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FINANCE

The building bonuses you could claim in Italy in 2021

The Italian government is stumping up state funds for renovating and improving the safety of property. Here's an overview of what you need to know about accessing the main bonuses currently up for grabs.

The building bonuses you could claim in Italy in 2021
From renovations to furniture, you could claim Italy's house bonuses this year. Photo: Alicia Steels/Unsplash

Homeowners in Italy can benefit from a variety of building bonuses on offer, which have been extended throughout 2021.

There’s even more financial aid you could get your hands on in addition to the widely reported Superbonus scheme, which offers a tax rebate on up to 110 percent of the expenses incurred for certain property restorations.

The Decreto Rilancio (Relaunch Decree), introduced in 2020 in response to the Covid-19 emergency, saw an increase to the state kitty for both the so-called ‘Ecobonus’ and the ‘Sismabonus’ restoration bonuses.

Since almost three-quarters of Italy’s homes are over 50 years’ old, according to the Agenzia delle Entrate (Italian Revenue Agency), there’s an enduring demand for reinvigorating many neglected properties.

But there’s more you could be eligible to claim this year, in conjunction with the above two schemes.

Further to the financial package available for making energy upgrades and reducing seismic risk, there is also a government pot for furniture, refreshing gardens and optimising water consumption.

READ ALSO: Which areas of Italy have the highest risk of earthquakes?

Can anyone with a property in Italy claim these bonuses?

Unlike the ‘Ecobonus’ and the ‘Sismabonus’, most of these bonuses are for people who pay taxes in Italy, as they are mainly tax-deductible schemes.

Therefore, you can offset the taxes on your income if you decide to dip into these government property pots. They’re not all tax deductible, though, and some bonuses are available to residents in Italy and non-residents alike.

Here’s a breakdown of the other major building bonuses, aside from the Superbonus scheme, that you might qualify for.

Note: These are complex and subject to change, so it’s important to get professional advice before buying and renovating.

READ ALSO: How to stay out of trouble when renovating your Italian property

There are different government bonuses you could claim to renovate property. Photo: Henry & Co/Unsplash

The Renovation Bonus

The Bonus Ristrutturazioni was included in the government’s Legge di Bilancio 2021 (Budget Law 2021) once again. Continuing throughout 2021, you can apply for a 50 percent tax reduction on carrying out renovation work in both individual properties and condominiums.

You must be paying Italian income tax, known as ‘IRPEF’, to access this bonus.

There’s a maximum limit on expenses of €96,000 and the 50 percent offset to taxes is divided into annual instalments for 10 years. So that means you can deduct €48,000 over 10 years with this scheme.

There is a raft of allowances for accessing this bonus. These include making repairs on property that has been damaged, building garages or parking spaces, increasing security of the property such as installing gates, security doors and CCTV, removing asbestos and gas detection equipment.

READ ALSO: House prices in Italy rise at fastest rate in a decade

This scheme is available to taxpayers in Italy, including both residents and non-residents. Not only can the owner of the property claim the 50 percent tax deduction, but also tenants, members of cooperatives and people who make an income from partnerships and family businesses.

Condominiums can also take advantage of the bonus for work in common areas.

In a move to increase transparency of tax trails, the government included payment instructions in the Budget Law. Paying for renovation services must be recorded either through bank or postal transfers.

More details on this bonus can be found here.

You could access government funds to spruce up your garden. Photo: Elija Hail/Unsplash

The Green Bonus

The Bonus Verde was also extended in the government’s Budget Law and is available until the end of the year.

You could get state help for landscaping your garden or private outdoor areas of existing property, supplying plants and shrubs, doing work on fences, irrigation systems, building wells, roofs or roof gardens.

There’s a 36 percent tax deduction available for jobs relating to gardens, terraces and green areas in general. Like the renovation bonus, you must be a taxpayer to benefit from this one.

The tax relief applied in the tax return must be divided into 10 annual instalments of equal amounts and must not exceed a maximum expenditure equal to €5,000 for each property.

In other words, the maximum deduction you can claim comes to €1,800, as that’s 36 percent of €5,000.

READ ALSO: How and where to find your dream renovation property in Italy

The bonus can’t be used for shops or offices, but if a residential property is also used for work, you can claim half of the total tax relief available.

People living in condominiums are also eligible to apply for work carried out in communal areas.

You can’t get a cash boost for general upkeep of gardens, though. Excluded from the expenses are routine maintenance, buying gardening tools and any work that isn’t innovative – that means you have to transform a green area rather than just keep it well pruned.

