What is the Superbonus and how to benefit from it, even if you don’t pay Italian income tax

It’s recent news the Superbonus 110% has been recently extended to 2023, and this is great if you intend to renovate your home. Superbonus 110% isn’t the only available tax break on house renovations; find out how you can save on your taxes whilst renovating your Italian home.

Who can benefit of the Superbonus and the other tax breaks?

In this article we focus on the house related tax breaks of Italy. In order to benefit of such tax breaks you only need to have a right of property or possession of any residential unit in Italy. You don’t need to generate any income, nor pay any tax to Italy, you only need to have any of the following rights on your property:

  • Ownership;
  • Usufruct;
  • Rental;
  • Comodato d’uso.
If you hold any of the rights above, you can renovate your property using the tax breaks available. Furthermore, there are no limitation on your citizenship to apply for such programs.
Let’s find out how to technically benefit of such breaks.

How to benefit of the Superbonus and the other home improvement tax breaks?

Until 2020, the only way to benefit of such breaks was to claim them against your tax bill, in case you don’t have any income to Italy, or your income sources are taxed at substitute tax rates, waiving any tax credit against it; your tax deductible expenditure would be wasted.
In case you pay IRPEF tax, you can claim the expenditure against it, and this is spread throughout 5 or 10 tax years. Note that if the tax credit exceeds the tax payable, the excess is wasted.

From 2020, it is also possible to trade the tax credit directly to your contractor/supplier, thus benefiting of the so called “sconto in fattura” or to trade it for cash to an Italian financial institution. Albeit anyone can actually purchase your tax credit, financial institutions are specialized in this.
In both cases, you need an accountant’s sworn statement named “visto di conformità” which basically assesses the tax credit conformity to the law, and it explicitly states the total amount claimable against tax.

Once you obtain the Visto di conformità, you can trade your tax credit to your contractor or to your bank. In the latter case you will receive cash back directly on your bank account; in any case you must check the tax credit payout terms and conditions prior agreeing to the tax credit sale.
Finally, you can transfer your credit to your counterpart via your Cassetto Fiscale, or you can delegate a tax accountant to do so on your behalf.

Italian house renovation tax credits

Superbonus 110% - how does that work?

The Superbonus 110% has been recently extended to December 31st 2023. Qualifying seismic renovations and energy efficiency improvements attract a tax credit amounting to 110% of the qualifying expenses.
You can offset your tax credit against your tax liability in 5 equal instalments, or alternatively you can sell it to a financial institution. 

Let’s check out how the Superbonus 110% scheme works and which type of renovations qualify for the tax credit.

Superbonus 110% - Seismic improvements

Italy is known for its Earthquakes, and from time to time certain areas of Italy are hit by seismic events which can be catastrophic for the human toll and the economic losses. Since 2017, the Italian government has introduced tax breaks for Seismic improvements expenses on buildings, in an attempt to mitigate the risks and losses incurred in such events.

Firstly, Italy classifies its municipalities in 4 seismic risk categories, where 4 represents the safest category, whilst 1 is the highest seismic risk in Italy.
This tax scheme is applicable only to residential properties (excluding luxury ones identified in the cadastrale categories of A/1 – A/8 – A/9) located in municipalities where the seismic risk is at least 3.
The property owner can be either a natural person or a limited company.

The maximum allowable expenditure is € 96,000 per house unit, including garages and basement. This amount applies for the whole tax year, therefore you cannot make more than one improvement per year.
For example, if you have a house unit and a garage, and you decide to make a new roof or strengthen the pillars, your total expenditure is € 192,000.

In order to lock in the Superbonus, you only need to improve the current seismic responsiveness of your building; the law does not provide any guidance or constraint regarding the type of improvements required. The seismic improvement has to be sworn by a certified engineer.

Note that the Superbonus compliance adds up to the regular house renovation/restoration compliance, where the project needs to be drafted by a certified engineer, the project must be approved by the local council, and the building needs to have the cadastral conformity.
I cannot stress enough the importance of working with a reliable engineer who knows the local rules, as well as the Superbonus scheme.

Superbonus 110% seismic improvements

Superbonus 110% - Energy efficiency improvements

Italy already introduced the Ecobonus 65% scheme back in 2012 in an attempt to improve the Energy efficiency of the Residential and non residential units in Italy, as well as reduced the fossil fuels and natural gas consumptions.

