budget Law will allow taxpayers to benefit from tax discounts for works aimed at improving the energy performance of existing buildings.

READ ALSO:

The ordinary ‘ecobonus’, which has less stringent eligibility criteria than the 110 percent ‘superbonus’, is an IRPEF (income tax) and IRES tax (corporate income tax) deduction recognised for numerous expenses, including those relating to the replacement of boilers or windows and frames, for instance.

The following tax deduction rates have been confirmed in the Budget Law:

  • 50 percent for window frames, biomass and solar screens;
  • 65 percent for the remaining types of expenditure.
  • If works are carried out on common condominium areas, the amount of tax deduction varies from 70 percent to 75 percent.

Sismabonus

The sismabonus is intended for renovation work in areas hit by seismic events and for making homes safe by upgrading the seismic class on parts of buildings or single property units. It has been extended to the end of 2024.

The 2022 Budget Law has confirmed that it will be possible to opt for various tax deductions if you choose to reduce the seismic risk of your home.

Depending on the type of work carried out on the property, there are different amounts of the bonus available. From a 50 percent deduction up to 85 percent bonus in some cases. This can either be claimed via tax deductions or the more rapid credit trasnfer or discount on invoice.

This bonus has been available for a number of years, and provides a maximum expenditure of €96,000 for each building unit.

First home bonus for under 36

Tax incentives for the first home bonus for young people, in this instance categorised as under 36, have been extended for the whole of 2022.

UPDATE: Under 36? Here’s how Italy plans to help you buy a house

Rent discounts for young people

Young people, classed as between 20 and 31 for this measure, could benefit from a 20 percent discount on rent up to €2,000. The deduction can also be used by under 31s, out-of-town students, who simply rent a room.

It is intended for those who leave home and have their own income up to a maximum of €15,493.71.

According to the Budget Law text, the discount applies whether you rent an entire flat or a room.

It must “be used as their own residence, provided that the same is different from the main residence of their parents or of those to whom they are entrusted by the competent bodies.”

The measure is due to last for four years. Certain properties such as luxury buildings are excluded from the bonus.

Green bonus

The Bonus Verde has also been extended into 2022 – you could get state help for landscaping your garden or private outdoor areas of existing property, supplying plants and shrubs, doing work on fences, irrigation systems, building wells, roofs or roof gardens.

There’s a 36 percent tax deduction available for jobs relating to gardens, terraces and green areas in general.

If using the tax deduction method, the tax relief applied in the tax return must be divided into 10 annual instalments of equal amounts and must not exceed a maximum expenditure equal to €5,000 for each property.

Therefore, amounts of up to €1,800 (36 percent of €5,000) can be claimed back. This bonus can also be claimed via credit transfer or a discount on the invoice.

Unlike the furniture bonus, this deduction is not linked to the incurring of expenses related to the building renovation.

How claiming building bonuses will change

Perhaps the most eagerly anticipated feature of the new Budget Law was how people could claim.

Many building tax bonuses are available via credit transfer (cessione del credito) or a discount on the invoice (sconto in fattura), the Budget Law confirmed.

READ ALSO: Do you have to be Italian to claim Italy’s building bonuses?

Both these options were set to expire on December 31st 2021 for most, leaving tax deduction the only option – making it difficult for more people to access the bonuses quickly.

Despite earlier suggestions, government aid for renovating property such as the sismabonus, ecobonus, bonus facciate, bonus mobili and bonus verde will be able to count on these important financial measures, crucial for the start of works.

The superbonus 110 will also continue to benefit from credit transfer and a discount on the invoice.

See more in The Local’s Italian property section.

Member comments

  1. Regarding the deadline of June 30, 2022 for the Superbonus 110%, does the work need to have started by December 31, 2021 or does it only need to be finished by June 30, 2022 regardless of start date? GRAZIE!!

  2. We have recently purhcased a property that needs renovating, extending, landscaping etc. etc. We have been told that as non-residents we can pay for the work to be completed and then we can claim a percentage of the costs back through our bank – does anybody else have any experience of this and could comment with advice please? Much appreciated. *no work has started yet we have only recently taken ownership of the property and land.

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PROPERTY

How to avoid hidden traps when buying an old property in Italy

Buying a cheap home to renovate in Italy sounds like the dream, but it can quickly turn nightmarish amid restrictions, red tape, and bickering relatives. Silvia Marchetti explains some of the most unexpected pitfalls and how to avoid them.

