taxes For Members

'How we moved to Italy and only pay tax on 50 percent of our income'

Silvia Marchetti
Silvia Marchetti - [email protected]
'How we moved to Italy and only pay tax on 50 percent of our income'
A view of the town of Tropea, on Calabria’s Tyrrhenian coast. Photo by Nemanja Peric on Unsplash

Italy’s impatriate tax scheme appeals to many foreigners planning to relocate to Italy, but how exactly does it work? One British couple who used it tell reporter Silvia Marchetti about their experience.


Thanks to Italy’s appealing impatriate tax scheme, John and Linda Baker, both 42, from Brighton, now pay tax on just 50 percent of their income - which is about as low as any Italian could ever dream of.

Both remote workers, John is a web designer working for UK clients, while Linda is a freelance copywriter.

In November they rented out their house in Brighton and moved to the Italian seaside resort of Amantea, in Calabria, where they bought a two-bedroom cottage in the countryside, far from the touristy coast, for €59,000.

“We applied for the impatriate tax scheme as soon as we realised we wanted to change life, quit the rat race and move to a sunny place where life was slower-paced,” John tells The Local. 

“It sounded like a great deal, paying tax on just half our income means we get to save a significant amount of money we would never have in the UK.”

This special tax regime for those moving to Italy was approved in 2019 and is available to people who move to any part of the country. Aimed at qualified and skilled foreign workers, it’s for both employed and self-employed people who become fiscal residents and reside in Italy at least 183 days per year.

READ ALSO: What is Italy's impatriate tax rule and how is it changing?

The 50-percent tax relief on income applies for a maximum of five years and can be extended for another five.

The benefit is capped at an annual salary of €600,000, while no relief is in place for earnings over this amount. The exempt portion of income rises to 60 percent for a worker with at least one child under 18. 

The scheme has been amended over the past few years, and though it has become somewhat less appealing, it still gets plenty of interest. Italians living abroad can also apply and benefit from it. 


Italy’s government introduced the scheme mainly to lure back qualified Italian workers and researchers who had moved abroad. But those taking advantage of it are often foreigners longing to live in Italy.

The Bakers got help from an immigration legal expert in Rome, who sorted out the paperwork for them and filed their application to the Italian authorities. 

READ ALSO: If you want quality of life, choose Italy’s sunny south over the efficient north

“We could have applied directly from the UK but we thought it was better to hire an Italian professional on the ground, with deep knowledge of Italian bureaucracy and the required skills to navigate through procedures,” says Linda. 

The lowest tax band rate in Italy is 23 percent, while the highest is 43 percent. While the Bakers prefer not to disclose how much each one of them earns, they say they will be saving a lot of money, considering income tax in the UK hovers around 40 percent. The couple is confident that the two of them together could save up to €30,000 in taxes per year. 

With the extra money, the Bakers would like to buy another holiday home in Naples, so as to be closer to Rome.

READ ALSO: 'Research and more research': How do you choose the right part of Italy to move to?

They decided to ditch the UK due to soaring living costs, and because they wanted to live the Italian dream before they retired, while they were still actively working. 


“Usually when couples retire they start looking for a fresh start, but we did not feel like waiting until we were 60 or 70 to make the big leap and relocate to Italy,” says John. 

Amantea is relatively cheap. Dinner for two people is €35, while utility bills are among the lowest in Italy, adds Linda.

“There are also premium foods like Tropea’s red onions, Calabria’s famous chili peppers, and delicious pasta dishes which we could never even dream of back in the UK”, says John. 


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also