Italian inheritance taxes

 

QQuestion: How much are Italian inheritance taxes? Who pays taxes on an Italian succession? What are the implications when an Italian property is involved in the succession?

AAnswer: Italian successions are subject to two Italian inheritance taxesEstate Tax and Property Transfer Tax, as follows.

 

In the succession of a non Italian resident inheritance taxes apply only to the assets present in Italy. In the succession of an Italian resident Italian inheritance taxes apply to all the assets of the deceased worldwide. A tax credit might be applicable for inheritance taxes paid overseas.

 

Estate Tax

Estate tax applies to the entire estate net value, including movable and immovable assets. Rates depend on the relationship of the beneficiary with the deceased:

  • Spouses and children: 4% of the estate value, with an allowance of EUR 1 million for each beneficiary;
  • Siblings and close relatives (up to fourth degree of kinship): 6%. Each sibling is entitled to an allowance of EUR 100,000;
  • Any other subject: 8%, without allowance.

Property Transfer Tax.

When an Italian property is involved, the succession is also subject to property inheritance transfer taxes (aggregate rate 3% of the property value on record, in Italian “Valore Catastale“, which typically is 30%-40% lower than the actual property market value).

Exceptions and Reductions

Some assets are not subject to inheritance estate tax at all, such as Italian Treasury bonds and life insurance.

Also, if certain criteria are met, it is possible to neutralize the above mentioned 3% property transfer tax. For instance, if the beneficiary is an Italian citizen living abroad without other properties in Italy, or if the beneficiary will use the property as primary residence.

Further reductions might apply in other cases, such as when a succession includes assets coming from a previous succession. In this case it might be possible to deduct from the inheritance estate tax due for the second succession a portion of the taxes paid for the previous one and save up to 50%.

Here you can find a chart summarizing the main Italian inheritance taxes with respect to standard inheritance cases involving Italian properties. The chart shows that Italian inheritance taxes vary depending on specific circumstances:

  • relation between the deceased and the inheritor
  • estate value
  • how inheritors will use the property

In particular, it shows that under certain circumstancesno proportional inheritance transfer tax applies.

Practical Examples

1. Inheriting from Spouse, Parent, Grandparent, or Child

The inheritance transfer is subject to 4% inheritance tax on the value exceeding EUR 1 million, in addition to 3% registration tax on the basis of property value on record. If the property was jointly owned, taxes apply exclusively to the inherited share. A property might be jointly owned even if only one spouse’s name is on record. If the value of the inherited estate (or property share) is lower than EUR 1 million, the succession is subject to only 3% property transfer tax. If the inheritor lives in the property, total taxes applicable to the succession would be EUR 400.

2. Inheriting from Sibling, Uncle or Aunt

This inheritance implies a 6% inheritance estate tax. Each sibling is entitled to claim an allowance of EUR 100,000. Also, a 3% registration tax applies on the basis of property value on record (if a property is involved). For a sibling’s succession, if the value of the inheritance share is lower than EUR 100,000, there would be no estate tax, only property title transfer tax. If the property is used as the inheritor’s primary home, or the inheritor moves to the area where the property is within 18 months, or lives or works in the same township at the time of transfer, or is an Italian citizen living abroad, the 3% transfer tax above might be replaced by a flat tax equal to EUR 400. As is typical with Italian law, inheritance tax laws have been modified several times over the past years and further amendments in the near future cannot be excluded.

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The information presented in the Studio Legale Metta web site has been written and reviewed by Italian lawyers. However, it should not be construed to be legal advice, nor promotion of the establishment of a relationship between lawyer and client. The case studies and answers contained in this web site pertain to the specific situation referenced and should not be understood to generally apply to other circumstances. Persons accessing this web site are encouraged to seek independent counsel for advice concerning their individual needs for legal assistance.

Copyright of Studio Legale Metta – Bari (Italy).

 

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