ICI - does a Prima Casa owner pay this year?

06/22/2009 - 13:05

I think I may have paid the ICI this year when I didn't have to.I thought that the non payment last year was a one off, but some Italian friends have told me that  while Berulsconi is in power Prima Casa owners don't have to pay.What has anyone else done this year?Rosietat


There is no ICI to be paid by owners who live in their prima casa until further notice (as your Italian friends told you).  However, if you don't live in a property you claimed prima casa on, then you do have to pay it (as we've just found out!)

As Penny rightly says ICI is not payable if you live (not just visit for a couple of months) at a property, as long as this is your only property. If you own another building that is not lived in but is big enough to be lived in (not on your properties land i.e. on an Orto) ICI could then be payable on that. If you have a building on your orto declare it as being for wood storage for your main Casa and they wont charge you.    

 ICI is not payable on a prima casa unless is it is catasto'd as a villa or more - A8 or A9 and then you are not exempt.   You will pay ICI on other properties on the same land if they are classed as dwellings.  ICI is payable on all second homes.  The last date for payment was last Tuesday. 

My husband has to pay ICI on his property in Comunanza (which he bought with the prima casa concession 6 years ago) because he recently changed his residency to my house here in Amandola. Even thought he has the prima casa concession on it, because he doesn't live in it, he has to pay.

I was discussing a similar matter with some Italian friends and I was told that the concept of "prima" not only translates as the first house but also to the principal place of residence, meaning the house where you effectively live.

 yes Gala you are referring to the abitazione principale which is distinct from the prima casa concept also often confused. I've posted about it below.

In reply to by rosietat

Try and make sure you have documentation to support your claim i.e. bills paid for utilities etc. and be prepared to wade through tons of red tape...........

 ICI is not payable on an abitazione principale, which is distinct from the "prima casa" concept. "Prima casa" is a tax relief on the transfer of property. Your abitazione principale on the other hand, for ICI purposes, is your main home - the place you actually live.The two terms are separate and not interchangeable.As far as the tax authorities are concerned, a prima casa is a tax relief on taxes payable for the transfer of property and doesn't necessarily have to be the house you actually live in. An abitazione principale on the other hand, is the place where you actually live and this is the home that has ICI relief (assuming it is not classed as a luxury dwelling). It is assumed that you have your abitazione principale on your "prima casa" unless you declare/prove otherwise.The two terms are often confused even by Italians, mainly because usually the two actually coincide (i.e. the house you got prima casa tax relief on is also your abitazione principale). for more info in Italian on the difference between prima casa and abitazione principale: http://www.uppi-alessandria.it/article.php?sid=139http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prima_casa  

 Masca - you should be using the aliquota ordinaria. It's not true that the aliquota abitazione principale and detrazione a.p. should be used if this is your only property in Italy. It should be used if you actually LIVE in the property as a matter of course. If it is a holiday home, you need to pay ICI and you need to use the aliquota ordinaria.The confusion between prima casa and abitazione principale lies in the fact that, according to the tax authorities, you CAN claim prima casa relief (for purchase tax purposes) without living full time at the property. However you cannot claim abitazione principale (for ICI purposes) without actually living there.Official residence (residenza anagrafica) is not necessarily the same as abitazione principale.Someone could, legally, have a "prima casa" and not have that home as an "abitazione principale". To get prima casa relief (for purchase tax purposes) all you have to be is become a resident in that comune by registering as such. There are other requirements too, which have been explained in great detail in the old forum. But actually, physically, living for most of the year in the property is not one of them. On the Agenzia Entrate website, it states very clearly "Per usufruire delle agevolazioni "prima casa" non e' necessario che l'immobile acquistato sia destinato ad abitazione propria e/o dei familiari - or "to benefit from prima tax relief, it is not necessary that the property purchased is lived in by the purchaser and/or their family members". Further down the page it states: "It is not necessary that the house is used as abitazione principale" - non è necessario che la casa sia utilizzata come abitazione principale". For abitazione principale, you DO have to actually live there. Abitazione principale is a physical state, not a registration. Usually it is assumed that your abitazione principale is where you have your residenza anagrafica (the Finanziaria 2007 says that the abitazione principale is «salvo prova contraria, quella di residenza anagrafica» ("the same as the residence in the anagrafe, unless proven otherwise"). This proof can also be provided in the form of a self-certification. It is not true that when buying a house with prima casa, you have to transfer your residence to that property within 18 months. You have to transfer your residence to the comune that property is located in within 18 months.Hope I haven't confused you further but Masca, for you it's simple - you have to pay ICI and you have to use the aliquota ordinaria, unless you are prepared to make a self-certification that you actually live in the property (there are penalties for making false statements).  