How to avoid hidden traps when buying an old property in Italy

With so many Italian towns offloading cheap old properties for sale, lots of people have been tempted by the chance to buy a fixer-upper in a sunny, rural area and live in the perfect idyll. And most are oblivious at first of what risks the purchase might entail. 

The older the properties are, the more potential traps along the way.

READ ALSO: The Italian towns launching alternatives to one-euro homes

There have been several villages in Italy eager to sell €1 and cheap homes that have had to give up on their plans once hidden issues came to light.

Back in 2014, the towns of Carrega Ligure, in Piedmont, and Lecce nei Marsi, in Abruzzo, tried hard to sell their old properties off at a bargain price but just couldn’t get past Italy’s labyrinthine red tape, hellish property restrictions, and scores of bickering relatives.

Both towns’ mayors found themselves chasing after the many heirs of unknown property owners who had emigrated in the 1800s. All existing relatives, who technically owned small parcels of the same house (whether they knew it or not), had to all agree on the sale.

Under Italian law, over time and generations a property ‘pulverizes’ into many little shares depending on how many heirs are involved (if one single heir is not named).

You can end up in a situation where you agree with two owners that you’ll buy their old house, and then one day another five knock at your door saying they never gave their consent, nullifying your purchase. So it’s always best to check beforehand the local land registry to see exactly who, and how many, are the owners, and where they are. 

READ ALSO:

In Carrega Ligure and Lecce nei Marsi, families had long ago migrated across the world and the many heirs to some properties were impossible to track down.

But there were also other obstacles.

“We wanted to start the renovation project by selling dilapidated one euro houses, and then move on to cheap ones, but the tax office would not agree on the price – saying that the old properties had a greater value, that they weren’t classified as abandoned buildings but as perfectly livable houses in good shape”, says Lecce nei Marsi mayor Augusto Barile. 

This meant buyers would have ended up spending tons of money in property sale taxes.

“Even if these were just small houses, potential property taxes start at €700, and could have been much higher,” he explains.

“This would have been a nightmare for any buyer finding out about this at a later stage, after the purchase”.

Barile says the town hall had not made a prior agreement with the tax office to reclassify and ‘downgrade’ the value of the old buildings, which also required an update of the land registry. 

READ ALSO: The hidden costs of buying a home in Italy

Council officials in the village of Carrega Ligure faced a wall of red tape when they tried to sell off abandoned properties. Credit: Comune di Carrega Ligure

Several potential buyers I spoke to back then said that when they found out about the tax office’s involvement by word of mouth (mostly thanks to village gossip at the bar while sipping an espresso), they fled immediately without even taking a look at the houses. 

The best advice in this case is to pay a visit to the local tax bureau ahead of any formal purchase deal and make sure that the old, dilapidated house you want to buy is actually ‘accatastata’ (registered) as such, or you might end up paying the same property sale taxes as you would on a new home. Hiring a tax lawyer or legal expert could be of huge help.

In Carrega Ligure, where old shepherds’ and farmers’ homes are scattered across 11 districts connecting various valleys, a few abandoned homes located near pristine woods came with a nice patch of land – which turned out to be another huge problem.

Old estates often cannot be disposed of due to ‘vincoli’ – limitations – either of environmental or historic nature, that do not allow the property to be sold, or simply due to territorial boundaries that have changed over time, particularly if the original families haven’t lived there for a long time.

READ ALSO: How Italy’s cheap homes frenzy is changing rural villages

In Carrega Ligure it turned out that “a few dwellings located in the most ancient district couldn’t be sold because of hydrogeological risks. State law forbade rebuilding them from scratch, as floods and mudslides had hit the area in the past”, says Carrega Ligure mayor Luca Silvestri.

Meanwhile, other properties were located within or close to the protected mountain park area where the village districts spread, and where there are strict rules against building to preserve the surroundings.

Another issue was that a few old homes came with a patch of land which was quite distant, on the opposite side of the hill, says Silvestri, making it inconvenient for buyers looking for a house with a back garden.

In this case, checking territorial maps, and speaking to competent bodies such as park authorities if there are ‘green restrictions’ in place, can spare future nuisances.

See more in The Local’s Italian property section.

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