Second-home owners can also claim for this one, as the bonus is available per property, not per homeowner.

More details on the Green Bonus can be found here.

READ ALSO: Italy’s building bonus: Can you really claim back the cost of renovating property?

The Furniture and Appliances Bonus

Believe it or not, there’s even some state aid on hand for buying household appliances – the Bonus Mobili e Elettrodomestici. You could claim a 50 percent tax deduction on expenses of up to a maximum €16,000, as detailed in the Italian Revenue Agency’s updated guide.

The Budget Law 2021 boosted the funds from last year’s €10,000 limit. This scheme applies to household goods of at least A+ class (A for ovens), intended to furnish a property undergoing renovation.

That means this bonus is linked to the Renovation Bonus. To be sure you can access this one, the renovation work must have begun before buying any furniture or appliances – but expenses on restoring the property don’t need to actually be paid beforehand.

Some items covered by the bonus are the following:

  • Ovens
  • Refrigerators
  • Dishwashers
  • Electric hobs
  • Washer-dryers
  • Washing machines

You qualify for this if the items you buy are for a residential property and, like the previous two bonuses mentioned, the deductions must be spread across 10 annual instalments. You must make any purchases by December 31st, 2021 to qualify for the ceiling limit of €16,000 in expenses.

READ ALSO: How will Italy’s property market change in 2021?

The Facades Bonus

Another bonus extended in this year’s Budget Law is the Bonus Facciate. This scheme allows you to deduct 90 percent of the amount incurred for renovating the exterior facades of buildings, with no maximum spending limits.

Everyone can benefit from this bonus. Again, those paying income tax can access it, as well as those holding a partita IVA (VAT number) and even tenants of rented properties. Both Italian residents and non-residents are eligible.

The Facades Bonus is available throughout 2021 and covers a vast amount of work, including restoring external surfaces of existing buildings, balconies and friezes.

You can deduct 90 percent of expenses from gross tax of either personal income tax, ‘IRPEF’ or corporate tax, known as Imposta sul Reddito Sulle Società (IRES).

You can find out more about this bonus here.

The Water Bonus aims to increase water efficiency. Photo: Jos Speetjens/Unsplash

The Water Bonus

The Bonus Idrico was also extended in the Budget Law and provides for a 50 percent discount on €1,000 of works for individuals resident in Italy and up to €5,000 for businesses.

To claim from this national purse, you’ll need to buy water-saving goods, such as toilets, showers, taps and sinks that are water efficient. It’s a bid by the government to promote lower water consumption.

The money is for the supply and installation of ceramic sanitary toilets and related drainage systems, including plumbing and masonry work and the dismantling of pre-existing systems.

How to access the bonus is yet to be defined by a decree of the Minister of the Environment and Protection of Land and Sea. For the latest on this bonus, keep an eye on this site.

READ ALSO:

Next Steps

To check whether you are eligible, speak to a professional and keep checking the Agenzia delle Entrate website before you begin any work on property.

If you’re keen to buy, you may also want to take a look at our guide to the additional costs you might not be expecting, and read up on some of the common mistakes to avoid when buying a house in Italy.

See more in The Local’s Italian property section.

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MONEY

How to get a discount on the cost of solar panels for your Italian property

Solar panels are an understandably popular choice in Italy, and if you're thinking of installing them on your own home there's funding available to help lower the cost. Here's what you need to know.

How to get a discount on the cost of solar panels for your Italian property

As utility bills rise, more home and business owners in Italy are looking at installing solar panels as a possible way to reduce costs in the long term.

Solar panels are already hugely popular in Italy, with the nation ranking top worldwide for solar-powered electricity consumption.

READ ALSO: Who can claim a discount on energy bills in Italy?

And no wonder: it’s a solid bet in a country where there is sunshine in abundance. But what about the costs of installation?

The good news is that there’s financial help available from Italy’s national government aimed at encouraging uptake of solar energy, as well as other incentives from regional authorities in many parts of the country.

It’s in the government’s interest to incentivise solar power, as Italy has vowed to transition to greener energy with its National Integrated Plan for Energy and Climate (Piano Nazionale Integrato per l’Energia e il Clima 2030 or PNIEC).

So how could this benefit you? Here’s a look at what you can claim at both a national and a regional level.

Regional funding for installing solar panels

As well as the national government subsidies available for covering the cost of solar panel installation, some regions have introduced their own bonuses or discount schemes.

