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Italy Refuses To Extend Property Tax Payment Date

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

31 October 2012

Although most municipalities have yet to finalize their local property tax (IMU) rates, Italy’s Minister of the Economy, Vittorio Grilli, is adamant that the new tax’s first final payment date will not be delayed from December 17, 2012.

IMU reintroduced the taxation of prime residences that had been removed by the previous Berlusconi government, and is to provide the greatest slice of the revenue under the Monti government’s ‘Save Italy’ budget, which was approved at the end of last year and is designed to enable the country to reach fiscal balance by the end of next year.

From this year, IMU applies a standard rate of 0.76% applying to all properties, with local variations and only a reduced rate for first residences. The new tax has caused criticism and controversy in Italy since it was first introduced, and there have been further recent rumblings against it because of the fact that, almost eleven months after it was announced, there is still uncertainty over the final payments that will be due.

Municipalities have until October 31 to decide on their final IMU rates, followed by thirty days to November 30 for their official publication and transmission to the Ministry of the Economy. Even then, the calculation of the due amount is particularly onerous for taxpayers, being based on official property valuations, as municipalities do not need to send out a tax bill.

In fact, Caf (the centre of fiscal assistance that helps some 11m Italian taxpayers in filling in their tax returns) has sounded an alarm about what could happen if the government maintains the final IMU payment date as December 17.

Caf disclosed that, as only 1,500 municipalities, or 18% of their total, have so far indicated their final tax rates, there is too much uncertainty and the tax deadline is too close, and requested a delay until December 31. Its request is reinforced by the fact that, even at this late date, the government has still not issued the official IMU tax form that will need to be compiled.

However, Grilli replied immediately that the IMU deadlines will remain as previously fixed. He pointed out that, if the tax payments were to be delayed, it would put the government’s fiscal deficit reduction target at risk.

TAGS: compliance | tax | investment | real-estate investment | tax compliance | property tax | real-estate | tax rates | Italy

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