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PROPERTY

How Italy’s building ‘superbonus’ has changed in 2022

The Italian government has announced further extensions to its popular building 'superbonus' scheme in 2022. Here's what those buying and renovating property need to know about the latest changes and deadlines.

How Italy's building superbonus has changed for property renovators in 2022.
Photo by MAX BEDENDI on Unsplash

Italy first introduced the ‘superbonus 110‘ in May 2020 to restart a sluggish economy following the impacts of the pandemic, offering homeowners a tax deduction of up to 110 percent on expenses related to making energy upgrades and reducing seismic risk.

Towards the end of 2021, property owners were left concerned about how it would be rolled on into 2022 and whether they would be able to finish their renovation projects in time.

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

To the relief of those carrying out works on their single unit family homes, the ‘superbonus’ on these properties has been approved for the whole of this year, as published in the Budget Law 2022 on December 30th, 2021.

Based on the government’s budget measures for 2022 and the latest reforms, here’s how the superbonus has been extended for 2022 following its introduction in the Relaunch Decree (decreto rilancio) – and what it means for your home renovations.Single family homes

Even though the deadlines are different depending on the property type, the good news for those carrying out works on their single unit homes is that the superbonus has been extended throughout the whole of 2022 for this category.

This covers detached buildings or small villas, for example.

The Budget Law text had confirmed that the only requirement to accessing this bonus throughout the whole year is that 30 percent of works must be completed by June 30th 2022.

Photo by TIZIANA FABI / AFP

This has now been extended again to September 30th 2022, giving a bit more breathing space to those who’ve been stuck in queues due to builder shortages and bureaucratic delays.

On the other hand, if 30 percent of the jobs have still not been completed by the new deadline of September 30th 2022, this becomes the final deadline and no more state aid can be claimed for the rest of the year.

Previous talks of eligibility criteria have also been scrapped. Now there’s no requirement of only being able to access the bonus if it’s your first home and if you have an ISEE (the social-economic indicator of household wealth) of €25,000 maximum.

More good news for single family home owners is that there’s no need to have registered the start of works, known as ‘CILAS’ (Comunicazione di Inizio Lavori Asseverata Superbonus), by September 30th 2021, as previously planned.

The ‘CILAS’ is an administrative procedure that requires the authorisation of an architect, engineer, surveyor or other qualified technician to request the bonus to begin renovation work.

READ ALSO: What will Italy’s new budget mean for you in 2022?

Since the deadline for this has been scrapped, depending on the scale of the jobs, it means property owners can claim the bonus for works beginning on their property now, as long as they adhere to the timescales noted.

Condominiums and owners of multiple unit buildings

There’s even more time to benefit from the superbonus for these categories. 

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.

Those with multiple unit properties – such as a main home and a warehouse (magazzino), for example – fall into this group. Not only is there more time to get state aid with renovating property, there are also opportunities to claim some bonuses more than once.

Funds to install solar panels have also been extended into 2022. Photo by Andrew CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP

Deadlines at a glance

Here’s a breakdown of who can access the superbonus 110 and for how long:

  • Single family homesSeptember 30th 2022 or December 31st 2022 if 30 percent of works are completed by the first deadline.
  • Multiple unit (2-4) propertiesDecember 31st 2023. The bonus reduces to 70 percent by December 31st 2024 and 65 percent by December 31st 2025.
  • Condominiums – December 31st 2023. The bonus reduces to 70 percent by December 31st 2024 and 65 percent by December 31st 2025.
  • Third sector – December 31st 2023. The bonus reduces to 70 percent by December 31st 2024 and 65 percent by December 31st 2025.
  • Social housing June 30th 2023 or December 31st 2023 if 60 percent of the works are completed by the first deadline.
  • Sports associations – June 30th 2022 or December 31st 2022 if 30 percent of works are completed by the first deadline.

What can you use the superbonus for?

You can apply for government financial help for thermal insulation work, replacement of winter air-conditioning systems and anti-seismic interventions.

The 2022  budget law also extended the bonus for installation of solar-panels and electric car charging points into 2022.

READ ALSO: 

How you can claim the superbonus 110

One of the most anticipated changes was how people could continue to access this bonus.

There have been various regulatory changes already in 2022 when it comes to the superbonus.

Two ways to access the funds – transferring the credit (cessione del credito) or discount on the invoice (sconto in fattura) – have recently become stricter.

The changes followed vast amounts of fraudulent claims to the bonus, leading the government to introduce more clauses to the rules and complicate the bureaucracy even further.

Tax deduction is also still an option for those who want to offset high taxes on their income, spread out over five years. This route is only available to Italian residents paying income tax, known as ‘IRPEF’.

Further details are expected on the methods of accessing the bonus when the final version of the energy and investment decree (decreto energia e investimenti) is published.

Anti-fraud measures

Property owners hoping to take advantage of the superbonus will need to be aware of anti-fraud legislation recently brought in by the government.

The anti-fraud decree was published on November 11th and was incorporated into the 2022 budget.

It came in after Italy’s Inland Revenue Agency (Agenzia delle Entrate) uncovered some 800 million fictitious claims worth at least €1 billion, reported financial newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore.

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

Because of this, from now on a compliance certificate will be required when accessing the superbonus via either credit transfer or a discount on the invoice.

The anti-fraud decree requires that a qualified technician establishes the fairness of the prices for the works, confirmed in an affidavit.

The company carrying out the work must demonstrate to the ENEA (National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development) that it has used materials that guarantee energy saving, and to the Revenue Agency that it has applied reasonable prices.

See more in The Local’s Italian property section.

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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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