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ITALIAN NEWS

The Suprema Corte di Cassazione ("Italian Supreme Court") in Rome

Visit my new website at: www.Italy-UK-Law.com

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Tel. +44 - 0203 102 9650

"BILANCIO 2017": THE NEW RULES ON ITALIAN NON-DOMS, SPECIAL VISA AND THE (ALMOST) SELF-FINANCING PROPERTY IMPROVEMENTS

 Shortly before Christmas 2016 and notwithstanding the political crisis, the new Italian budget (“Bilancio 2017 ”) was passed by the Italian Parliament in record time. It introduces a few opportunities for non-residents. (Read article)

 


BASEMENT EXCAVATIONS AND THE LOSS OF ENTITLEMENT TO PARKING SPACES, THE NEW FRONTIERS IN ITALIAN CONDOMINIUM LITIGATION.

Condominii (condominiums) are a copious source of litigation in Italy. Several people / families living close together in blocks of flats are a continuous source of stress and disputes.  Even the 2012 reform of Italian condominium legislation and the 2013 special mediation procedure introduced as a compulsory preliminary to any condominium litigation, cannot stem the flow of court proceedings.

Some recent Judgements of the Italian Supreme Court (Cassazione) provide guidance, in some new and unusually grey areas. (Read article)

 


THE NEXT ITALIAN COUNCIL TAX (IMU) DEALINE: 16th DECEMBER 2016

Italian Council Tax (Imposta Unica Comunale – IUC) in its three components, IMU (Imposta Municipale Propria), TASI (Tributo per i servizi indivisibili ) and TARI (Tassa rifiuti) is now approaching its second annual deadline, and will be due and payable by the 16th December 2016. (Read article)

 


NEW OPPORTUNITIES: INNOVATIVE WAYS OF DEALING WITH ITALIAN PROPERTY

Traditionally, there are only set, limited ways of dealing with property, under Italian law. Property rights and contracts are restricted by law to what is expressly regulated by and available under current legislation. Until recently, an Italian property could only basically be sold, let or inherited.

New forms of property contracts were introduced last year with the “Rent to buy” legislation (please refer to my article on this website). Recently, the Italian Parliament introduced further legislation providing for some more innovative ways of dealing with property, under Italian law. These are new opportunities for property owners or for prospective property buyers. (Read article)

 


NEW LEGISLATION FOR SERIOUSLY DISABLED CHILDREN AND THEIR REAL ESTATE ENDOWMENT.

The Italian Parliament recently passed new legislation for the protection of disabled children.

With the newly introduced, formal contract of “Affidamento fiduciario parents are in a position to set up a trust, fully effective and enforceable under Italian law, to make provisions for the protection, care and assistance of their disabled children, during the parents` lifetime and after their death. (Read article)

 


Legge di stabilita`2016 ” and the Italian property owner.

Legge di stabilita` 2016 ” is the new Italian budget. It came into force on the 1st January 2016 after protracted political negotiations. As for similar earlier legislation, it is made up of just one very long Section (Articolo 1 ), which in its turn is divided into 999 numbered paragraphs without headings to assist in the navigation of this complex, extremely detailed and often confusing raft of new legislation.

Trying to make sense of this legislation and how it interacts with the existing Italian legal and fiscal system is the arduous task facing Italian lawyers and anyone else wishing to keep up that to date with Italian legislation. Several provisions relate to property matters, this legislation will affect a wide audience in Italy. (Read article)

 


PROBLEMS WITH TRUSTS IN ITALY

Trusts were unknown in Italy, until a few years ago. Italy being a Civil Law country, totally ignored Trusts as developed in Common Law jurisdictions. Following the introduction of The Hague Convention on the law applicable to trusts and on their recognitionwith a law in 1989, the use of Trusts has slowly spread in Italy.

Like any imported species, Trusts arouse great interest but are also causing problems in the general Italian legal environment.  (read article)


NEW LEGISLATION ON ITALIAN WILLS AND INTERNATIONAL SUCCESSION - WHY YOU SHOULD REVISE YOUR ITALIAN WILL.

