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Friday, December 11, 2009

Land Tax Demand

View of part of the land.
I think it is only in Italy that one would expect to receive a tax demand like the one we have recently had to deal with.

Just over two years ago we purchased a plot of land overlooking Marta with views of the lake. A bit of a folly but it was a sort of safety valve in case our next home turned out to be with very little or worst case scenario no outside space at all.

When you buy land here as one would reasonably expect you pay tax on the purchase price and we in fact did so.  Normally that would be the end of the story but not in this case. It seems that the land is valued by the Italian Land Registry at considerably more than we paid for it!

Therefore the tax office has decided to issue us with the demand for the amount of tax that we should have paid had we paid the going rate for the land!  Have you ever heard anything like it? Fortunately this tax only applies to land; otherwise imagine what chaos it would cause if the tax applied to houses.

We obviously sought professional advice firstly from the estate agent and then from a commercialista, (accountant). His advice was to pay up without disputing the amount. He is also of the opinion as is everyone we have spoken to that the price we paid was a bargain. The risks of questioning the amount requested is firstly that it would cost us to do so, probably 50% of the existing bill, then a slim chance of winning any reduction. In fact there would be a fair chance of it costing more.

As it is over two years since we purchased the land it has almost certainly gained in value since then. So the decision was to pay up. Thankfully even with these extra costs we still have a piece of land that we apparently paid too little for. Though it might be something of a folly it seems we have nothing to lose as land around the lake demands such a premium. Our gain is that we have our own supply of wood for our winter fires

View from the land towards Capodimonte.

The moral in this tale is be warned, if you ever buy a piece of land in Italy make sure you are paying the full value or if you think you are buying a bargain make sure you factor in a tax demand a couple of years later.


  1. Well, how extraordinary! But what a beautiful view - maybe the land has development potential, as I certainly would have thought anyone wanting to build would relish that position. I wonder why you were not asked the market price for the land?

    I loved your postbox saga - reminded me of the sort of things that happened in the stories about Don Camillo. Have you read them? If not, you really must.

  2. Very interesting, but this raises another question - do you still have to pay yearly property taxes? My family owns land in Italy, but we're here in Canada. The lands are vineyards in Abruzzi that have been inherited.


  3. We have been told that that there are no yearly property taxes on our land. No services, no buildings, no ongoing tax.

  4. What a fabulous view! Not surprised you fancied buying it. Still, the whole saga could only happen in Italy.....! xxxM


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