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Are US Pensions Taxed In Italy?

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Nicolò Bolla

Nicolò Bolla

Italy Accounting Expert

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Are US Pensions Taxed In Italy?

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Do you live in the US and you are planning to retire in Italy?

Are you a retired person from the US and you start to live in Italy? Are you an American retired and you spend some months of the year in Italy?

Read this article and figure out if your US pension is taxable in Italy.

​In case you are not an official resident

As you might already know, Italian tax residents are required to pay tax on their worldwide income.

Therefore, if you are residing in Italy for 3 months or less, you are not deemed as a tax resident, thus you do not have to worry about paying taxes on your American pension in Italy.

Be aware that, according to the US state department, American citizens staying in Italy for more than 3 months per year, are considered tax resident overseas. From a legal point of view, if you do not hold a EU passport and you plan to stay in Italy longer than 90 days, you are required to obtain a VISA to enter the country and then apply for a residence permit (or “permesso di soggiorno” in Italian). This procedure is administered by various entities, such as the immigration office, the Italian foreign embassy and, at some point, your local post office.

If you are a pensioner and you want to move to Italy quickly, we advise to opt for the Elective Residence VISA. You can get more information in regards to our VISA program in our Immigration section. They will give you an application kit to fill. After giving it back to your local post office, they will address you to a local police station to present your official demand which is scrutinized and, hopefully, approved.

​Upon being granted your residence permit and owning or leasing a residential property, as an American citizen, you can finally apply for residency at your local Comune. You will then obtain your certificate of residency (“certificato di residenza”) from the local Vital Statistics Bureau (or Anagrafe) and you can enroll under the Universal Health Care system of Italy.

In case you are a resident in Italy

As a general rule, American pensions are taxed in Italy. However, there are few exemptions as explained by the double taxation treaty with US.

We can divide foreign pensions in two categories:

  • Pensions for public functions paid by a foreign country (or by one of its political or administrative subdivisions), for services and work carried out on behalf of these entities;
  • Private pensions paid by entities, institutions or insurance organizations of foreign countries appointed to handle the pension payments related to the termination of employment in the private sector

The first ones are normally ONLY taxable in the US, therefore no disclosure is required in the Italian tax return, whereas the second ones are taxable in Italy.

We recommend for more information, to check the double treaty agreements between the US and Italy. If you find them hard to read or you do not know where to look, check out our video below about how to read them and how to find relevant information.

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