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Five essential things to know about filling out your Italian tax return

The Local Italy
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Five essential things to know about filling out your Italian tax return
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Italy's tax season begins in May, and the bureaucracy involved can be daunting. Here are some of the most important things to know about filing your tax return.

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Tax season is now underway in Italy as the window for filing your personal income tax return opened on May 11th, 2023.

The deadline for submitting your tax return this year is October 2nd - find a detailed list of Italy's tax dates and deadlines here.

Filing a tax return is never the most enjoyable task, but dealing with a new country's rules and language adds another layer of complexity. And of course, Italy's tax rules aren't simple to begin with, so it is always a good idea to seek professional advice and assistance.

Here are a few things you'll need to know about the process before you get started.

Which form will you need?

In this article we'll focus on the modello 730 (form 730), the newer and most commonly-used income tax return form, which most employees and retirees will need.

READ ALSO: The Italian tax calendar for 2023: Which taxes are due when?

But some people, including the self-employed, those with certain types of redditi diversi (sources of income other than employment or pension), and taxpayers who are not legally resident in Italy, might need to use the older form called the modello redditi persone fisiche instead.

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It all depends on your personal circumstances, so if you're unsure which form to use, speak to a tax professonal for advice.

The form 730 comes partially pre-filled with your personal details, which should make completing it somewhat more straightforward.

Tax season in Italy begins in mid-May.(Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO / AFP)

As tax expert Nicolò Bolla from Accounting Bolla explains on his website: "The 730 is a simplified form. It comes already filled in with your details courtesy of the Agenzia delle Entrate (Italian tax authority).

"So, when compared to the modello redditi, this form requires much less work on the part of the taxpayer. The details they provide can be changed, or not, which has its pros and cons."

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Where do you find this form?

You can download your personal 730 form from the Agenzia delle Entrate website.

You should find it already pre-compiled on a special section of the site HERE which you can log in to using your SPID (Sistema Pubblico dell'Identità Digitale) or CIE (electronic identity card) credentials.

The tax agency notes that "Italian citizens residing abroad who do not hold an Italian identification document may also use login credentials issued by the INPS (social security agency)"

READ ALSO: How to use your Italian ID card to access official services online

"You can view, edit and/or supplement your tax return within the service and then send it to the Agency."

Unfortunately, while the Italian tax agency does have some information available online in English, the part of the website dealing with the 730 is only available in Italian, German, or Slovak.

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How do you fill it out?

The form 730 can be filled out entirely online via the tax agency's website.

According to the agency, the form should already contain "a number of automatically entered details, including deductions for health costs, university fees, insurance premiums, social security contributions, credit transfers for building renovation and energy renovation."

As mentioned above, you may change the pre-filled details if necessary. But Bolla points out that there are some things to consider before you do:

"Changing a tax document does come with some risks, the primary one being that you become exposed to error which in turn means paying a penalty fee," he says.

READ ALSO: The pros and cons of Italy's five percent flat tax for freelancers

"The biggest benefit, perhaps, of not changing any information in the form is that you will not be subject to further tax checks, i.e. an audit.

"The 730 is considered changed if your alterations are related to the expenses that you have. When doing this it is recommended that you consult with an accountant to be sure of the conditions of a particular expense. It is always possible that you will have some tax deductible expenses that occur after the form is compiled by the revenue agency which will need to be added to the form."

Once you or your accountant have filled in remaining details and made any necessary changes, or not, to the pre-filled sections, you can file your 730 online via the tax agency's portal.

The deadline for submitting the completed form is October 2nd.

If instead you're using the modello redditi PF the deadline for submitting this electronically is November 30th.

How and when do you pay your income tax bill?

Once you've submitted the tax return, the first instalment of the amount payable is due by June 30th.

Payment is made using form F24. Italy’s tax office (Agenzia delle Entrate) offers guidance on how to fill out and submit the form.

The deadline for the second instalment of income tax is November 30th.

Should you ask an accountant for help?

All that famous red tape, plus the language barrier and a long list of tax-related acronyms, can make filing taxes in Italy a daunting proposition for foreign nationals. But you may be wondering whether hiring a commercialista (accountant) is worthwhile or necessary.

While the tax agency has tried to simplify the process, and even provides some Italian tax information in English, many Italians themselves Italians turn to their local tax assistance centre (Centro Assistenza Fiscale, or CAF) or hire a tax professional to take care of the process.

Getting professional advice is particularly important if you're making changes to the pre-filled sections of the 730 or if you need to use the modello redditi PF.

See more information on the Italian tax agency’s website.

Please note that The Local cannot provide advice on tax issues. For help with filing taxes in Italy, contact your local tax assistance centre (Centro Assistenza Fiscale, or CAF) or consult an accountant (commercialista) or other qualified tax professional.

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Comments (1)

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Tim 2024/03/21 09:22
Please check your dates. According to the Agenzia Entrata website (as of 21/03/24) the deadline for electronic filing of form 730 is 30th September and form Redditi PF by 15th October, earlier than you have stated in the article.
  • Clare Speak 2024/03/21 09:30
    Hi, this article is from 2023. Please find the dates for the 2024 Italian tax season in a recent article here: https://www.thelocal.it/20240104/the-italian-tax-calendar-for-2023-which-taxes-are-due-when

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