Okay, I'm still confiused!  This is the first year we are doing our own ICI calculation (late, I know!) and, whilst I could just use last years figure, I would really like to understand what I'm doing.  Our house was purchased as a holiday home/A4 but it is our only property in Italy.  We are not residents, and therefore I believe we should be paying ICI.  My confusion is regarding Aliquota ordinaria and Aliquota abitazione principale on the ICI bill.  I have been using the Expats In Italy calculator, and the instructions suggest that Aliquota abitazione principale (and no Detrazione abitazione principale) should be used if the property is your only one in Italy.  Is this true or is it only if it is your offiicial residence?My apologises if this is a stupid question, but I would be very grateful for clarification.  Thank you!

"Iinstructions suggest that Aliquota abitazione principale (and no Detrazione abitazione principale) should be used if the property is your only one in Italy.  Is this true or is it only if it is your offiicial residence?"..  I think that's the right calculation - the check will be if it agrees with last years figure [assuming the rate hasn't changed] An Italian friend just managed to pay my ICI, which was due by the middle of June [16th I think] - the fine for being a week late was 6 Euros

 To make things as clear as possible.  If you claim prima casa when you buy - you must also make it your official residence (abitazione principale) within 18 months - so for the vast majority of foreigners buying in Italy they are one and same thingWhere you have your residence is the important thing with regards to ICI, Enel etc - 

 Welcome back, Masca. As you may remember, we are in the same "comune". I think that our figures are identical or very similar to last years. And if we are not residents.... we have no option but to pay.

 Garda I have to disagree - you cannot claim prima casa on a purchase if you're going to lilve in another house in teh same comune (unless the house is not habitable in which case no ICI is payable) .  The prima casa agevolazione is for that property being used as a prima casa ie abitazione prinicpale - otherwise there would be no need to have it as your anagraphical residence within 18 months of the purchase.    The act of purchase states that within 18 months you will take anagraphical residence in the property for which you are claiming agevolazione.We all know that Itlaians who have 3 houses intest one to the wife, one to the husband and one to the child to claim prima casa on the purchase and not pay ICI as abitaziione principale - you have to 'prove' the the police that you'live' there and that is it.   It is your residence - anagraphical whether you choose to live there or not - but as far as the state is concerned it is your home.   You can have residence in one place and domicile in another - another thing which most Itlaians do - having a holiday home as prima casa/residence and the domicile in Milan or wherever they happen to live and work - the thing to be aware of is that official post will always go to your legal residence - and the state is only responsible for sending it - if you never receive it - it's your problem

 Ram, I am not going on what is often done or not done, I am going by what the law and the agenzia delle entrate say.http://www.agenziaentrate.it/ilwwcm/connect/Nsi/Documentazione/Guide+Fis...The three terms: residenza anagrafica, abitazione principale, and prima casa, are three distinct concepts, although true they USUALLY coincide. But to say that in the deed of purchase you must state "that within 18 months you will take anagraphical residence in the property for which you are claiming agevolazione" is incorrect. It must state that within 18 months you will take anagraphical residence in the comune in which the property is located. True, in the majority of cases this will necessarily be the property that was purchased, but not always. That is not what is legally required. Here it is again. I assume you understand Italian:From the agenzia delle entrate site: Per usufruire delle agevolazioni "prima casa" non e' necessario che l'immobile acquistato sia destinato ad abitazione propria e/o dei familiari  RESIDENZA DELL'ACQUIRENTE: NEL COMUNE IN CUI SI TROVA L'IMMOBILE From http://www.dossier.net/primacasa/bonus.htm Requirements for prima casa tax relief (prima casa in the sense of "first home purchased with tax relief" 

  • non deve avere le caratteristiche di lusso indicate dal decreto ministeriale 2 agosto 1969, in "Gazzetta Ufficiale" 218 del 27/08/1969, mentre non è rilevante la categoria catastale;
  • deve essere ubicata nel Comune dove l'acquirente ha la propria residenza o in cui intende stabilirlaentro 18 mesi dall' acquisto (il termine è stato elevato da 12 a 18 mesi dal 1° gennaio 2001), oppure nel Comune in cui l'aquirente svolge la propria attività;
  • se l'acquirente si è trasferito all'estero per lavoro, l' immobile deve essere situato nel Comune ove ha sede o esercita l'attività l'azienda da cui dipende;
  • l'immobile può essere ubicato in qualsiasi Comune del territorio italiano se l'acquirente è cittadino italiano residente all'estero (iscritto all'Aire);
  • per fruire delle agevolazioni prima casa non è necessario che l'immobile acquistato sia destinato ad abitazione propria e/o dei familiari, tant'è che può essere acquistata con le agevolazioni "prima casa" anche un'abitazione affittata o da affittare dopo l'acquisto (circolari n. 38 del 12 agosto 2005, n. 19/E del 1° marzo 2001 e n. 1/E del 2 marzo 1994).

