Airbnb in Italy: What do you need to know to start your short-term rental business?

Welcome to Govoni Law’s easy-to-read page about Airbnb in Italy. If you’re considering running your own Airbnb in Italy, it’s important to understand the regulations and requirements. This article will provide you with the key information you need to know.

What is a holiday let?

In Italy, a holiday let refers to a rental contract that lasts for 30 days or less. Unlike commercial and residential contracts, holiday lets are flexible and do not require registration at the local tax office.

Responsibilities as a host

As an Airbnb host in Italy, there are certain responsibilities you need to fulfill:

  1. Providing the check-in service.
  2. Having guests sign the accommodation contract.
  3. Communicating the identity of the guests to Questura within 24 hours of check-in.
  4. Issuing a receipt for the stay.
  5. Cleaning the apartment/house.

Offering additional services

If you run your Airbnb as a non-professional, you are limited to providing cleaning services and fresh linens. Offering any other extra services would be considered a presumption of business activity. If you want to provide additional services, you will need to operate as a registered business.

Deducting the Airbnb fee

Unless you operate as a professional business, you cannot deduct any costs, including the Airbnb fee.

Advantages of operating as a business

Operating your Airbnb as a registered business in Italy offers several advantages:

  1. Providing extra services beyond accommodation.
  2. Writing off costs and paying taxes based on your real profit.
  3. Accessing public grants and loans for property purchases.

As a registered business, you can write off costs associated with portal fees, property management fees, cleaning, and property fittings. Additionally, you can opt for the “regime forfettario” and benefit from a flat 15% (5% for new businesses) tax rate for revenues up to €85,000.

Setting up your business

You can set up your Airbnb business in Italy using various legal forms, such as:

  1. B&B (Bed and Breakfast)
  2. Affittacamere
  3. Agriturismo
  4. Casa Vacanze (Holiday Home)

The required compliance includes:

  1. Obtaining a Partita IVA (VAT number).
  2. Registering with the local Chamber of Commerce.
  3. Registering with INPS (Social Security).
  4. Registering your property with the local Comune*.

Note: Some Italian regions, including Veneto, Liguria, Sardegna, Abruzzo, Emilia Romagna, Lazio, Lombardia, require Airbnb activities to be communicated to the local Comune when operated as non-professional businesses.

Paying taxes on Airbnb income

Just like any other source of income, you must include your Airbnb income in your annual tax return. If you own the property you’re renting, you should disclose the income in the “Property income” section. If you sub-let the property, include the income in the “Other income” section.

There are two tax options available:

  1. IRPEF: Pay progressive tax rates on 95% of the income (5% is a tax-free reduction to cover costs incurred).
  2. Cedolare Secca: Tax the entire income at a flat rate of 21%.

Generally, “Cedolare Secca” is more efficient, but it doesn’t allow for the deduction of any expenses. If you have incurred expenses like house renovations, the IRPEF rates may be a better option as you can claim them against your taxes.

If the online platform has already deducted a 21% tax at source, you can credit it against your tax liability.

Tax office monitoring

Since 2017, property managers and online platforms are required to file an annual return disclosing the total rental income earned by each host during the tax year. Additionally, online platforms deduct a 21% tax at source. This means that the tax office is likely to become aware of your income source.

Consequences of not filing taxes

Failure to file your taxes can result in a minimum liability of €250 up to €1,024 for not filing, along with a minimum fine of 120% of any tax due. The tax office receives information about your rental activity through the recap return (Certificazione Unica) submitted by the platform.

How Govoni Law can assist you

At Govoni Law, we can provide assistance at various stages of your Airbnb business. Our services include:

  1. Finding the right property with our lawyers and real estate agents.
  2. Drafting the accommodation contract.
  3. Assisting in setting up your business.
  4. Offering suggestions about possible tax bonuses or deductions.

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Looking for a property to start your Airbnb business? Contact us, you will get in touch with our agents.