The Superbonus 110% for energy efficiency improvements is structured on the basis of primary and secondary improvements (“trainante” and “trainato“), providing different expenditure caps based on the home type (single family unit, mini condominium, condominium with 8 or more units).

In order to trigger the 110% scheme, you must perform at least one primary improvement and the resulting improvements must increase the building’s energy efficiency class of at least two categories. Failure to meet any of the two criteria jeopardizes the schemes applicability.
You are therefore required to assess the building’s current energy efficiency class; you must also bear in mind that the Superbonus 110% is not applicable to those home units which do not have a current existing heating system (a fireplace is enough).

Let’s find out what type of improvements qualify for the Superbonus 110%

Superbonus 110% - Primary improvements

The following improvements qualify for the 110% Superbonus:

  •  External coating;
  • Heating system replacement.
The Seismic improvements also qualify as primary improvement, allowing the secondary improvements to be uplifted to 110% as well.

 

The qualifying expenditure for the external coating is € 50,000 per house unit, which is reduced to € 40,000 for condominiums up to 8 units; condominiums with 8 units or more attract a maximum expenditure of € 30,000 per house unit.
If you replace the existing heating system, you can spend up to € 30,000 for a single unit home, reduced to € 20,000 for houses up to 8 units, further reduced to € 15,000 for condominiums with 8 units or more. Note that the cap is applicable to each house unit, thus a condominium with 10 units can spend up to € 150,000 on centralized heating system replacement.

Superbonus 110% heating systems

Superbonus 110% - Secondary improvements

Once you perform any of the primary improvements, you can trigger the 110% Superbonus on the following expenses:

  •  Windows replacement;
  • Solar panels and batteries;
  • E-vehicle charging stations
  • Building automation.
The windows replacement is calculated on € 750 per square meter (reduced to € 650 for warmer areas), and in any case it cannot exceed € 54.545.
 
Solar panels are capped at € 2,400 per kW, up to € 48,000 while the batteries attract a maximum expenditure of € 1,000 per kW, up to € 48,000.

Finally, E-vehicle charging stations are capped at € 2,000.

Superbonus 110% solar panels

90% Facade bonus

If you wandered through any Italian city or town, I am sure you witnessed several buildings needing major restorations, especially regarding the facade which sometimes might look in ruins.

The Italian government has introduced a 90% tax break (with no expenditure cap!) on facade renovations and improvements. In order to qualify, the building must be located in town centres or populated areas, single homes outside of towns are automatically disqualified; furthermore, the facade needs to be visible from a public road. Balconies are also considered part of the facade itself.
Internal facades therefore
do not attract any tax relief.

The 90% facade bonus also includes the external coating systems, and in this case it is necessary to communicate to ENEA the type of external coating and the energy savings.
You can write off the 90% facade bonus in 10 equal instalments in your tax return, alternatively you can trade it to a financial institution.

90% Facade bonus Italy

70-85% Seismic improvements

Since 2017 seismic improvements qualify for a minimum 70% tax credit on the qualifying expenditure.

Albeit the 110% Superbonus on seismic improvements is more attractive, you can also claim this type of bonus. Unlike the 110% you need to increase the building’s seismic responsiveness of at least one category to secure the 70% tax credit, increased to 80% in case of two categories improvement.
There is an extra 5% tax credit if the house is located within a condominium.

65% Ecobonus

Since 2012 the following expenses qualify for the Ecobonus:

  • Heating system replacement;
  • Building’s external coating;
  • Windows replacement;
  • Condensing boiler replacement;
  • Heat pumps;
  • Water boiler replacement;
  • Micro generators;
  • Hybrid heating systems;
  • General building’s improvements;
  • Solar collectors.

Unlike the Superbonus, this scheme applies to various buildings, including stores, offices, shops, hotels, and other hospitality buildings on top of residential units. This list is basically identical to the primary and secondary Superbonus improvements, and you may ask yourself, why would you claim the 65% bonus if you can actually claim the more beneficial 110%?

Sometimes you may not access to the 110% Superbonus, especially if you can’t improve the building’s energy efficiency of at least two categories.

Each expenditure has its own cap ranging from € 30,000 up to € 100,000 on general building’s improvements.

65% Ecobonus

50% General House renovation scheme

Private homes can qualify for a general 50% house renovation scheme. This includes any ordinary or extraordinary house maintenance, including the condominium improvements on common areas.