The sunny southern region of Puglia and the wealthy northern region of Lombardy have seen the highest number of residential photovoltaic systems installed, according to market research.

it’s not surprising, then, that these two regions’ governments are offering cash incentives to help cover the cost of installing solar panels.

Depending on the type of system you opt for, you could expect to pay between around €5,000 and €13,000 for installation, design, labour and paperwork.

To contribute to this initial outlay, the local authority in Puglia has created a pot to help homeowners on lower incomes move towards renewable energy.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about installing solar panels on your home in Italy

Newly introduced in 2022, the so-called Reddito energetico (energy income) offers households with an annual income below €20,000 a bonus of up to €8,500 for installing photovoltaic, solar thermal or micro-wind systems in their homes.

The bonus is intended for residents who have citizenship of an EU country or, if you are a citizen of a non-EU country, you can still claim the bonus if you have been resident for at least one year in a municipality in Puglia.

The €20,000 annual income refers to a household’s ISEE – an indicator of household wealth calculated based on earnings and other factors.

A worker fixes solar panels. (Photo by Ina FASSBENDER / AFP)

For this particular scheme, if you claim this bonus from the authorities in Puglia, it precludes you from also claiming funds at national level concurrently – such as through the popular superbonus 110 home renovation fund (see below for more on this).

Although there are other government bonuses, such as the renovation bonus (bonus ristrutturazione) that offers a much higher maximum total expenditure of €96,000, it can only be claimed as a 50 percent tax deduction spread over 10 years in your tax return.

For lower income families in Puglia, this may not be as cost effective as the grant from the regional authorities, which may equate to more money towards the cost and supply of solar panels.

For more information and to apply for Puglia’s renewable energy bonus, see here.

Lombardy is also stumping up funds to continue the solar power momentum experienced in the region.

While the coffers for private properties are currently closed, the region has made funds available for those with small and medium-sized businesses – again, in a move designed to lessen the impact of rising energy costs.

Business owners can claim a 30 percent grant for the installation of solar panels. There are more funds available to cover the cost of consultancy during the process too.

For more details on applying for this energy bonus in Lombardy, see here.

Other regions have also taken the initiative with encouraging more homes and businesses to change to solar-powered energy.

The region of Tuscany is offering an incentive on installing solar panels to residents in the form of tax deductions spread out over several years.

Works permitted include installing winter and summer air conditioning and hot water systems using renewable sources. This covers heat pumps, solar panels or high-efficiency biomass boilers.

For further details and information on how to apply, see here.

Each region may have its own solar panel bonus, either in the form of grants or tax deductions, available to private residents and/or businesses.

Check your regional government’s website to find out what may be currently on offer.

Solar panels are an increasingly popular option for those renovating homes in Italy. Photo by Jeremy Bezanger on Unsplash

National subsidies for installing solar panels

If your region isn’t offering any cash incentive to install solar panels on your property, there are government funds available, which cover all 20 regions.

The authorities introduced and extended a package of building bonuses in order to galvanise the construction industry following the economic downturn caused by the pandemic.

While there is no single, separate package of incentives for installing solar panels in 2022, you can take advantage of other government bonuses that include the cost of solar panel installation and supply.

As noted, you could use the renovation bonus (bonus ristrutturazione), which amounts to a 50 percent tax deduction spread over 10 years in your tax return – or through the superbonus 110, a scheme that promises homeowners a tax deduction of up to 110% on expenses related to property renovation and making energy efficiency measures.

READ ALSO:

The property must make at least a double jump in energy class or reach the highest efficiency rating when accessing these bonuses.

There’s a substantial amount of funds on offer to install your solar panels.

Using the renovation bonus, there is a maximum total expenditure of €96,000 (per single housing, including condominiums). Remember this amounts to a 50 percent tax deduction, so the maximum saving you would make is €48,000.

The renovation bonus has been extended until 2024 and, where solar panel installation is concerned, you can claim for the costs of labour, design, surveys and inspections, as well as VAT and stamp duty.

You must tell Italy’s energy and technology authority, ENEA, that you’ve done the works within 90 days in order to access the state aid for solar panel installation.

If you choose to use the superbonus route to claim funds for your solar panels, however, you can spread out the tax deduction costs over five years. Alternatively, you can apply for it as a discount on the invoice (sconto in fattura) or through the transfer of credit (cessione del credito).

The limit when using this bonus is €48,000, which can now be accessed for a while longer as the government extended the deadline for single family homes.

See HERE for details on how to claim it.

See more in The Local’s Italian property section.

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