Good news for Italian residents – the year 2013 has provided a welcome change to the Italian government’s usual snatch and grab attitude to taxes of all descriptions. IMU (Imposta Municipale Unica or Imposta Municipale Propria) this year will only be payable by second homeowners and by homeowners not resident in the country.
Whilst it is highly unlikely this stay of grace will continue into next year – indeed, we may find ourselves facing even more stringent charges if the government’s past actions and other tax increases are anything to go by – the news still came as a welcome relief to many people struggling to make ends meet in the current economic climate.
Especially pleased will be residents of My Little Italian Village, many of whom have been shocked by the vast increase in rubbish removal charges this year. A change in the waste disposal company used may well account for such a hike in prices, as well as the habit of charging per square metre of a property as opposed to number of inhabitants. Second home owners will find themselves paying through the nose despite only being in their properties for a month or two a year, and this rather impractical method of calculation has also led to an acquaintance of mine – a single woman living alone in a large apartment - paying over three times as much as the family of six who live in a much smaller property next door.
This year’s annual bills have been greeted with such an uproar that changes might be forthcoming in 2014, although I doubt many people are holding their breath in anticipation of a more favourable outcome.
If you are not an Italian resident, but are in possession of a home here, then it is important not to let the bi-annual IMU payments slip your mind. The first must be paid in June, and the second in December.
If you are in Italy at the time, then you can always approach your local comune, where they will usually be happy to print out the necessary F24 form – already filled out with your details – for you to take along to your bank and make the payment.
If you are out of the country, or particularly technologically inclined, then the F24 form can be found online, either through your online banking, or via the website for the Agenzia dell’Entrate. It is worth ringing your comune before attempting to fill out the form in order to check the IMU quotas for that year, at which point the form can usually be completed and paid online.
Some comuni will also provide you with the appropriate bank details for you to make the transfer directly, although it is important to ensure that within the bank transfer you are paying both the comune percentage as well as the percentage due to the Italian government (Agenzia dell’Entrate), otherwise your IMU payment will not be complete. The comune may well direct you to pay the latter elsewhere.