This scheme provides a cap of € 96,000 per house unit, and the qualifying expenditure can be offset against your tax bill in 10 equal instalments; it is possible to trade this to a bank or any other financial institutions.

Note that if you are performing a Superbonus altogether the General house renovation, the € 96,000 expenditure cap refers to BOTH the schemes, therefore they don’t add up one to the other.

house renovation scheme 50% tax break

50% Furniture bonus

If you purchase furniture or A+ home appliances up to € 16,000 you can claim 50% of the expense against your tax bill. According to the law any house furniture (including internal doors) qualifies for the relief, whilst appliances must be eco-friendly with class A+.
In order to trigger this bonus mobili, you need to undertake a house renovation first.
You are required to pay the supplier via bank wire, debit or credit card; cash payments automatically disqualify you 

Unlike other bonuses, you cannot trade this credit, thus allowing you to claim it only against your tax bill in 10 equal instalments.

50% furniture bonus Italy

36% Garden bonus

The Italian tax law includes the 36% Bonus verde, aimed at improving private gardens. Qualifying expenditure is capped at € 5,000 per house unit, and it is only claimable against IRPEF, thus disqualifying limited companies from this benefit.
It is imperative to pay the expenses via bank wire, or any other traceable payment form.

Unlike other bonuses, you cannot trade this credit, thus allowing you to claim it only against your tax bill in 10 equal instalments.

36% Bonus verde

House tax relief conclusions

This article provides a thorough explanation of the currently available tax breaks. It is crucial to liaise with your accountant, and the professionals involved in the renovations (engineers, architects, thermic engineers etc.) to discover how to make the most out of the available tax credits.

Accounting Bolla can help you assessing your planned renovations, as well as support you in the tax credit sale. We are also able to buy your tax credit for outright cash. Drop us a line, and we will be in touch shortly

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63 thoughts on “What is the Superbonus and how to benefit from it, even if you don’t pay Italian income tax”

  1. My mind was absolutely numb reading about the various bonuses and the complex rules.
    Your summary was clear and amazingly helpful.
    Can you also introduce me to an engineer, thermal engineer and architect/geometra in Umbria please?
    Thank you.

    1. Thank you Michael. We can assist remotely with a qualified team of Engineers, and thermal engineers for your bonuses

  2. Hi Mr. Bolla,
    Thanks a lot for posting this article. I wonder, an non Italian tax payer could also make renovation reduction credit transfer (50% type). (Apartment renovation in Milano)
    Thank you for getting in touch.
    Best,
    Meng Li

  3. Dear Mr Bolla,

    I own a property that has a basement storage unit, owned by someone else. Would it be beneficial/a necessity for me to purchase this basement in order to benefit from the Superbonus 110% – especially if structural work is required?
    Many thanks

    1. That’s not required as long as you own the residential property unit, buying the basement will likely increase the maximum expenditure for the structural work

  4. Has the bonus been extended for everyone or just specific organizations? I own a residential hours in northern Tuscany that needs completely renovated and seismic work done but I’m not sure if it needs to be completed by the end of 2022 or 2023.

    1. If the property can be classified as condominium (or mini condominium) the ending date is December 31st 2023, alternatively 2022

  5. Dear Mr Bolla,

    I will normally buy a land next week to build a house. Today there is nothing in the land. I have previous to buy the land by our French compagny. If I understood your super article, we can begin to build in the land and all the expenses related to sysmic or energy can be financed by the super bonus ?

  6. Hi

    I am buying a old house with a garden next month. I would like to benefit from the superbonus but not sure we can do 30% of the work before June. Am i still eligible for superbonus.

  7. Hi. This article was so informative. Left a message on your youtube video regarding this. Please assist. I am a foreigner who purchased a property in Italy. Have some people currently working on the property. Really want to tap into this. Please assist.

  8. What do you mean by a ‘unit’, please? We have a house which comprises an apartment built around 1950, which sits on top of a much older stone blacksmith’s workshop.
    There is also a piece of land. All three parts have separate plans lodged with the Comune. Thank you.

  9. Barbara Fowles-pazdro

    I have an appartment in condominium in Liguria, which I refurbished 8years ago (without any bonus), but did not change the windows. They are old and single glazed and need replacing. I was trying to place an order last week for new windows with supplier, who told me that they are not allowed to give “discinto in fattura” anymore as Italian law does not allow it anymore.
    Their original quotation from November 2021 allowed “discinto in fattura”.
    (Now, they quoting me 40%more)
    Is this correct?