A raft of recent legislation has introduced several changes to the established rules on Italian succession. Completely new rules apply to successions with an international element, following the coming into force of an EU Regulation on the 17th August 2015. This new legislation is intended to be a “simplification” or an improvement of the current rules, however, the devil is in the detail of its implementation. It is clear, however, that all existing Italian wills should be revised in the light of these changes. (Read article)

 


A NEW WAY TO BUY ITALIAN PROPERTIES: “RENT TO BUY”

Legislation issued in September 2014, and yet to be confirmed by the Italian Parliament has introduced a new way of buying a property in Italy.

“Rent to Buy” agreements or more specifically “Contratti di godimento in funzione della successiva alienazione di immobili enable potential buyers to immediately access Italian properties they wishe to acquire, without payment of the full sale price and without need of a mortgage. The vendor provides financial assistance, by agreeing to receive periodical payments / rent for a number of years, rather than the outright sale price. At the end of the agreed “rental” period the tenant / buyer will either have an option to buy the property, or will have to complete the acquisition, at a reduced / discounted purchase price. (Read article)


A FOREIGN JURISDICTION CLAUSE WILL NOT DEFEAT THE ITALIAN “FORCED HEIRSHIP RULES”.

A specially constituted Italian Supreme Court (Corte Suprema di Cassazione) rejected on 20.06.2014 the proposed application of a foreign jurisdiction clause in a foreign trust deed, where such trust conflicted with the Italian “forced heirship rules” (Successione necessaria) - this is Italian legislation which grants to the members of the Deceased`s family a minimum, statutory share of his Estate. (Read article)

 


ITALIAN CONSTITUTIONAL COURT STRIKES OUT LANDLORDS` ANTI-AVOIDANCE LEGISLATION.

A recent ruling of the Italian Constitutional Court has repealed with immediate effect anti avoidance regulations aimed at tax evading Italian landlords, dating back to 2011. Because of the immediate effects of this ruling and the operation of the abrogated legislation over the past three years, complex issues are now left open for interpretation. (Read article)

 


2014 - NEW YEAR, NEW SELLING PROCEDURES AND NEW LOWER TAXES TO IMPROVE THE ITALIAN PROPERTY MARKET

New legislation, coming into force on the 1st January 2014 will make substantial changes, actual improvements to the way the Italian property market works. New, improved selling / buying procedures are introduced. At the same time, the taxation of Italian properties will also change. Reduced rates of tax will become applicable to property transfers, new taxes replace part of the current council tax.

Some of these changes are a definite improvement others will have to be judged in light of their actual implementation and performance.  The devil, as always, is in the detail. (Read article)

 


THE SECOND INSTALMENT OF IMU TAX ON ITALIAN PROPERTIES IS DUE BY 16th DECEMBER 2013

The second instalment of IMU Tax (Imposta Municipale Propria - Italian Council Tax) will shortly be due. This tax introduced only last year, has already undergone an extraordinary range and extent of changes, and may change again, before it is due. Under recent legislation Town Councils (Comuni) have been allowed to change their IMU Tax regulations (setting out the rate of tax and exemptions) up to the 9th December 2013. So within five working days, Italian and foreign taxpayers will have to study these new regulations, calculate and pay the IMU tax due on their Italian properties. Of course any late payment is sanctioned by fines.(Read article)

 


THE NEW 22% RATE OF ITALIAN VAT

From the 1st October 2013 the standard rate of Italian VAT (Imposta sul Valore Aggiunto - IVA) has been increased to 22%. This 1% increase was partly unexpected, although it had been announced months ago, because there had been rumours that this increase would not be implemented. At the last moment, almost by default, the 1% increase of Italian VAT has come into force on the midnight of 30.09.2013. (Read article)


COMPULSORY MEDIATION IS REINTRODUCED IN ITALY.

From 21st September 2013 mediation has been formally re-introduced in Italy as a compulsory step, for some disputes, before the parties may apply to the courts.

Mediation has had a chequered life in Italy. Introduced in 2010 as an attempt to deflate the spiralling burden of litigation and of arrears pending in the Italian courts, it was struck off in 2012 by the Italian Constitutional Court on a (rather fundamental) technicality, that has nothing to do with the mediation process as such.  The Legislative Decree originally issued by the Government and introducing mediation in Italy had exceeded the limits of the authority granted by Parliament and so to an extent was ultra vires and unconstitutional. (Read article)

 


THE NEW ENERGY PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATE: HOW AN ACE TURNED INTO AN APE

On the 6th June 2013 new legislation was brought into force in Italy to implement, once again, what is currently Directive 2010/31/EU on the energy performance of buildings.

