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Declaration of estate for foreign heirs

Recent resolution of the Italian Revenue Agency on the submission of the declaration of estate in the case of foreign subjects.

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Declaration of estate: what it is and how to submit it

The heirs, those with title to inheritance and the legatees must submit the declaration of estate within 12 months from the date of opening of the succession, which generally coincides with the taxpayer’s date of death.

The declaration may be submitted through an authorized intermediary (for example, a professional or a CAF – Tax Assistance Center), or directly by the taxpayer to the competent office of the Italian Revenue Agency. Those who reside abroad may submit the hard copy form by way of exception, should the telematic transmission of the document not be possible. The form must be sent to the Agency’s competent office, via registered mail or another equivalent means, which clearly indicates the date of dispatch.

When does someone who is not resident in Italy have to submit the declaration of estate?

The declaration of estate must be submitted by:

  • the heirs, those with title to inheritance and the legatees (provided that they have not expressly waived the right or – not being in possession of the estate – they request the appointment of an estate trustee prior to the deadline for submitting the declaration of estate) or their legal representatives;
  • the heirs’ or the legatees’ legal representatives;
  • those placed in possession of the property, in case of absence of the deceased or of finding of presumed death;
  • the estate administrators;
  • the trustees of estates in abeyance;
  • the executors of the will;
  • the trustees.

If multiple people are required to submit the declaration, it is sufficient to submit one.

It should be noted that, according to the principles of territoriality of the inheritance tax, in case the deceased was resident in Italy at the time of death, the inheritance tax shall be due both on the estate located in Italy and abroad. Heirs and legatees have to submit the declaration of estate and pay the related tax, irrespective of their fiscal residence.

Declaration of estate in case of foreign heirs

After a brief legal excursus on the obligations regarding the declaration of estate, let us analyze the case in which those with title to inheritance are foreign persons, who reside abroad and are not registered with the Italian Tax Registry.

In Resolution n. 407 of July 31 2023, the Revenue Agency provided clarifications regarding the ways in which to indicate foreign heirs without an Italian fiscal code in the declaration of estate.

The case was submitted to the Agency by a Syrian citizen residing abroad, who highlights the following aspect:

  • his brother’s succession was opened on April 21 2021. His brother was an Italian citizen residing in Italy, and the succession is governed by Italian law;
  • the testator did not have any direct descendants, and those with title to inheritance are his mother, two siblings, among which the claimant, and two nephews. These are the children of another brother of the testator’s, who had died before him;
  • none of the persons with title to inheritance is an Italian citizen, has resided or has been domiciled in Italy, or has an Italian fiscal code, except for the claimant.

The declaration may not be physically submitted, since the persons to be indicated as with title to inheritance are not registered with the Tax Registry, thus the lack of a valid fiscal code represents a “blocking error”. The Revenue Agency considers that the obligation to indicate the fiscal code number of non-resident persons, to whom such code has not been assigned previously, is deemed fulfilled by simply indicating the data provided for in Article 4 of D.P.R. n. 605/1973, which is to say:

  1. for natural persons, their first and last name, date and place of birth, sex and fiscal domicile;
  2. for subjects other than natural persons, their name, company or company name, fiscal domicile.

Final remarks

To conclude, as stated by the Revenue Agency, in the present case, in absence of the Italian fiscal codes associated to the foreign citizens with title to inheritance, the Claimant has to indicate the data mentioned above in the declaration of estate, instead of the fiscal codes.

How A&P can help you

  1. Our team of chartered tax advisors and specialized tax consultants will support you in preparing the relevant documentation for submitting the declaration of estate;
  2. A&P will certify the regularity of the declarations and documentation produced;
  3. A&P will transmit the declaration of estate to the competent authority.

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Regulatory Framework

Declaration of estate: ways to indicate foreign persons with title to inheritance without an Italian fiscal code

Reference (Italian only)

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