What is the fate of first-home benefits if the taxpayer moves abroad?
Let's say, for example, that I bought a flat in a given municipality taking advantage of the first home benefits but after a few months I moved my residence to a foreign country for work reasons.
Well, with its answer to question No. 399/2022, the Revenue Agency has removed all doubts.
Before going into the merits of the issue, let us briefly recall what the first home tax relief consists of from the point of view of real estate transfer taxes:
a) application of the 'price-value' principle, whereby taxes are calculated on the cadastral value of the property and not on the value of the property purchased;
b) proportional registration tax at a reduced rate of 2% instead of 9%;
c) mortgage and cadastral taxes at a fixed rate of 50 euros each.
Here are the conditions to be met to enjoy the benefits (Note II-bis, Article 1 of the Tariff, Part One, annexed to Presidential Decree No. 131/1986):
1. the property must be located in the municipality in which the purchaser has, or has established, residence within 18 months of the deed.
The residence may also be established in a municipality other than the residence, provided that it is the municipality in which the purchaser carries out his work or, in the case of a transfer abroad by the taxpayer, the municipality in which the employer has its head office or carries on business. In case the purchaser is an Italian citizen emigrated abroad, the property must have been purchased as 'first home' on the Italian territory. The declaration of the intention to establish residence in the municipality where the property is located must be expressed and must appear in the deed of purchase, under penalty of revocation;
2. the purchaser must declare that he/she is not the sole owner or joint owner with his/her spouse of the rights of ownership, usufruct, use and habitation of another dwelling in the territory of the municipality where the property to be purchased is located.
Also in this case, the declaration must appear in the purchase deed;
3. finally, the purchaser must declare that he/she is not the owner, not even by shares, even under a legal community regime throughout the national territory of the rights of ownership, usufruct, use, habitation and nude ownership of another dwelling house purchased by the same person or by his/her spouse with the first home concessions.
According to the opinion expressed by the Revenue Agency in its reply to question No. 399/2022, a taxpayer who moves abroad does not lose the first home benefits provided that he has complied with the conditions indicated in the previous points.
In the event the taxpayer sells the property purchased with the first home benefits before 5 years from the date of the deed, registration, mortgage and cadastral taxes will be due at the ordinary rate, in addition to a surcharge equal to 30% of the same taxes and interest on arrears (Note II-bis, Article 1, paragraph 4, Presidential Decree 131/1986).