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  • Writer's pictureRoberto Nicolini

Hiring Expats in Italy

The Testo Unico delle Imposte sui Redditi (Income Tax Consolidation Act) considers as resident in Italy those persons who for the greater part of the tax period (184 days) are registered at the civil registry office or have their domicile or residence in Italy.

Regulations have been passed to encourage the return of ‘brains’ to Italy or the transfer of highly qualified and specialised people to Italy.

Concerning the return to Italy of teachers and researchers, in particular, it is foreseen that 90% of the work income, whether employed or self-employed, is not taxable for income tax purposes.

In order to benefit from this facilitation, the following requirements must be met: university qualification, non-occasional residence abroad, having carried out documented research or teaching activities for at least two years at public or private research centres or universities, returning to Italy to carry out teaching or research activities, transferring tax residence to Italy.

This facilitation applies for five years but can be extended to eight years if one buys, after the transfer, a house in Italy or if one has a child up to the age of 13 or if one has three dependent underage children.

Similarly, for workers who transfer their residence and work activity to Italy after having been abroad for at least two years, their employed or self-employed income is 70% exempt from income tax. In this case, the requirements are reduced, i.e. having a university degree and having worked as an employee, self-employed or businessperson outside Italy for the last two years. This benefit is also valid for five years, extending to ten with tax exemption, reduced, however, to 50% if one has a dependent minor child or if one buys a house in Italy in the following twelve months.

About the Author:


Avvocato Roberto Nicolini graduated at the University of Bologna before joining the Advocates Board (Ordine degli Avvocati) of Verona in 1992, and later, in 2013, he was admitted to plead before the Court of Cassation and the Higher Courts in Rome. He specialises in commercial law, banking law, private international law and procedure, as well as property law. He represents foreign companies, in particular assisting German and other foreign countries’ undertakings develop their businesses in Italy, and Italian firms in their relations and litigation overseas, working in both German and English. Avvocato Nicolini also provides consultancy on the subject of compliance and Legislative Decree no. 231/2001, as well as acting as a Supervisory Body. He also assists clients with international inheritance and succession issues. He is the Vice President of AEA International, a network of advocates and a member of DVEV – Deutsche Vereinigung für Erbrecht und Vermögensnachfolge eV – the German association for the law of inheritance and estates.


Languages: Italian, English and German.


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