  10. We purchased a residential property in 2019, it has an old fireplace and no other heating, the windows and doors need replacing and there is a leak in the roof, is this something I can claim for?
    Thanks

  11. Deposito purchased in 2018 converted to residential through payment/permission of local municipality renovated throughout 2019 and 2020 with continual improvements since then. Does this qualify ?

  12. Katherine Bentley

    Hello,

    We are purchasing a 3 unit building that needs a lot of renovations. We will be living there part-time and renting out the units for some months throughout the year. Would we qualify for the bonus, even though we will be earning some income from the building?

  13. Katherine Bentley

    Hello,

    We are purchasing a 3 unit building which needs a lot of renovations.

    We will live there part-time and also will be renting out the units for income. Would we still qualify for the bonuses?

    Molto grazie!
    Katherine

  14. Hi, will a small old house planned for renovation in a small hamlet classify as a condominium for the 2023 extension ?

  15. Hello!
    Fantastic information on the Eco Bonus program. Thank you!
    I’ve just been told that at least 30% of the work(s) must be done by June 2022 to qualify. And after that it’s too late. Is this true? I hope not!
    Thank you in advance for your reply.
    Regards,
    Camilla

  16. Hello,
    we are buying a house , one unit, in the historic Center of Palata in Molise. Can you recommend a college of yours dealing with this complex bonus program in our area? Thank you for your help.
    Have a nice day
    Kathrin

  17. Hi,
    Thanks for your very useful article, i just want to know if the below information is correct.
    The Superbonus applies to expenses incurred from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2022 (and, in certain situations, to 31 December 2022 or 30 June 2025).

    For interventions carried out on single-family buildings by individuals, the 110% deduction is also due for expenses incurred by 31 December 2022 , but on the condition that at 30 June work has been carried out for at least 30% of the total intervention.

    Therefore, for single- family buildings , the Superbonus will expire on 30 June 2022, but if a 30% SAL (work progress) has been completed, you have a further 6 months (31 December 2022) to complete the work. There is no income limit.

    For condominiums and mini condominiums , the deduction is extended until the end of 2025, but with limits:
    • 110% for expenses incurred until 31 December 2023;
    • 70% for expenses incurred in 2024;
    • 65% for expenses incurred up to 31 December 2025.
    This extension, as well as for interventions carried out by condominiums, applies to interventions carried out by individuals up to 4 real estate units of the same owner.

    For interventions carried out by the Autonomous Institutes of Popular Housing (IACP) the new deadline is June 30, 2023. However, if, as of June 30, 2023, a SAL of at least 60% of the works has already been carried out, the extension is up to 31 December 2023.

  18. This is all so helpful thank you. I am joint owner of a flat in a condominium of 20 flats in Aosta valley. It has seismic damage and the whole block may have to be demolished. How much will the government pay? Is there a limit per appartment? The owners have to decide whether to repair or demolish.
    Thank you

  19. I am planning to buy an apartment with renovation contract included. That is, it will be renovated for me prior to giving me the keys. It will be delivered to me without any furniture and without the kitchen. Then I will buy the kitchen appliances and the furniture myself. Can I qualify for the 50% furniture bonus?

  20. I purchased a flat in Liguria which needs to be renovated. I am not a resident of Italy nor I am an italian taxpayer. Do I still qualify for a 50% renovation bonus, Eco bonus, and Bonus Mobili? I understand one must be a taxpayer in Italy in order to qualify. I heard that at this moment it is almost impossible to sell the bouns tax benefit to banks, etc.? Can you please clarify this? Thank you!

    1. You do qualify for all the bonuses, however you can’t trade the bonus mobili credit and you can only offset against your tax liability

      1. Thank you for your reply. Just to confirm – even though I am NOT an Italian taxpayer I still qualify for the bonuses? I understand that Mobili bonus can be only offset against tax liability, which I do not have.

  21. I bought a land in Calabria with permits and architectural drawings to build a brand new house in replacement of 400 old ruins. What should I do to get benefits of 110% bonus in terms of taxes in Italy? I am USA resident and not planning to move to Italy while construction is undergoing. Can you also clarify about how 110% works – does it mean I get 10% back on the cost of construction in form of tax credits? House is in a seismic zone and it is with anti-seismic compliance will be built, and solar panels for electricity. thank you.

