freelance nomade

Digital Nomads: a new professional frontier for foreigners in Italy

Who are digital nomads?

The Covid-19 health emergency has certainly turned our lives upside down. Maintaining the necessary interpersonal distance, with the consequent limitation on office attendance, has forced workers and companies to radically rethink their employment, making it more “agile”.

It is no coincidence, in fact, that the growth of Smart Working has been exponential in recent months.

It is in this changed managerial and organisational context that the figure of the Digital Nomad comes into play.

The digital nomad is a professional or freelancer who, by exploiting the technologies offered by the digital world, such as ultra-fast internet connections and electronic devices, offers certain services to clients remotely, without being tied to a permanent physical location. This allows them to work and live in different places around the world, pursuing their own motivations and professional ambitions.

Tuscany: an ideal place for digital nomads

firenze luccaAre you a digital nomad? Think of Tuscany as a place to work.

Thanks to its villages and sparsely populated countryside, Tuscany offers the digital nomad a safe and pleasant place to work, far from the crowded cities, where the frenetic pace can be difficult to manage.

Broadband, cheap rents and a vast network of services designed to enable them to live and work away from the office are the tools a digital nomad can use if he or she decides to work in this region for a while, not to mention the possibility of working in contact with nature and in the traditional countryside, away from the environmental and noise pollution of the metropolitan city.

Taxation for digital nomads

Working moving from one place to another has some tax implications that should be taken into account.

First of all, the main advantage in the tax area is the possibility of taxing the income produced by the digital nomad in the place where he/she transfers his/her residence. The taxation of personal income is treated differently from one country to another, with different rates and consequently different average levels of taxation. 

However, the freedom to choose the place and pace of work does not mean that the digital nomad is exempt from certain tax rules.

Tax residence in Italy

In our legal system, Article 3 of the Consolidated Income Tax Law (TUIR) lays down the principle that all income, wherever it is produced, is subject to taxation by individuals who are resident in Italy for tax purposes. 

An income, therefore, is taxed in Italy, if the person who receives it has his fiscal residence here.

This concept is recognized when the individual has, for most of the year, at least one of the following requirements:

– Registration in the register of resident persons.

– Established domicile in Italy, defined as the place where the individual has the principal place of business and interests.

– Established in Italy the residence, i.e. the place of habitual residence of the subject.

In the presence of at least one of the following requirements the individual must therefore declare his income in Italy.

Ultimately, therefore, a digital nomad, precisely because of the nature of his activity, which often involves transfers and not having a “fixed abode”, must pay attention to where his tax residence is established, in order not to face sanctions from the competent tax authorities.

An important facilitation for impatriates and foreigners

Legislative Decree No. 147 of 2015, later amended by the 2019 Growth Decree, also introduced an interesting innovation applicable also to digital nomads who decide to move and work in Italy.

This is the 70% tax deduction of income produced in Italy, for five tax periods, renewable for another five, for the digital nomad who decides to move or bring back to Italy his business. The percentage rises to 90% if the transfer takes place in a region of southern Italy.

Be careful, however, as the law expressly requires certain requirements to be met: 1) The digital nomad must not have been resident for tax purposes in Italy in the two years preceding the return or arrival. 2) He must undertake to be fiscally resident in Italy for at least two years 3) The work activity must be carried out mainly in Italy.

The visa for self-employed workers

While the digital nomad who is a citizen of a European Community country does not have to go through any particular administrative-bureaucratic procedures in order to carry out his activity, with the exception of registration in the registry office of the municipality where he intends to move, the digital nomad who is a non-EU citizen needs some specific documents in order to regularise his position: 1) Nulla Osta 2) Entry visa 3) Residence permit for self-employment.

What we can do for you

Our firm, MGI Vannucci & Associati, also offers services to foreigners who intend to live and work in Italy and is therefore able to provide the fiscal and administrative assistance necessary for the digital nomad who intends to work in our territory.

More information? Write us

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