hi everyone I am about to purchase a villa

12/31/2019 - 10:15

hi everyone 

I am about to purchase a villa in Puglia in January.

We have reliably been informed that we only need to pay 2% sales tax as opposed to 9% if we register it as a Casa prima within 18 months.

We were told to register locally with our commune for residency within 18 months and that an official would visit us and stamp our papers to say that we had gained Italian residency.

This also relates to the local council tax too as if it is prima Casa then no local council tax is payable.

Can people confirm that what we have been told by our estate agent is actually correct?

Grazie Mille 




Hi, as Steve has said, it is a good recommendation to try out the lifestyle and location by renting first. We have owned property in Puglia for about 15 years in two different locations but have never been fully convinced to make it our permanent home, usually making a couple of visits a year for a few months at a time. Like everywhere in Southern Europe it has its good and bad points. Yes, Puglia is a beautiful country, but remember that the main occupations are farming and tourism. If you plan to be in the tourism industry that is  the  fine, otherwise better to stay away in peak season.  Security and corruption are the two biggest concerns, so for security fenced land and an alarm system are required. And a word of advice before signing the "Compravendita", ensure that all of the legal documentation is in place.


Hi Barry&Steve

thank you both so much for your advice.

We sign for the house on the 16th Jan and hope to get keys that day too.

A British agent is handling the sale and the paperwork.

The property is gated and 4 km to Ostuni.

We will get an alarm fitted and have a local agent manage it for us along with someone to manage the land of approx 2 acres.

We will visit around  5 times per year and spend the summer in Puglia.

We will consider living there for several months at a time  in the future.

It is daunting but also exciting.

We would consider a trulli holiday lettings business but we would have to be there in order to manage it I suspect so it’s not an option for us at the moment.

I would love to meet up to be able to chat over all of the above and both owning and living in Italy in general if any of you were available?

It is good to get another perspective tbh.

Grazie Mille


You need to tread carefully to avoid future fines. The 2% property tax instead of 9% is also linked to your future tax situation after the 18 months i.e. not only if you live in Italy a bit, but it is much linked to the future tax you will pay in Italy.

Taking someones advice ....depends on if that advice is paid consultancy or if it is "free talk" - the whole scenario is complicated and more so if you are retiring and / or buying via a company - all needs to be weighed up and proper advice (consultancy) needs to be obtained to be sure of what you are doing and that you will avoid fines after the 18 months.

If you opt for the 2% and you do not take residency within the 18 months, you will get a demand for the missing tax and a fine almost immediately.    If you are using a BRitish agent, they will probably not want to be cited in the act of sale.   This means you have no recourse if they have sold you a house with problems.   You are legally required to name your intermediary in the act of sale, even if its a British agent.   It's in your interest to do so. 

Obviously if you are taking residency you will need health insurance and other paperwork.  You will be exempt from IMU depending on the type of property you own,  but you will pay more for rubbish collection.  

Declaring a house at 2% seems easy, but you need to do your calculations carefully.  For a few hundred euros saving it isnt necessarily worth it. 

Yes indeed it does appear to be a distorted logic to a non-Italian, being taxed in a Council that you do not use as much as people who are there all the time. But the idea from the Italian point of view is that it taxes rich people more than less rich people. I.e. if you have only one house you do not get taxed whereas if you have more than one house you get taxed on your extra houses. Then if you are a non Italian and resident elsewhere, and buy a house in Italy presumably you have another house and  so your Italian house is your second home and therefore you are taxed as having more than one home.   

Hi Sara,

I am very pleased to answer all your questions since this matter is very frequent in my life ;) 

Your concert about the 2% taxes is very common since there might be a huge difference if you move or not your residency in the Commune where you have purchased your property. You might find this article of your interest: https://www.luxury-law.com/buying-a-first-home-fiscal-benefits/

Also, it would be safer to live in the Country for most of your yearly time, since further checks might incur. It is usually required to spend at least 181 per year (slightly more than 6 months) in the place where you have declared to have your residency.

Moreover, I suggest you to move your residency immediately after your purchase. In fact, IMU and TARI taxes will be calculated starting form your residency application approval, and not from the signature of the deed of purchase. Hope this is clear.

You wrote that you will sign on the 16th and "hope to get the key on that day". Well, I would suggest you to expect and make sure that you do receive the key on that day!  

One more suggestion is to always have someone who picks up your letters, in terms of being informed "on time" on any notice (especially if sent by the Revenue Office, etc.). 

Re the English agency, I do not see why they should not be mentioned in the final deed.

Finally, you have requested to meet up with someone in Puglia so that you can have a nice chat on this topic. Unfortunately I am not in Puglia, but I can definitely talk on the phone

I wish you good luck, and I am sure that, a part all your justified concerns, you will be very satisfied on your choice! Puglia is a beautiful place where to live!! :)

Sara , you has to take the < elective residence > , non FULL residence , with elective you do not pay , in italy, taxes for your's job , outside the italy , and CAN'T PRODUCE INCOME IN ITALY - no italian taxes !

more info at >  https://www.lifeinitaly.it/Inglese/italyresidenceguide.htm

my testimonials , can provide to you , their experience in this field. Nobody found themselves having to solve problems, about taxation in Italy - If you want to speak directly with them, follow the instructions at the top of the page