Italy Hopes to Lure Retirees to Sicily, Sardinia and Calabria With Massive Tax Break

Sep 12, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

If you’d prefer to put your IRA toward limoncello and a charming Italian casa di campagna rather than taxes, you might be in luck. A new proposal from the League — Italy’s nationalist, far-right party — hopes to attract retirees to southern Italy for a decade of tax-free retirement.

“We’re trying to provide an incentive for the transfer of older people [toward the south],” Alberto Brambilla, economic advisor to deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini, told La Repubblica.

According to the Italian paper, both local as well as foreign pensioners will be eligible for the project, which aims to repopulate the rapidly declining southern regions of Sicily, Sardinia and Calabria.

Photo by @benrrichardson via Twenty20
Photo by @benrrichardson via Twenty20.

If the scheme is ever realized, it would aim to welcome some 600,000 residents to southern Italy, which is experiencing rapid depopulation and severe unemployment. (La Repubblica reported that an estimated 60,000 retired Italian families have fled to destinations such as Panama, Mexico, Portugal and Cyprus — places where favorable rents will help them stretch their pensions.)

To qualify, retirees would be required to settle in villages and towns with a population that has declined by at least 20% in the last decade, and with fewer than 4,000 residents.

Brambilla said that Italy could expect to welcome those 600,000 new silver-haired inhabitants in as few as three or four years “as a result of the [tax] relief.” Each family could contribute up to €25,000 (nearly $30,000) a year to the local economy.

For those enticed by the promise of “total tax exemption for the first 10 years” of a dreamy retirement in Italy — not to mention Mediterranean views and pasta con le sarde — don’t rush to put your house on the market just yet. The proposal is far from becoming law.

If the League’s bold plan is ever realized, however, expats won’t have any trouble finding a place to call home. Last month, The Independent reported that abandoned stone homes in the Sicilian town of San Piero Patti were being exchanged for €1 (about $1.20), and the promise that the new homeowners would restore the property in the traditional fashion.

American Express® Green Card

WELCOME OFFER: 30,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $600

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: up to $100 annual CLEAR statement credit, up to $100 annual LoungeBuddy statement credit, 3x points on travel and transit, 3x points on restaurants worldwide

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 30,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, from subway swipes and window seats to hotel stays and city tours.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points at restaurants worldwide.
  • Receive up to $100 per year in statement credits when you use the American Express® Green Card to pay for your CLEAR® membership at select airports and stadiums across the U.S. and Permissible Biometric Scanning Technology terms: eye scanning, irises scanning and fingerprints scanning.
  • Use the American Express® Green Card to purchase lounge access through LoungeBuddy to any of the lounges in the LoungeBuddy network – no memberships, elite statuses, or first class tickets required. Earn up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year on your LoungeBuddy purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $150 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
See Rates & Fees
Annual Fee
$150
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.