Fiscal Residency in Italy: What to Know About AIRE

Registration in AIRE (Registry of Italians Residing Abroad) is not a determining factor to exclude fiscal residency in Italy for an individual when there are precise and concordant indications suggesting that this person has their habitual residence or domicile in Italy. This principle has been affirmed by various jurisprudential orientations, including a ruling from the Court of Cassation a few years ago, which raised significant issues regarding the determination of fiscal residency for Italian citizens living abroad.


The central issue revolves around the case of a fashion designer with Swiss citizenship and registered residence in Geneva, who was considered fiscally resident in Italy by the Finance Police. This conclusion was reached after identifying indications that suggested the main center of interests and work activity of the designer was indeed in Italy, despite their AIRE registration and the submission of Swiss tax residency attestations. The case led to a preventive seizure for tax declaration omission, followed by an appeal to the Court of Cassation by the designer, which was subsequently rejected.


The debate focuses on the distinction between registry residence and fiscal residence, crucial for determining tax obligations in Italy. Italian legislation, specifically Article 2 of Presidential Decree 917/1986, establishes that an individual can be considered fiscally resident in Italy if, for the majority of the tax period, they reside in the country, have their domicile, or their habitual abode in Italy, regardless of their AIRE registration.


The Court of Cassation reiterated that AIRE registration does not automatically exclude fiscal residency in Italy, especially when there is evidence of significant economic and personal ties with the Italian state. This approach underscores the importance of a case-by-case evaluation, taking into account all relevant factors that may indicate the taxpayer's main center of interests.

Concurrently, a related political issue proposed by the Prime Minister's party “Fratelli d’Italia” aims to impose an annual contribution on Italian citizens residing abroad who wish to maintain their right to national health care services. This proposal, born from the need to safeguard the state's finances, suggests an approach to recover significant financial resources, estimating a potential annual income of 8.9 billion euros. The payment of a contribution, estimated at around 1,500 euros per year for each citizen, aims to balance the fiscal load, considering that many Italians abroad use health services in Italy without adequately contributing to the state coffers.

This proposal raises questions about the implications for the Italian community abroad and the balance between citizens' rights and the state's financial needs. On one hand, there's a need to ensure that everyone contributes fairly to the public services they enjoy; on the other, there's concern about not overly burdening those who have chosen to live abroad, often for work or personal reasons.


In conclusion, the issue of AIRE registration and the proposal from Fratelli d’Italia highlight a complex challenge in managing the fiscal affairs of Italian citizens residing abroad. Recent court decisions emphasize the importance of conducting an in-depth examination of fiscal residency that extends beyond simply being registered; meanwhile, the ongoing political discussions regarding the equitable funding of public services highlight the strain between the necessity for funding and the fairness for citizens residing abroad. As such, it's essential to seek expert advice and tax consultants to avoid penalties and resolve issues efficiently.


At PHC Advisory, we can offer you full support on matters regarding doing business in Italy and Asia, or any other issues your business may face. If you would like to know more about policies relevant to your business in Italy or Asia, please contact us at


PHC Advisory is a company of DP Group: an international professional services conglomerate of companies with approximately 100 experienced professionals worldwide. We offer comprehensive services in tax, accounting, and financial consulting, including financial supervision, financial audit, internal audit, internal control over financial reporting, and support for audited financial statements and annual audits, ensuring clients' financial transparency and compliance.

The content of this article is provided for informational purposes only, financial advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances on a case-by-case basis, and the contents of this article do not legally bind PHC Advisory with the reader in any way.

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