Translation for those who don't understand Italian:  

  • the property must not be a luxury dwelling as specified in the decreto ministeriale 2 August 1969, in the "Gazzetta Ufficiale" 218 of 27/08/1969, whereas the cadastral category is not relevant;
  • the property must be located in the Comune where the purchaser has their residence or which they intend to establish said residence within 18 months of the purchase (the deadline has been increased from 12 to 18 months as of 1st January 2001), or in the Comune in which the buyer carries on their business;
  • of the buyer has moved abroad for work purposes, the property must be located in the Comune where the employing company has its registered address or carries on its business;
  • the property can be located in any Comune in Italy if the buyer is an Italian citizen resident abroad (registered with the Aire);
  • to benefit from prima casa agevolazioni it is not necessary that the property purchased be used as the home of the purchaser and/or their family members; in fact, a property that is let out or will be let out after the purchase can be purchased with "prima casa" tax relief (circolars no. 38 of 12 August 2005, no. 19/E of 1st March 2001 and o. 1/E of 2 March 1994).

(for clarity, here is what that circular says if you click on the link: "Si ricordi che, attualmente, ai fini dell'agevolazione in esame, non è più previsto l'obbligo di adibire l'immobile ad abitazione principale o di dichiarare la volontà, da parte del contribuente, di provvedere a tale destinazione; come rilevato in altra circostanza, (si veda Circolare 69/E del 14 agosto 2002) tale obbligo, che costituiva requisito necessario ai sensi della precedente disciplina, non è stato più riproposto dalla normativa attuale" - quick translation "note that, currently, for the purposes of the tax relief in question, there is no longer an obligation to use the property as abitazione principale or for the taxpayer to declare that they will do so; as recorded elsewhere (see Circolare 69/E of 17 August 2002) this obligation, which used to a requirement in accordance with the previous regulations, was not put forward in current laws"=So for example, someone who lets out their "prima casa" (and by prima casa I mean a home they purchased using prima casa tax relief) cannot claim relief on ICI, because that property is not their abitazione principale.   On the old forums, our resident notary who unfortunately doesn't post here anywhere, also confirmed this a few times:see here:http://www.italymag.co.uk/forums/legal/5991-prima-casa.html#post53868 see also here: http://www.aduc.it/dyn/sosonline/schedapratica/sche_mostra.php?Scheda=40709"per usufruire dei benefici riguardo l'acquisto di prima casa non e' determinante che essa sia adibita ad abitazione principale. La legge, infatti, non obbliga il proprietario di un immobile acquistato con i benefici ad abitarlo personalmente: lo stesso potra' essere dato in uso a familiari od a terzi, poiche' l'unico obbligo sussistente e' quello di risiedere nel territorio del Comune (o di prendervi residenza entro 18 mesi dall'acquisto)."It seems very clear to me.  

 I was trying to make things as simple as possible for those who dont understand the Italian legal maze - and probably have muddied the waters further.  For 99.9% of buyers from abroad who have a house it is prima casa and abitazione principale.  The wording of the act of sale states that you can take prima casa agevolazione if you do not own, part own, have in use or usufrutto another property in the comune where you are applying for prima casa - (nor even a quota of another  property in Italy, if that was bought using prima casa agevolazione) so yes garda you are right - I could rent a house in a comune and use it as my main residence and anagraphical residence, and then buy a house using prima casa agevolazione and not transfer my residence to that house, pay ICI and higher electricity bills - but I cant think of anyone who would do that.   Or I could buy a house in one comune without the agevolazione and then buy a 'prima casa' house in another comune and transfer my residence to that comune to a third address - the possibilities are endless - but for the non Italians who buy one property which they live in, the legal minefield doesnt enter into the equation.  

