From iconic clothing brands like Gucci and Versace to high-end cars from the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini, as well as an impressive 363 Michelin-starred restaurants, Italy is synonymous with luxury.
For the discerning traveller, Italy has a plethora of world-renowned destinations stretching from global fashion capital Milan, the unmistakable waterways of Venice, history-packed Rome, and island getaways like Sardinia and Sicily.
However, those traveling to or from Italy via private charter jet should be aware of the country’s ‘Luxury Tax’ (also known as the ‘Aero Taxi Tax’ and ‘Salva Italia’ [‘Save Italy’]). Dating back to 2012, the Tax was conceived as one of a host of measures rolled out by former Prime Minister Romano Prodi to reduce the country’s budget deficit.
Applying to all charter flights to and from Italy via Italian-registered business jets and helicopters, the Italian Luxury Tax is calculated for each passenger on each leg of a flight. On flights of less than 100km the fee is 10 euros per passenger, on journeys between 100 and 1500km it jumps to 100 euros, and for those over 1500km the tax stands at 200 euros.
This means that, for example, a six-passenger return flight from Rome to New York could expect to add an extra 2,400 euros to its total cost. However, a two-person one-way flight covering the 115km from Rome to Naples would only incur an extra 200 euros in Luxury Tax.
Non-Italian registered private aircraft are exempt from the Tax unless they spent more than six months in Italy over the previous 12 months. These six months can be non-continuous, and any time spent at an Italian maintenance facility does not count towards the total.
While the private aircraft industry has pushed back against the imposition of the Luxury Tax since 2012, it has remained in place. Aside from non-Italian registered private aircraft that have spent less than six of the past 12 months in Italy, the only aircraft exempt from the regulation are Italian state aircraft, rescue aircraft and helicopters, historic aircraft, and planes dedicated to commercial flights.
When and how to pay
The rules on when and how to pay the Luxury Tax vary depending on where an aircraft is registered. For those registered in Italy or indeed any other country in the European Union or European Economic Area, Luxury Tax has to be paid by the end of each month following the month when the flight took place.
However, for aircrafts registered in non-European countries, Luxury Tax is paid upon arrival on Italian soil.
Foreign operators without an Italian tax code generally pay the fee in euros via bank transfer, while Italian-registered operators use a F24 form.
The Italian Luxury Tax is unlikely to break the bank for travellers with the means to fly by private jet to, from, or within Italy. However, those looking to soak up the cities, countryside, culture, and cuisine of this remarkable nation should bear these hidden costs in mind when booking their trips.