Engineer wants us to pay into INARCASSA pension fund?

Liamo Image
11/26/2009 - 12:54

Hi there, I'm back on this afternoon (grateful to for the wisdom of two people for their insights already) as my fiance and I now have a question relating to the contract our engineer wants us to sign.  (We intend self building in the Province of Siracusa...)All seems to be near enough to the mark with the contract, our Dublin based solicitor has read a translation and there's very few things we're unsure of.  With the exception of the fact that the engineer wants us in one of the clauses to pay into his INARCASSA pension fund?Does anyone have experience of this - the engineer maintains in the contract that INARCASSA pension is something we're legally bound to pay into?With little experience of Sicilian construction we're left scratching our heads - is this something the engineer would merely be happy for us to pay into, discretionary in nature, or is in fact mandatory at Italian law?We'd both be grateful for any direct experience you might have about this from your own dealings with engineers?Kind regardsLiam



You need to talk to a financial expert [for Italy] before you sign anything. ---------------It does seem that the INARCASSA scheme is for Engineers and Architects, and it appears to cover social security and Pensions for those people.  It does appear to be legal and above board, from the little that I've found outI wonder if , by getting you to pay into his pension fund, this is a way of him avoiding [but not necessarily evading] income tax.

Hi Alan - tax avoidance, as opposed to evasion, is fine by me - to be encouraged  by all right thinking people. Whether thats his intention I'm unsure. I'll flush out a professional on Monday I think... Thanks again, Liam

In reply to by Penny

Hi PennyMany thanks for the reply you're very kind. You say its normal - is that because its widely done and accepted by convention - or is it a legislative requirement?  If so,  I'd be interested to see the law.Enjoy your eveningLiam 

 anyone here as a professional that is registered has to be a member of an association and when they write contracts the association makes a percentage charge...  that association generally covers the insurance side as well in respect of public liability, sets standards for their members etc...etc... as Penny says its normal..but it is difficult for foreigners not used to the system to budget because of all these extra you are right to question it.. and it would be nice sometimes when talking estimates with these people that they were more upfront about total costs at the start... 

AdriaticaInteresting stuff - it certainly makes the bitter pill easier to swallow if the percentage charged contains insurance etc.  The contract we've sent back to him has so much red pen through it, that it looks like a sunset, however I'm more prepared to pay this as is required now I have a clearer view of things.Thanks for the thoughtsBest regardsLiam 

I am an Italian Architect. Normally I would charge my fee and then pay the taxes to the inarcassa from that fee, is that what is written on the contract? It might just be specifying that a part of the fee goes to Inarcassa. How is it worded?

 Hi, I am an italian architect - I have been practicing for nearly 20 years. It is very simple: when you invoice a client, you charge him 1. "imponibile" (basic fee) 2. Inarcassa 2% of the "imponibile" which is indeed a compulsory contribution of the client to our pension fund 3. I.V.A. 20% (V.A.T.) on both no1-2.I hope this clarifies the matter. There is no hidden tax evasion, nor cunning way of getting money out of you - it's just the law: architects and engineers professional fees are calculated as above.Un saluto a tutti!Marco

 Hi,The architects have already replied to you about this compulsory fee, all professionals have some kind of pension fund to pay into, a part of the contribution will be paid by themselves (18%) and 2 % they are allowed (by law) to charge onto their client.You should see that as the self-employed's equivalent to a employee pension scheme, where the employee pay a part of his salary and the employer (by law) pays another part into the employee's pension fund.Therefore an invoice "to a client resident in Italy" would contain these fees (2 % for engineers/architects, 4 % for IT-professionals, translators etc. with a different pension fund).The professionals are OBBLIGED to put a line in the invoice stating this fee, but he is NOT REALLY obbliged to add it to the actual price that you've agreed for the job.This is the normal way with Italian clients, because here all knows that it works like that, but personally I do NOT think it is fair adding this fee to an invoice to foreigners. (But you'll notice that laywers and notaries do it as well).Personally I am allowed to add 4%, but when invoicing to clients not resident in Italy, I will have calculated this into my basic fee stated to the client, so that he/she will have no "strange surprises".Here you cannot really say that your engineer is cheating you, since he's telling you upfront that the 2% needs to be added, but it would have been wiser of him to include it in his basic fee and let the money go out of his own pocket, by doing a simple back-calculation. You cannot expect a foreigner or a private to know about these things, and it only creates strange feelings.You can tell him that you want the agreed price to be all-inclusive. But then again, arguing about 2 %...My 2 %-centsLiz

LizYou're very generous with your time and energy - thank you.The engineer could have saved the confusion you allude to by making it plain that the charge is only 2% - as you say is it worth arguing over that much? - you could lose more running after a bus, as they say!  I'll address this with him Monday.As a more general comment not strictly related to this issue - I'm learning more and more about Sicily and its people - and I'm reluctant to be hyper critical of things that are foreign to me.  Particularly when many of the Sicilians I've met have been super cool and open to me as many seem to be to others new to the place.RegardsLiam