    1. you can definitely claim the 110% superbonus, however your engineers must file the appropriate paperwork for it. You can pay it cash and recover the funds by selling it to banks and financial institutions

  22. If i understand correctly: we can replace air condition / heat pumps, solar panels , solar boiler for water. The electric system in our house is very dated and needs to be done again. All those new updates needs a proper electric system, does the bonus also cover the complete electric work?

    If we want to make the building more safe by renewing the complete wood construction of the roof , does the bonus cover then the top coating of the roof as well?

    We are going to renovate couple apartments for bed & breakfast. The kitchen and bathroom needs to be done completely new and as well all the funrniture. Is there some kind of subsidy for this?

    What’s a realistic time to get the approval for the bonuses from the moment we have send the request?

    Thank you very much in advance

    1. You can claim the electricity works if related to the heating systems; you can claim your roof under the seismic superbonus scheme if your town qualifies

      Approval time is generally estimated at 6 months

  23. Hi Nicolò,

    This is an incredible article, really clear – thank you so much!

    I do have a couple of questions. I am interested in buying a property in Arezzo (seismic zone 2 I think) with a ruin on its land plus the basement level has a separate owner which I will purchase separately. Does that qualify me as having separate units and thus the extended Dec 2023 for the Superbonus 110? The house has fire places so would qualify I believe for the energy efficient upgrades. I am not a tax payer in Italy so I would need to transfer the credits / cash them in – has that option resumed now in Italy?

    Also, do you operate in this area?

    Thanks!

    J

  24. Hi, thank you very much for this article. Could you please elaborate on the payment process that is eligible for the Superbonus. Say I have the required certification from an engineer etc, and I go to a material/appliance store to purchase everything needed – what can I pay with at the store so that later I can submit the request for reimbursement? I assume it has to be electronic, but can it be credit/debit card or some other in-store payment method?

    Thank you very much for your help.
    Martin

      1. Hello,
        We are to begin a purchase of a condominium in Chieti Citta, Chieti. The works for the onus 110 had been approved and the building is putting in a lift, thermal coat. Do we qualify for any of the programs to renovate kitchen, bath, appliances, heat?
        Also, do you represent clients in this area?

        Grazie!
        Susan
        USA

        1. *Bonus 110
          Do we qualify for any funds to use for renovations inside the unit we are purchasing. By end of February 2023 the purchase should be completed of unit. It is rented until September 2023, but if we are able to start renovations under this/these programs we will cancel the tenant lease. We must complete 100% of any renovations inside the unit by Dec 2023, correct?
          Apologies for so many questions!

        2. I confirm you can qualify for the home renovation, and forniture bonus. Happy to help you in your area, feel free to get in touch using the form below

  25. Dear Mr.Bolla,
    Thank you for this article. If I make a complete renovation of my bathroom i.e., new tiles, new toilet, bath, bidet, sink etc. will this qualify? It is an apartment in a condominium of more than eight units. (The boiler is outside the apartment and will already be covered by the government, the administrator is taking care of this). Also, if I put in the apartment an air conditioning system would this qualify for any discount?

  26. Many thanks. As I do not pay any tax in Italy can I assume that I should ask for a Sconto in fattura. Do I need to get any official documents from the town hall to present to the contractors or inform the tax authorities? Thanks again.

  27. We reviewed the article and we believe we qualify for the Super Bonus 110 for the heating (1st floor has no heating system); 50% general house renovation; 50% furniture. In reference to the 36% garden bonus, does this include tree removal and landscaping of property. We are purchasing a home in the Brosso/Torino area and we live in the USA. Do you know of a general contractor and engineer that we can use for renovations (one floor is completely unrenovated (i.e literally brick walls and concrete floor) and another floor needs updating. Is there a website that provides additional insight on reimbursement? Thank you for your time.

  28. Can you provide when these programs will end –
    110 super bonus
    50% General house renovation
    50% Furniture bonus
    36% Garden bonus

    Thank you

  29. We own a house in Carunchio which requires a complete demolition and rebuild. We have an engineering analysis and building permit. With the new changes to bonus programs, would our project qualify for any bonus programs?

    1. It all depends if it’s a single family home or not. Note that the 80% and 65% bonuses have not been discontinued

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