Italy approves luxury tax on aircraft


The Italian government has approved a tax on business jets and helicopters but has cut the rates for smaller aircraft, whilst extending the time that foreign aircraft can be in the country before being charged.

The Italian Parliament has approved a tax on business jets and helicopters, but has cut the
rates for smaller aircraft, whilst extending the time that foreign aircraft can stay in the country before incurring charges.

registered aircraft can now be parked in the country for up to 45 consecutive days
– excluding maintenance time – rather than the 48 hours originally set out. The Parliament has also halved the rate that helicopters pay.

aircraft, rescue aircraft and helicopters, historic aircraft, and aircraft
dedicated to scheduled and non-scheduled commercial flights do not pay the tax.
operators will need to pay a passengers’ tax on chartered flights, with flights
of less than 1500 km (810NM) being charged at €100 per passenger and journeys
greater than 1500 km charged at €200 per passenger.

The following tables show how the new rates will affect fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters:

Fixed-wing aircraft
Italian tax on fixed wing aircraft


Italian tax on helicopters

passengers’ tax was introduced as a last minute amendment to offset supposedly
lower tax income from the aircraft tax,” says Franco Campomori, partner at
Campomori – Aviation and Law. “In reality, no traffic analysis or consultation
was carried out and concerns are that it will generate a much higher tax income
than the one that it was supposed to offset, while creating a direct damage to
the business aviation industry.”

European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) says business aviation flights
have fallen by 10 per cent since the tax came into effect at the end of

operate very expensive aircraft but when we talk about the corporate market,
the margins are very small,” says Brian Humphries, president of EBAA. “We
cannot bite this change and we need to make authorities understand that.”

The tax will be collected from the registered
owner, the beneficiary or the lessee. The technicalities regarding actual
payment are to be detailed in a separate regulation to be issued within 60 days
of the approving legislation coming into force.

O’ Sullivan
of Gates & Partners says: “The tax is farcical. It is not a
luxury market. We do on every average three to four sales a month and every one
of them is a corporate buyer.”