Owning An Airbnb in Sardinia, Italy: a Guide on What You Need to Know for your Short-Term Rental Property

how to start an airbnb in italy tips hosts

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 is a guide that will provide you with the key information you need to know on how to start an Airbnb in Italy.

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 forfettarioand 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.

Starting an Airbnb in Italy involves some steps to ensure compliance with regulations and provide a seamless experience for both hosts and guests.

Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know:

  1. Signing a Contract with Your Guests
  • Whether you’re an individual or a company, you can sign a tourist rental contract for various durations without the need for cancellation at the contract’s end. This contract allows you to host tourists in your accommodation for a fee. If you’re unsure about the process, joining your local Host Club can provide valuable information and support.
  • Depending on the duration of the rental, there are different obligations to consider:
    • For rentals lasting less than 30 days, known as “short rentals,” there’s no requirement to register the contract. However, certain services unrelated to the property’s use, like meals or car rentals, can’t be provided without fulfilling additional regulations.
    • For rentals exceeding 30 days, you must sign and register a contract with the Italian Revenue Office.

1) Registering Guests through the Alloggiati Web Portal

  • For tourist rental contracts lasting 30 days or less, you must register guest information within 24 hours of their arrival through the Alloggiati Web portal, managed by the State Police.
  • The registration process involves obtaining access credentials from the territorially competent Questura and submitting guest information through the portal.

2) Communicating Data for Statistical Purposes

  • Each region or autonomous province in Italy may have specific requirements for communicating tourist flow data to public administration. It’s essential to consult institutional websites and local regulations for accurate information.

3) Understanding Tax Obligations

  • Platforms like Airbnb are required to apply a 21% flat-rate tax on non-professional hosts’ income from short-term rentals, as per Decree-Law 50/2017, amended by Budget Law 2024.
  • Starting from January 1, 2024, hosts can confirm if Airbnb should withhold tax on their future rental earnings. Airbnb will handle the tax withholding and provide hosts with annual certifications detailing the tax withholdings.
  • It’s crucial for hosts to understand their tax obligations, especially if they operate extra-hotel accommodation facilities subject to different tax regulations.

4) Upcoming Changes – CIN and New Obligations (NOT yet implemented)

  • The introduction of a National Identification Code (CIN) and a dedicated database managed by the Ministry of Tourism is forthcoming. These measures aim to enhance safety and compliance in tourist rentals.
  • Hosts will need to declare certain property requirements, such as the installation of safety equipment, to obtain the CIN.

Airbnb Tips for hosts

Here are some power tips to maximize hosts profitability with Airbnb:

  1. Airbnb Pricing Strategy: Utilize dynamic pricing tools to adapt rates according to demand fluctuations, ensuring you capture the highest possible earnings and get better positions in the list of accommodations.
  2. Flexible Cancellation Policies: Offer flexible cancellation options to attract more bookings, providing guests with peace of mind and encouraging them to choose your property.
  3. Local Partnerships: Collaborate with local businesses such as restaurants, tour operators, or transportation services to offer exclusive deals or packages to your guests, enhancing their overall experience.
  4. Unique Selling Points: Highlight any unique features or amenities your property offers, such as a rooftop terrace with panoramic views, a private garden, or proximity to popular attractions.
  5. Targeted Marketing: Utilize social media platforms, travel forums, and targeted advertising to reach potential guests interested in visiting Italy, showcasing the appeal of your Airbnb listing.
  6. Streamlined Check-In Process: Implement self-check-in procedures or provide detailed instructions to make the check-in process seamless for guests, minimizing potential delays and ensuring a positive first impression.
  7. Regular Maintenance and Upkeep: Regularly inspect and maintain your property to ensure everything is in top condition, addressing any issues promptly to prevent negative reviews and maintain guest satisfaction.
  8. Multilingual Communication: If possible, offer communication in multiple languages to cater to a diverse range of guests, enhancing accessibility and creating a welcoming environment for international travelers.
  9. Community Engagement: Engage with the local community by attending events, supporting local initiatives, and fostering positive relationships with neighbors, which can lead to referrals and positive word-of-mouth marketing.

Final Special Tip: Airbnb Experiences Host

  1. Incorporate Airbnb Experiences: By offering guests the chance to participate in Airbnb Experiences alongside their accommodation booking, you elevate their trip with immersive activities such as culinary workshops or local tours, enhancing satisfaction and fostering memorable experiences. This not only boosts guest reviews and encourages repeat bookings (recurring clients), but also creates an additional revenue stream for hosts through customizable pricing and cross-promotion opportunities, ultimately setting listings apart in a competitive market, fostering community connections, and driving long-term success in the hospitality industry.

By incorporating these strategies into your Airbnb management system, you can further enhance profitability and success in the competitive Italian hospitality market.

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 have been 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.

Airbnb Tourist Tax

What It Changes With the 2024 Budget Law in Italy

09 February 2024 marks an important milestone as Airbnb announces its commitment to streamline the tourist tax process for short-term rentals throughout Italy. In line with the 2024 Budget Law, Airbnb will now undertake the responsibility of collecting and remitting tourist taxes in regions across Italy where such systems are in place, relieving both travelers and hosts of the burdensome task.

This initiative comes as a result of legislative changes mandating platforms like Airbnb to facilitate the collection and remittance of tourist taxes. While Airbnb has previously collaborated with major Italian cities to voluntarily manage tourist tax payments, this new legislation extends the practice nationwide. Starting on February 15th, Airbnb will commence this process in over 1.200 towns and cities, with others set to follow suit.

Under this new system, Airbnb will seamlessly apply the applicable tourist tax rate for each eligible stay, ensuring compliance with local regulations. Guests can now immerse themselves in the Italian experience without worrying over tax bills, while hosts can focus on providing exceptional hospitality. The entire process will be automated, alleviating the hassle of paperwork and administrative tasks.

Airbnb’s commitment to this initiative signifies its dedication to supporting the tourism industry in Italy while ensuring a smooth and hassle-free experience for both hosts and guests.

By following these steps and staying informed about upcoming changes, hosts can ensure legal compliance and provide a positive experience for guests in their Airbnb listings in Italy.

How Govoni Law can assist you

At Govoni Law, we can assist 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 and lawyers.