Under this new legislation, the name of Italian energy performance certificates (previously called “Attestato di Certificazione Energetica or ACE for short) was changed to "Attestato di Prestazione Energetica (APE)". However this was not just a change of name. The rules as to when this certificate is required have been changed and sanctions for breach of these technical rules have been exacerbated. (Read article)

 


THE FLUCTUATING LIABILITY OF A FLAT OWNER FOR HIS CONDOMINIO`S DEBTS AND OBLIGATIONS

If you own a flat in Italy as part of a block of flats, what is the extent of your liability for the debts and obligations arising from the common parts of the building, or, in Italian legal terms, of your “Condominio?

Is there a risk that you may be required to pay more than your annual service charges (Oneri Condominiali ) ? In Italy the answer to this question has changed over recent years due to an evolution of the caselaw of the Italian Supreme Court (Corte di Cassazione).

It will change again on 18th June 2013 when new legislation on the management of block of flats (Condominio) will came into force. (Read article)
 
 

CHANGES TO THE MANAGEMENT OF BLOCKS OF FLATS: THE NEW "CONDOMINIO" RULES

The Italian Parliament has updated legislation relating to use and maintenance of common parts in buildings / block of flats (“Condominio ”) which, until recently, dated back to 1942, the origins of the current Italian civil code. This new legislation is nothing short of revolutionary. Hopefully it will mark a positive change in the life of anyone owning a flat in Italy. (Read article)

 


NEW RULES ON ITALIAN FOODSTUFF CONTACTS OR ITALIAN FOOD MADE HOTTER.

On 24th October 2012 new provisions regulating wholesale food and produce contracts (“Contratti agroalimentari “), lost in a wide ranging raft of new Italian legislation (issued earlier in January and aiming to revive the economy), have come into force in Italy. The effects for anyone buying wholesale food from Italian suppliers are extensive and unless great care is taken, potentially devastating. (Read article)

 


"IVIE OR THE THE ITALIAN TAX ON FOREIGN PROPERTIES IS NOW DUE !

At the end of last year the Italian Parliament passed legislation introducing an Italian tax on foreign properties (“IVIE” or “Imposta sul Valore Immobili Esteri“) and on foreign financial assets (“IVAFE” or “Imposta sul valore delle Attivita` Finanziarie detenute all` Estero“) held by taxpayers (whatever their nationality) resident in Italy. So for instance, British nationals who elected to be resident in Italy, will be affected. These taxes are now due and payable by the 9th July 2012, and because of their novelty and extra-territorial impact, are bound to cause problems. (Read article)


THE NEW ITALIAN COUNCIL TAX : "IMU"

After a long debate, the new property tax “IMU” (Imposta Municipale Propria) replaced “ICI” tax (Italian Council Tax) and  was due in Italy by the 16th June 2012. Just the June 2012 instalment itself, was expected to raise almost 10 billion Euro revenue. (Read article)


A SUMMARY OF "LEGGE SALVA ITALIA" OR MONTI` S YEAR END BUDGET

Just before Christmas 2011, the Italian Parliament confirmed the corrective, emergency legislation issued earlier the same month. This legislation aims to salvage the ailing Italian economy and was very aptly called “Decreto Salva Italia” (the Decree that will save Italy) by PM Mario Monti himself.
 
 This new legislation is a raft of very different measures, with very heavy tax / cuts to public expenditure connotation. It came under heavy criticism in Parliament, but was eventually passed with comparatively minor amendments, within a comparatively short time. (Read article)


IN THE ITALIAN COURTS ......

