Holiday rentals – the new law

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Short term lets – the code to combat evasion.  A synopsis of an article in Repubblica on 26 June 2019

Short term lets – holiday lets – will be given a ‘quality stamp’, an obligatory code for all online adverts,  which will serve to identify both properties and their owners and which will make it impossible to avoid the tax man.  It will also apply to the tassa di soggiorno with the Comunes able to check directly whether the payments have been made. 

After lots of announcements the government has decided to insert this in the new ‘Decreto Crescita’ which will see a data bank of all touristic structures and should be operative by August.

The first intervention against fiscal  evasion on short term lets was dated 2018.  Two years ago they allowed the possibility of paying ‘cedolare secca’ – a flat rate tax of 21% on holiday lets of less than 30 days.  IN parallel is was foreseen that the large online portals that take payments would also pay the tax at source.  Airbnb went to the High Court, lost and announced an appeal.  In the meantime it has not applied the tax at source.  It was also envisaged that the intermediary (agent, Airbnb, booking.com etc)  to send the data of the renter to the tax man, but this was also ignored.   For this reason the government has now instituted the new stamp,  without which it will not be possible to advertise online with a fine from 500 to 5000 euros for each announcement and paid for by the portal.

The system should be ready by July, with a data bank of all rented properties present in the country.  All structures, including private houses, will be given an identification code that must be used in the announcements.  The code will permit the taxman to identify the type of structure, its characteristics and its location.  The information in the data bank will be also son the site of the Ministry of Agriculture and tourism.  The data will be sent to the tax office for controls.

From January 2019 it has been obligatory for anyone who offered their property for rental to register on the Allogiati Web portal to notify the police of all guests.  Now this data will be sent to the taxman by the Questura, as well as to the comunes so they can check who has paid the tassa di soggiorno.

My notes:  While this will be certainly be true for any advert published in Italy – presumably on an .it site – it is hard to see how this could be applicable for someone who advertises a property solely in another country on a .com or .uk site that does not syndicate onto an Italian site.

While the big portals have refused and appealed the previous decrees, they are valid for estate agents in Italy – who are responsible for the payment of the owners tax to the government – hence a precipitous fall in the number of agencies dealing in holiday rentals.

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