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Fees, Taxes, and Notaries in Italian Real Estate

Buy a property in Italy. The function of the Notary
Buy a property in Italy. The function of the Notary


First, let’s go over the taxes and fees in regards to buying property in Italy. There’s something you need to familiarize yourself with first: the “imposta di registro” which is calculated from the “rendita catastale” if you are buying from an individual. If you are buying from a company you will pay the VAT which is calculated from the market value of the property.

The rendita catastale is a government determined value based on the type of property, and on its size and location, among other factors. This is completely separate from the market value of the property. This value will be used to calculate your taxes.


If you plan to stay in Italy for more than 180 days per year, you will need to apply for residency. If you don’t apply for residency you will have to pay a penalty.




For a better understanding of the taxes, please look at the following example.
House purchase between buyer and private seller.

House price: €180,000; valore catastale: €65,000.

If you plan to move to Italy, and do not already own Italian property, your tax percentage is 2% of the valore catastale. 2% of €65,000 is equal to €1,300. You will also have to pay some smaller fees.

If you do not plan on moving to Italy and so do not have residency, your taxes are set at 9% of the valore catastale. 9% of €65,000 is equal to €5,850, plus additional smaller fixed tax amounts.

If you are purchasing from a company however, the rates differ. Let’s use the same numbers for comparison.

House purchase between buyer and a company.

House price €180,000

The VAT is set at 4% if you have the residency and this is your first house; therefore you would calculate 4% of €180,000, paying €7,200. If this is your second house the VAT goes up to 10%.

The VAT for non-residents is 10% (whether it is a first or second house); therefore you would calculate 10% of €180,000, paying €18,000.

In addition to these taxes, there is also around a 1% notary fee.


Sometimes people confuse the notary’s role with that of an attorney during the buying process in Italy. The notary, however, is very different.

The notary, or notaio, is a public officer who ensures that all the laws of Italy are followed during the buying process. This is a completely impartial party.

The notary oversees all contracts and any legally binding procedures.

While you can ask for legal council from the notary, their response is required to be completely unbiased.

This party is responsibly for looking over and authenticating all documents in relation to the sale. They also write up the “Atto di Vendita”.

Contract Signing, Fees in Italian Real Estate


If you do not speak Italian, you will need to have a translator with you during the proceedings with the notary.

Typically this is will all be taken care of by the notary or the real estate agents, so you will not have to hire someone.

The translator fees can be up to €300, so be sure to take this into account. Of course if neither the buyer or seller speak Italian, you may split the costs of the translator.


The notaries in Italy work in all areas of law including inheritance, local authority proceedings, corporate business, family court, etc.

The government of Italy employs these public officers for many different authentication procedures in a variety of instances.

They provide a seal of legality and authenticity to the documents involved and ensure all the appropriate laws are followed.

They are a fundamental part of the real estate market in that no sale can be made without one.

Although they are employed Italian State, they are not paid by the government. The government has determined fixed rates for which they must be paid but the fees are paid by the buyer in the transaction.

If you would like to contact a lawyer or attorney, you are looking for a avvocato, not a notaio.

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