Two people in this thread though have already been affected by a misunderstanding of the concepts, which I why I tried to point them out. Especially if a married couple has separazione dei beni (pretty much every UK citizen married in the UK) with more than one property, the differences between the terms can make a huge difference. Or as Avv. Charlotte Oliver claims, it is perfectly legal for a second home owner to purchase a property with prima casa tax relief, register for residenza anagrafica in the comune in order to satisfy the legal requirements, then use the property as a holiday home with their abitazione principale (principal private residence) in the UK (this may cause difficulties with residence for tax purposes, but that's another story). In which case, they would have a so-called "prima casa" but still have to pay ICI (theoretically, because as abitazione principale is "assumed" to be the same as one's residenza anagrafica unless declared otherwise, if someone in this situation didn't pay ICI they probably wouldn't be challenged. Although it would then be difficult to claim tax residence outside Italy if a person had already claimed abitazione principale for ICI purposes in Italy). Not everyone on this forum (sorry community!) or visiting here looking for information is in the same situation. The main danger however is assuming that prima casa and abitazione principale are always one and the same.

I think this is turning into a slanging match,. It's obvious the two of you have different opinions; and maybe both of you are correct.; but I think that the original question cannot be solved by any of this. I suggest that Local proffessional advice is sought on these occassions because as we all know, it doesn't matter a jot what the Law says, it's down to the Local Comunes interpretation that carries the weight.Moving On..................................... 

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

 I really, really, didn't think this was a slanging match! If it came across that way I apologise. I am fascinated by all these aspects and hidden nuances, it's one of the passions in my life and actually hope we both were helping.I have great respect for ram and everyone else on this forum/community, in fact I just sent him, before, reading your message gromit, an invitation to join the property law group as I enjoy his contributions and picking over the details with him.I have obviously been in Italy for far too long - we love a debate over dinner.Never once I have I been disrespectful to any one on either this community or the previous forums, in four solid years of posting and hours of my time spent trying to help others, hopefully.I know Ram is intelligent to realise that this was no slanging match. If not, again, I apologise.

In reply to by garda

the slanging match ...i mean... knowing ram as well am sure he also enjoyed the debate ... and to me it just proves how difficult everything here can be...in the interpretation rather than the letter...for quite a while we followed the accepted form of poima/seconda casa rules until we went through it all with charlotte oliver... and she convinced us otherwise ...so now we give clients a choice... that is if they do not already own another first house in Italy...  against the tax purchase benefits you also have to accept that you will have to have a certain amount of funds in the bank and a health insurance policy in place... plus an ability to remain at the property whilst applying for a sometimes lengthy stay...i don't agree with Gromits opinion re local comune knows best... one client we were working with was having extreme problems with a comune until we put the point to the comune via a law firm... suddenly everything resolved itself and the comune official pretended to understand all the laws pertaining to purchase residence and eu rights... as if he was a modern day version of st paul...local comune does know best...unless their best is not right for you especially when they do not understand the law...in that case stick them with a solicitor ...anyway keep the arguing going...well i prefer to call it debate... it brings out for me a much the opportunity to clarify things in my own head... and i appreciate it more so when two people with good knowledge of their fields hold a debate of this sort

No disrespect to both your valued contributions; but it seemed a bit like Wimbledon and having been around this forum for some time now (in one form or another) I could see it ending in tears not joy.We all apreciate the 'differences' in interpretation of Italian Law, a Mine field springs to mind; I just thought it may be time to draw a line under this particular thread.Only my opinion though, feel free to carry on if you wish.CiaoG

Sorry, I've not had a chance to post again until now, and obvoiusly an interesting debate has continued since my last post!  Just to confirm, I know I have to pay ICI - it has never been my aim to try to 'get out' of paying it - I just wanted to ensure that I wasn't paying too much!  I have taken the 'better safe than sorry' approach, and I have now paid the full amount using the Aliquota Ordinaria.Thanks again to everyone who replied to my question.

Interesting what you say John, our comune knows best, and if it is in our favour, then who are we to say it is not correct.?. Have visited there today to sort out various issues and as ever the mayor was there big hand shakes and smiles. I think that in such a small community as ours and with a forward looking administration our path has been made easy. There have been other issues when we thought we would be dismissed, but it seems a phone call from the mayor can have amazing powers. I would be interested to find out what these might be on such a local level? If anyone can define them.A

No slanging match was intended - Garda is a font of knowledge and I certainly didnt intend to start a Wimbledon base line match - there's probably enough of those going on this week.    No offence taken, and none meant - and thanks Garda for the invite - Ive accepted it  btw! 

In reply to by Ram

What has happened on this thread was debate - nothing more and nothing less. Strong debate maybe - viewed from some quarters - but nothing more than any of us would expect to see, hear and become part of in any piazza anywhere. So why not in this piazza here on IM?For too long we have seen that any minimal hint of dissention has had some running for the 'Alert Button' and whinging about comments posted. 'Common and garden' debate and discussion became permissible only at the whim of one, or maybe two members. Please.... don't let's return to that situation where good debate is stifled, or threads are closed to assuage some and not others. What is the point in only allowing one person's point of view before complaining? I'll tell you....  IT'S  BO O O O O O O O RING !!!!! 

