Italian tax on private aircraft: An update


On February 3 the Italian tax authorities issued regulation regarding the tax of private aviation.

[nonmember]On February 3 the Italian tax authorities issued regulation regarding the tax of private aviation.::join::[/nonmember][ismember]On February 3rd, the Italian tax authorities have issued the implementing regulation regarding the
taxation of private aircraft.

The tax

The tax was introduced in December 2011 in the context of the Italian emergency budget and is expressed to apply also to non-Italian registered private aircraft having spent more than 48 consecutive hours on Italian territory.

Private aircraft are defined to include all aircraft other than State aircraft, aircraft dedicated to commercial flights, air work aircraft, FTO’s aircraft, aero clubs aircraft, newly built aircraft until sold and rescue aircraft.

The tax is to be charged at the following annual rates (by reference to MTOW): 1) up to 1.000 kg., euro 1,50 per kg; 2) up to 2.000 kg., euro 2,45 per kg; 3) up to 4.000 kg., euro 4,25 per kg; 4) up to 6.000 kg., euro 5,75 per kg; 5) up to 8.000 kg., euro 6,65 per kg; 6) up to 10.000 kg., euro 7,10 per kg; 7) above 10.000 kg., euro 7,55 per kg. For helicopters, the tax is doubled per Kg. The tax is due and payable by the registered owner, the beneficial owner or the lessee.

The implementing regulation

The purpose of the implementing regulation was to specify further how and when the tax will be payable.

The tax is payable by reference to the duration of the certificate of airworthiness and therefore payable in principle at the time of issue/renewal of the certificate of airworthiness.

With regard to aircraft having a valid certificate of airworthiness at the time of the entry into force of the legislation (December 6th, 2011), the tax is payable within 90 days of the legislation coming into force (therefore, beginning of March 2012) by reference to a period which extend from 6th December 2011 until expiry of the certificate of airworthiness.

With regard to aircraft whose airworthiness certificate will be issued/renewed before 31 December 2012, the tax is also payable within the above 90 days period.

The tax is paid by means of an Italian tax form known as F24 (requiring an Italian fiscal code and bank account) or by bank transfer for those not being able to utilize the tax form or not having an Italian fiscal code. The implementing regulation has provided the relevant tax codes and payments instructions for actual payment.

What has not been addressed

There is no useful indication, in the implementing regulation, whether for non-Italian aircraft, the tax could be deemed determined and due by reference to the actual time spent on the Italian territory in excess of the 48 hours allowance period. Legal challenges and formal requests of clarification (tax ruling) to this effect are likely to follow, to try to mitigate the impact of the tax on non-Italian owners, non-permanently based in Italy. What the implementing regulation has also failed to address is when the tax will payable by non-Italian private aircraft owners that will spend more that 48 consecutive hours on Italian territory after the initial 90 days period (i.e. after beginning of March 2012). Formal clarifications in this regard are also likely to be solicited.