INPS – do I need to register?

06/15/2010 - 09:03

I am an EU citizen (British) who recently moved here (Tuscany) after spending several years in Australia. I am applying for the optional Carta di Soggiorno for EU citizens because my wife is Australian, and therefore need to get a proper, long-term residency document in case, let's face it, I die. At first sight of the forms are frightful ("the yellow kit"), but on closer inspection there is a fair degree of help on how to fill them in, and large parts are optional or apply only to different kinds of case. There is a section where, in addition to the various things that I do have, it asks for my INPS registration number. Is this something I have to have? Or is it perhaps an option? Or something that I need later? I should mention, perhaps, that I am self employed and work as a kind of consultant, entirely over the Internet, and my clients are all in other countries. This means that although I do live here, in every other respect my business is somewhere else – Germany, in point of fact. So what is the deal with INPS? Thanks in advance for any help! Alex


I too am British and work self-employed for only a British Company.  In fact I am paid in sterling into an English Bank, however I was told quite categorically that as I live and work in Italy I have to pay tax and register for INPS here (told by both UK and Italy).  I was originally told that I might be able to pay NI to UK for the first year but discovered as work involves technology (i.e. internet) that was not the case.  I have now been registered and paying Italian INPS and tax since 2008 - you will need a Commercialista I suspect to sort it out (My profession is finance and I still found I needed help here as rules are so different and constantly change).  Good luck.

Technically, if you're going to be living in Italy for more than 183 days a year it doesnt matter where your business is, you will be taxed in ITaly.  As a libero professionista, and consulente, you 'should' be registered at the camera di commercio which will automatically open your INPS account - and you should then get a decent commercialista and get a partita IVA (VAT no) and then give the government all your money..... Some people - working over hte internet and not actually being above the radar in Italy - opt to not do any of this and when they apply for teh CdS and can prove enough money in the bank account (10.000) for both of you, dont need to fill in any of that part of the form and remain 'with independent means' and not working as far as the state knows.     If you are resident in Tuscany, it is your wife who has to the PdS as a non EU citizen, as you are here without any need for a CdS.... and then she would be here as a spouse of a EU citizen and would have no problem ... or not? 

INPS is effectively the National Insurance. Regardless of where your customers are (I work in a very similar way to you) you are liable to tax here in Italy if you are tax resident as tax is due on worldwide income. If you are liable to pay tax then you are liable to pay INPS too. Hold onto your hat - INPS is around 26% of your earnings (if you are a "libero professionista" or self-employed professional like me) plus tax at whatever rate your particular fiscal regime applies (there are many and you will need an accountant to sort that out for you). If you are paying tax in another country then you still need to complete a tax return here and you should (hopefully) fall under the double taxation treaty between that country & Italy. As a self-employed person you will also require a partita IVA (VAT registration number) regardless of how much you earn. There has recently been a very specific piece of European legislation regarding consultants like us who work from home but for clients in other countries and what instra-stat documentation we need to file.

Sorry RAM we overlapped. As a libero professionista I have no requirement to be registered with the Camera di Commercio so my accountant "opened" my INPS account. Estate agents are a different case. Even though they are also a "Libero Professionista" it is classed differently.

Thanks everyone so far. I have been assigned a partita IVA, but I have not been registered for INPS, nor have I dealt with the Camera di Commercio - I've never been with a Chamber of Commerce, having done this work for 12 or more years now in UK, Ireland and Australia. Although I am a full member of a UK institute, it does not have chartered status, and my work as a translator is not regulated, and I am completely independent. So am I a lib prof? The anagrafe here could not decide.

the deal is this: You are not required to be registered with the Camera di Commercio, but you need to have partita iva as a libera professionista and the registration with INPS is COMPULSORY - you will be fined at once, when they find out that you are not registered.  Normally your commercialista will do both for you, but you can of course also go to your local inps office and do it yourself. Consultants (IT-consultants, language consultants etc. are members of the "Gestione Seperata" where you pay an annual contribution (around 26%) based on your declared income after tax, as opposite to other professions as laywers, notaries and engineers who have their own pension funds and commerciants/farmers who are registered in a different way and have a minimum annual fee to pay). You should keep aside 50% of your "fatturato" to cover tax and inps payments and do your best to keep your net earnings below 30.000 euros/year so that you won't step into the higher tax rate interval. The illegal way to do this is (of course) not to invoice all jobs, the legal way is to open a pension fund and pay in appropriate amounts at the end of the year as these can be deducted and therefore will lower your net income.  If you're here for a short time (few years) INPS is going to be a real nuisance, the pension is a misery and you have no compensation for illness, only proven days in hospital and a ridiculously low maternity leave where they oblige you not to work at all, so see what possibilities you may have to avoid paying with your commercialista. There are many different tax schemes based on your income level, so the commercialista is essential. Also the ways invoices are worded depends on your tax regime and what specific "profession" you have registered at the Agenzia delle Entrate. You also need to file quarterly intrastat-forms regarding your overseas invoices. Earning up to 5000 euro/year you are not obliged neither to open partita iva nor to file the annual tax declaration form (but who can live for that little..) Those were the obligations, then you have the optionals: The chamber of commerce does have a list of registered translators/interpreters. You can sign up with them. I paid a one-time fee and had to take an English test, since English is not my mother tongue.This is mainly an image thing, but also the first step into becoming a court house translator. In fact most court houses will require a previous registration with the CCIAA before you can become part of their list of translators/interpreters. But only if you want to work in the Italian - English language combination, the above might make sense. If you know italian well enough, you can also inform yourself on the italian forum pages of or sign up to the Langit mailing list (or Biblit for literature translators). Tax concerns are often discussed, but only in Italian.  The profession as translator/interpreter is not regulated and probably never will be, there are various associations that try to speak for the profession, and you may check out the websites, and good luck  

The chamber of commerce really is of no interest to me, unless I really have to – I speak no Italian at all (although of course I want to learn, since I live here now), and all my work is for clients in other countries, principally Germany. I am definitely a translator, not an interpreter, and have no interest at all in doing court work. I can see I have to get a commercialista very quickly, preferably one who can speak some English! I really appreciate the time you have put into answering this – thanks! Alex

I am a Brit expat and I was told recently by my accountant that if I could show that I was paying into another EU stste pension scheme and could evidence this, then I could opt out of INPS.  I have heard different stories from different people, but my understanding is that thi is correct.  Therefore I pay my UK state pension contributions and opt out of INPS. I would imagine that you would have to speak with the Dutch authorities and confirm with them if you could pay and what you would need to pay and then prove this to the Italians Hope that helps

INPS does not cover you only for pensions but also for your health cover, state benefits (invalidity, sickness etc). I also asked when I first setup whether I could "opt out" of INS or even a part of it if I was paying UK voluntary NI and was given a resounding no by two accountants. I would definitely double check this advice with your local INPS office. I have always found them quite helpful.

Technically, if you're going to be living in Italy for more than 183 days a year it doesnt matter where your business is, you will be taxed in ITaly.  As a libero professionista, and consulente, you 'should' be registered at the camera di commercio which will automatically open your INPS account - and you should then get a decent commercialista and get a partita IVA (VAT no) and then give the government all your money.....