When we've all untwisted our knickers here, what I was trying to do was  prevent things escalating into a 'I'm right your not....' situation. Also Adriatica I did not say the Comune is alway right, I actually said the Comune has the most weighted opinion, as it's them that sets the bar.If you wish to continue 'Debating' Carole, please feel free; but I fail to see the benefit to Comunity members in denouncing others opinions, wether  informed or not.....Ciao G.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

i enjoy a good debate... the comune has to my mind at least the least weighted opinion... locally it might seem so and politically in terms of getting on but again to my mind this is often a misconception on people that feel strange within the system... ie foreigners...---------------------most comune officials have their jobs via very little educational substance and ...which is to me genuinely not a problem... but they also have very limited brain power to see beyond their comune,provincial or even regional boundaries... that is a problem when it comes to dealing with situations outside the norm... their capacity to think outside a cube and to even be aware of a changing world outside that quadrant...-------------------if you are happy to accept that some comune official with no legal training, very little ability and in a job solely for the pension... or because his/her cousin was the mayor four hundred years ago can rule on your life here and what you can and cannot do then hopefully that comune official is in agreement with your desires or wishes...  if not and yo know you have a legal right to what you want then they deserve need to be challenged and made to see the error of their ways...---------its a common held view here that with a few exceptions most comune officials are inadequate in their work, generally lazy and very often incapable... and in fact new laws under this government are trying to eek out and get rid of those people that make the local Italian comunes basically a menace to all that live here.. sick pay... has been changed so that those that work there now have to justify a working life where they appear as sick more often than they arrive at work... basically because they are doing second jobs...higher paid but without the pension rights...which is why working for the comune is for italians a sort of Californian gold rush guarantee for their elder life retiring early and living off a very full income...-----------anyway my view discussed with many Italians is that if you front up to these people if they are not willing to oblige in terms of accepting rules  that are the law and can bring a bigger entity to bear upon them they generally cave in and a bit like Uriah Heep apologise profusely for you not having understood them properly... they were not saying no or never...so i still believe your opinion is wrong ...if you believe a bunch of idiots has the most weighted opinion.. i believe in the law having that... and if you front up to any comune they back down and agree... providing you can afford the right people on your side... and generally without any problems at the end of rancour... what they know is that you have more power than they do and in Italy this is a cause for respect... they end up your friends for life.... so it does matter in the upmost what the law says and the comune if going aginst the law has no weight at all-------------finally and with no disrespect intended... knickers in a twist is pretty derogatory and condescending... suggest you read Ram and Gardas comments and the other more carefully... and really it would appear to me that if anyone has underwear problems it should  maybe be you that tries  unknotting yours first ...-----------excuse my dashes... and going off thread... obviously this is now far from the original persons posting but have seen their reply and they have resolved their problem ... so feel free to wander off into the debating realms...  and a thank you to them for staritng up even if not intended a lively and obviosly controversial debate over the different perceptions of life here in Italy

Wheres that grazie button John!, agree broadly with what you say. I remember the first time we went to the comune we were told by the wicked witch of the west to go away, couldnt we see she was busy writing a letter!, so I sat down until she had finished and she has never done it again!. Having said that everyone else is very helpful, shame she is the gatekeeper, and the public scowl of the community. So the message is to not be put off, but to be polite but insistant. For us ,I guess we have been fortunate in our reception from other comune employees, but had it been otherwise with eveyone being obstructive it would have been a very different situation.A

I learned a long time ago to always make this my opening gambit:"Excuse me - I think I really need your help. I think I've misunderstood what I should be doing...."(Mi scusi - penso che veramente ho bisogno del suo aiuto'. Penso di aver capito male quello che dovro fare...)OK - I know it sounds a bit 'over the top', but I've yet to find a 'Jobsworth' who's ego isn't massaged by this plea.If they then still turn out to be  a Jobsworth (as one would usually expect), then I just revert to 'Plan B'.'Plan B'If I can find a copy of the act/statute/law  (whatever) that I need, then that is waved (often with great satisfaction) under their turned up noses. And if all that fails (heaven forbid) then I do suggest that they contact this site > www.stranieriinitalia.it/forum-stranieri/  where there is a forum with legal assistance available to all Comunes on the matter of Stranieri in Italia! (Sorry, it's all in Italian though). However - the public CAN use it too. It's very informative - but all in Italian!