Feature Article – The Italian Tax Code


Stop whining about how hard is doing business in Italy! It’s hard alright and that is why it is so hip for everybody to bring their business here. There is however one thing that is so easy, so painless and……….yes, you said it, free of charge that one may doubt it can be done in Italy: getting yourself a Tax Code. The Tax Code is something one cannot do without if he or she cares to enter into any significant transactions in this Country. As this Feature Article clearly explains, the Tax Code is indeed a “silent” thing; acquiring it imposes no costs and entails performing no obligations. So come on and take a closer look at the “magic code”. Enjoy!

Feature Article – The "Due Diligence" Process in real estate transactions

The time has finally come. You have made up your mind, examined all possible scenarios, extensively researched the topic, worn down your family and friends with incontrovertible arguments, fought back all attempts to make you back down. But you stood your ground, you have the money now, there’s no stopping you: you are really about to buy a real estate property in Italy.

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Sale and transfer of rural land: the Farmers’ Right of First Refusal. Something about the law.

Anyone interested in purchasing a real estate property in Italy should get accustomed with certain provisions of law that are known to turn an otherwise very simple and ordinary investment transaction into a real nightmare. The only sound of their name makes even the most seasoned lawyer weak in the knees: I am talking about nothing else but the dreaded “Farmers’ Right of First Refusal”. This post deals with the applicable law and constitutes the first step of a very interesting journey: buckle up…..it’s for your safety!

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This very day, a long time ago, in Runnymede near Windsor……

………King John “Lackland” and a few angry English Barons, entered into the Magna Charta Libertatum, a document that went down in history for shaping other constitutional charters such the Petition of Right (June 7, 1628), the Habeas Corpus Act (May 27, 1679) and the Bill of Rights (February 13, 1689), just to name a few.

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Negotiating in a friendly setting. It’s good for business!

The International Chamber of Commerce (“ICC”) has recently compiled and issued the “Eleven Principles to Facilitate Commercial Negotiations” (Feb 27, 2014) in order to help businessmen to adopt a cooperative attitude over a confrontational. So leave the gun and take on the 11 Principles, you won’t regret it !

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It’s the national interest, stupid! The Reciprocity Principle in an ever smaller world

That’s right my friends from the land down under: purchasing a real estate property in Italy might be out of reach for you. Blame it on the reciprocity rule and the Australian laws. According to the former, the Italian legal system grants foreign citizens the same rights that their State grants to Italian citizens. Now, from a response to a query made by the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and pursuant to an Interpretation of the Migration And Settlement Agreement between the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia and the Government of the Republic of Italy 1971 on property purchases, it appears that Italian (non residents) citizens may not purchase “established dwellings” in Australia. The same limitations on the rights of Australian citizens will therefore apply.

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Feature Article – Real estate transactions and the down-payment called “Caparra”

I cannot say that I am one hundred percent sure, but my guess is that there is no country or jurisdiction, no business practices and usages that ignore the legal instrument of the deposit of earnest money. Paying down some hard cash at a certain stage of a negotiation, especially when one wants to secure the deal while trying to resolve the many tricky situations that emerge in the course of a complex transaction, signals to the other party that the payor is a good faith negotiator and is not there to waste his or anybody else’s time.

In the Italian legal system, straight out of Roman Law, an instrument stands to work as earnest money deposit: its name is “Caparra Confirmatoria”.

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Is Art a Good Investment?

quadro-1.jpgThis time, Italian Desk has embarked on a very risky adventure: a “storified” post on Art & Business. The post features articles from experts and scholars who discuss art as a commodity, warn about the possible existence of an “art bubble” (like those that emerge in stock markets), and give their advice on how to price a piece of art. So come on, enjoy, critique and, if you feel like it, criticize: all in all, in this time and age, even my posts might be viewed as art !

From the EU: the Energy Performance of Buildings requirements.

The buildings sector represents 40% of the European Union’s (EU) total energy consumption. Reducing energy consumption in this area is therefore a priority under the “20-20-20” objectives on energy efficiency. The Directive 2010/31/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 May 2010 on the energy performance of buildings contributes to achieving this aim by proposing guiding principles for Member States regarding the energy performance of buildings. Let’s see how this is supposed to work.

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Transparency International: 2011 CPI published

The 2011 edition of the Corruption Perception Index has been published.  Corruption on the part of governments, the private sector and citizens, it has been said (Transparency International, Working paper 2/2008), affects development initiatives at their very root by skewing decision-making, budgeting and implementation processes. When these actors abuse their entrusted power for private gain, corruption denies the participation of citizens and diverts public resources into private hands. The poor find themselves at the losing end of this corruption chain — without state support and the services they demand.

But the poors are not the only one to suffer. In delveloped Countries, corruption undermine democracy at its very core, it weakens the citizens’ will to “make it” on their own, their belief that dedication, hard work and entrepreneurship  really matter and that those are the things that can make a difference.

This is the field where Italy is suffering a lot from a long uncured maladie.

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