19.09.2011 - Liability of incompetent / dishonest estate agents - In this case an Italian estate agent had eagerly pressurized a buyer to sign a preliminary contract for the purchase of a property, to pay the deposit and the agent`s full commission. In bringing pressure to bear on the buyer, the agent had also repeatedly said that, the relevant property was free from charges / mortgages, so there were no reasons to delay exchange of contracts and, of course, payment of the agent`s commission. The unfortunate buyer was deceived in exchanging contracts and paying commission, before carrying out usual searches. (Read article)

"CHECK THE VALUE OF YOUR PROPERTY  ... ON THE ITALIAN LAND REGISTRY DATA BANKS"

The Italian Land Registry (Agenzia del Territorio) has made available to the public its data banks on selling and letting market values of Italian properties. These data banks are free of charge and open to anyone who may be interested.
 
By collecting and updating the data which must now be provided on every sale / letting contract, the territory of the Italian Republic has been divided into micro district, smaller areas with very similar market values / characteristics. In the case of buildings, for each of such smaller areas the market and letting values are given as a maximum / minimum range in Euro per square metre, per month in the case of letting values. (Read article)


"FEDERALISMO MUNICIPALE" OR THE NEW, FLAT RATE TAX ON ITALIAN RENTAL INCOME.

As part of a general process of devolution (Federalismo) of administrative and fiscal powers from central government to local authorities / local town councils (Comuni ), a new, simplified form of rental income taxation has recently been introduced in Italy. (Read article)

 


SALES AND LETTINGS OF ITALIAN PROPERTIES: ENERGY PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATES AND NEW REGULATIONS.

New legislation has come into force in Italy at the end of March 2011, which applies to any sale / acquisition or even letting of properties, in compliance with a number of EU Directives. (Read article)


TOUR OPERATORS` LIABILITY FOR DISAPPOINTING "PACKAGE HOLIDAYS"

Sometimes a contract includes more that what is written on the document. Representations made at the time the holiday was booked, orally or even in the form of photos / promotional brochure illustrations may be held to be legally binding. (read article)


NEW RESTRICTIONS ON THE USE OF CASH IN ITALY.

With the December 2011 Budget (Manovra Monti) the amount of cash (Contanti ) which can be used in Italy for any given, individual transaction has now been reduced to Euro 1,000. Any payment over and above this amount should now be effected either with a cheque (Assegno) or by bank transfers (Bonifico Bancario).(Read article)


THE ITALIAN TAX AMNESTY ON UNDECLARED FOREIGN ASSETS

The introduction of new Italian legislation increasing (sometimes doubling) the sanctions for tax evasion related to illegal export of funds and undeclared foreign assets, has also been the opportunity to introduce a second tax amnesty in Italy, after the earlier, 2001 disclosure facility. This legislation applies to Italian residents under current tax legislation, whether Italian nationals or foreign nationals, domiciled in Italy or abroad. (Read article)
 
 

ITALIAN BUDGET 2010 - IF A VILLA IS NOT ON THE MAP AT THE LAND REGISTRY, IT CAN NOT BE SOLD !

Under Italian law the taxation of buildings is inexorably connected with the Local Land Registry. Italian Income Tax (IRPEF) and local taxes like Italian Council Tax (Imposta Comunale Immobili - ICI) and refuse collection tax (TARSU) are levied on the values / data registered at the Local Land Registry (Catasto) against each property. (Read article)


NEW RULES FOR THE PROTECTION OF "MADE IN ITALY"

In record short time and with the support of the whole political spectrum, new legislation was recently passed by the Italian Parliament for the protection of the "Made in Italy" appellation. (Read article)


NEW REGULATIONS EXPEDITE ITALIAN BANKING SERVICES

New regulations in force since the 1st March 2010 introduce strict statutory deadlines for Italian banking services. These are effectively a charter for Italian banks customers. (Read article)


ITALIAN ENERGY PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATES: JUST ANOTHER HURDLE OR AN OPPORTUNITY ?

Since the 1st July 2009, if you sell a house or a flat in Italy, you are required to produce an energy performance certificate ("Attestato di Certificazione Energetica" - ACE for short), this is the date when some legislation issued in 2005 eventually came into force. (Read article)


"FINANZIARIA 2008" A NEW PITFALL FOR ITALIAN PROPERTY BUYERS

"Finanziaria 2008" or the latest Italian budget is a complex, condensed and sometimes confusing raft of legislation which came into force last month. In an attempt to combat tax evasion in Italy, it has introduced a potential new trap for unwary buyers. Because of the way it operates, this new risk is difficult to ascertain and to avoid. (Read article)
 

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