If you are planning on relocating to Puglia, or in fact anywhere in Italy, you will need a codice fiscale, the Italian tax code, preferably before you make the move. You may be wondering what it is? Basically, it is a tax identification number and each one is unique. It is used by all the Italian government bodies to identify individuals and businesses. When you are resident in Italy you will be frequently asked for your tax code. Even before you have made the move and taken up residency you will need it, for example, if you are buying property or opening an Italian bank account. It is essential for anyone who wants to carry out financial transactions in Italy. You will also need an Italian tax code to register with the Public Digital Identity System (SPID) once you are resident in Italy.
The tax code is issued by the Italian tax office, the Agenzie dell’Entrata. It is a series of 18 alphanumerics and once you understand how it is made up you can determine certain information about a person. Let’s take a fictitious English man, we’ll call him Gary Edward Jackson, he still lives in England and his date of birth is 30th April 1990. Gary is planning to move to Italy and is buying a house in Puglia. His Italian tax code is
JCS – three consonants taken from his surname, the first three consonants, vowels are excluded. If the surname is shorter than five letters, when you reach the end, go back to the second letter and start again. In this case, vowels will be included. For example, my own surname is LANE …. the first part of my TIN becomes LNA, the first and third, there is no fifth letter, so we go back to the second letter. If you have a really short, 2 letter surname, both characters are used and the third character will always be X
GYD – three consonants taken from your first name(s), in a similar way. Starting with the first consonant, then the third and then the fifth consonant. Again if the names do not have three consonants a vowel will be present.
90 – two number corresponding to the year of birth
D – a letter corresponding to the month of birth (A = January, B = February, C = March, D = April, E = May, H = June, L = July, M = August, P = September , R = October, S = November, T = December)
30 = the number of the day of birth, but for some strange reason 40 is added to the day of birth
Z114 – relates to the place of birth, for Italians this would be the code of the comune where they were born, e.g. L213 for Torchiarolo
V – a control character
If you don’t already have an Italian tax code you can calculate what yours will be here. You can also use the inverse calculator to verify an existing tax dode, it will tell you if the code is valid, the date of birth, sex, and place of birth of the code owner.
Applying for an Italian tax code depends on your circumstances. You do not have to be resident in Italy or even in the EU, so after the Brexit withdrawal from the UK on 31st December 2020, UK citizens and businesses wanting to have a business activity or registered address in Italy will still be able to obtain a tax code. The process is slightly different for EU citizens and non-EU citizens.
Only the Revenue Agency can issue a valid tax code. Once issued the tax code does not expire and cannot be changed. Make sure you get your details correct when making an application for the tax code, correcting them afterwards can be a bureaucratic nightmare. Married women need to think carefully about which surname to give when applying for the tax code. Married women in Italy retain the surname from birth, and many Italians, especially those working in government offices, find it difficult to understand why your surname is different from that on the birth certificate.
If you are not resident in Italy you can apply to the Italian consulate in the country where you are resident. If you are resident in the UK you can only make the application online and the application must be accompanied by a copy of either a valid passport or a valid identity card. You can find the application form and more details here.
If you have already arrived in Italy, either go to the nearest main Police Headquarters (questura) or an Immigration point (Sportelli Unici per l’immigrazione) to make the application, or to the local Agenzia dell’Entrata office and make the application there. You can find the full information here. EU citizens must have a valid identity document, non-EU citizens must have a valid passport, with any required visas if relevant or a valid residence permit or an Italian identity card.
Some things you will need an Italian tax code for
- Opening a bank account or post office account
- Getting a contract for internet, mobile phones and landline phones
- Registering with the Italian national health service
- Buying or registering a motor vehicle of any kind
- Taking out car insurance and other kinds of insurance in Italy
- Taking up employment in Italy
- Buying a property in Italy
- Renting a property in Italy
- Taking out contracts for utilities (gas, electricity, water)
In short, if you are going to live in Puglia, or anywhere in Italy, you need to have an Italian tax code. It doesn’t mean that you are automatically liable to pay tax, that will depend on your personal circumstances. We’ll cover that in another post.