We recently got 2 raccomandata from our local commune with bills

Noddy Image
07/17/2012 - 10:08

We recently got 2 raccomandata from our local commune with bills for local rubbish collection amounting to €4500. This includes €1000 non payment fines. We finished our house build years ago and the Giometra finalised the paperwork with the comune. We have the paperwork clearly date stamped by the planning department. We visited the comune to find out what it was all about. They said they hadn’t billed us for rubbish because they didn’t know we were there. We showed them their date stamped paperwork, but apparently they have no internal communication mechanism and just because the Geometra logged the paperwork with their people, he didn’t actually walk up to the desk of the actual person whose job it is to do the rubbish billing, and therefore we have a fine.
A couple of days later we received two more raccomandata for fines for ICI for the period when prima casa was cost free. Again, a trip to the comune. The same story. Yes, the Geometra had logged the house with the planning team in the comune, but he hadn’t gone up to the desk to the bloke who deals with ICI. The staff member even joked that although ICI sits next to rubbish in their office, there is no internal communication system so both have to be visited independently otherwise you get a fine. They thought it was all very amusing and showed us a stack of files filling a whole bookshelf of people in a similar situation.
Not knowing how it all works here and learning as we go along from sources like the wonderfully helpful Italy Magazine we thought we had received all the bills that we need to pay in the post, and had ICI covered by our accountant. We hold our hands up to the rubbish bill and realise that despite never receiving a bill, we perhaps should have known somehow that it wasn’t one of or included in one of the multitude of bills we already received. However, to be fined all this money when the comune had all the correct paperwork but simply don’t communication between themselves ….! Well, what do you lot think?



I think you're stuck with the rubbish tax bill as it is your responsibility to register for it with the comune when you buy a property regardless of whether the house is being restored etc or whether you are living there. You might get a discount if it's being restored or you might not. It always seems unfair if you don't know about it but that is the way it works unfortunately. However, the ICI one makes no sense to me. Did you take out residency at the property? If so, from that day on then you didn't have to pay ICI. I can't see how they can bill you at all let alone send you a fine. However, your geometra would not be able to arrange your residency for you and you would have had to do that yourself. If you didn't take out residency, then yes it was always due (and you never get a bill) as it was a seconda casa. Nothing your geometra presented would make any difference unless you are referring to the discount for uninhabitable properties. If you are, then I would take that up with your geometra and ask for a contribution from him as he did not present the documents to the correct person and would definitely know where they should go. Did your accountant not arrange to pay it or mention it to you? If not, I would not be impressed with the accountant either and would ask him to take it up with the comune on your behalf. He might be able to negotiate a discount on the fine. I have to say the sums you mention seem huge to me but then I have a pretty modest property, so maybe not. The fines can be as much as 30% of the bill plus interest (usually pretty small) plus fees. The upshot is it doesn't sound like they did have the correct paperwork to be honest - ie: no residency at the property; no declaration of not being habitable; no statement from you saying you were now responsible for the rubish tax.

I think you shouldnt pay the TARSU either.  Here I dont register for the tarsu, it is my registering for ICI that then gets me automatically liable for TARSU.  If you did the appropriate paperwork for ICI then it may well be that TARSU is covered.  TARSU is an imposta not a tax, so the comune should send you a bill, it isnt one of those that you can calculate yourself.   Id pay the amount but not the fines/sanctions I would make an appointment with the sindaco and very nicely tell him that you are going to make an esposta at the tribunale against the comune - and though its obviously not his fault, he will unfortunately be cited, etc etc etc - Alternatively find a sympathietic jounralist on your local paper and have a photo done of you under a mountain of bills looking sad --- and a good article.   I would however double check that your geometra did everything he tells you he did..... 

I like your way of thinking Ram. Thanks Penny.  Had residency long before the house build.  Its the only home we have.  We were paying ICI happily through our accountant prior to the withdrawal of ICI. Personally, I think its simply a good old fashioned scam.  The Geometra has done his thing and logged it with the comune.  We know that.  We have the paperwork. If the information isn't then diseminated to all the different departments what is the alternative?  That the planning department say 'by the way, you need to tell rubbish and ICI and all their friends?  That sounds perfect.  Or do you go to every desk in their buildings, of which we have three comune buildings in our tiny village all staffed by part timers, and with half the desks and rooms empty (austerity!), with hundreds of photocopies and ask each individual to date stamp that they have received the information? Then, of course, you are bound to miss the half of them who are on sick leave and their work isn't covered by anyone in their absence (because that's how it goes here).  Its wrong.  Its a big fat scam.  Yes, we can take it to the tribunale.  We did this when the local constabulary decided to send us a load of parking tickets for a period we weren't even in the country.  We won.  But the cost of fighting the case was more than just paying the fines.  We've been warned against taking it to the papers because one way or the other they get their own back  you become a target for the next scam. We love this country, but sometimes .....

I think it depends on where you are Ram. In Marche for example, taking out or changing your residency to a new comune does not mean you are regstered for TARSU. You have to go and fill their form in. Our Comune never sent us a bill at all despite me having filled their form in (first notification was from Equitalia) but then they didn't fine us either. In that case Noddy, how on earth can they bill you for a period when ICI was not payable on your main home? What is their reason - have they said? I wouldn't pay it if you had residency at the time. How can they take you to court if it wasn't even due? They have no cause. If you take it up with them and they don't back down then it mght be worth paying for a solicitor's letter pointing this out. Often that makes them take you seriously.

If you were paying ICI prior to the time whn it was abolished for prima casa, I cannot understand how they can bill you now for that exemption period... you must be registered with them and they should know about your situation. Tarsu may be a slightly different thing because of its nature, but then... You should complain, it is an abuse.