Corporate & commercial Law

How to open a bank account in Italy as non-resident

Can you open a checking account without residency? In some cases it is possible: let’s find out how and what the regulations say about it.

In order to receive monthly salary and pension credits, it has become necessary to have a checking account with a bank or postal institution. This is because the traceability of each person’s financial movements has become mandatory.

In addition, the checking account is useful for matching payments in general, such as loans, mortgages, and for utility bills through simple transfers.

One of the most frequently asked questions on this issue concerns the possibility of opening a postal or bank account even if one does not have residency.

This is a situation that concerns an important segment of possible current account holders, who do not have a residence on Italian territory, such as foreigners, or those Italian citizens living abroad. In this article we will find out in detail whether there is a possibility to open a current account without residency and what the regulations say.

Bank account in Italy without being resident, is it possible to open it? Here is what the Italian regulations say

It’s not unusual for individuals to desire opening a current account in a country they don’t reside in, possibly for professional reasons. In Italy, a current bank account without tax residence is designed for people who haven’t been registered with the civil registry for at least 183 days, haven’t had a domicile in Italy for at least six months, or don’t have a permanent residence in the country for more than six months per year.

Thus, to answer the question regarding the possibility of opening a current account without residency, we can say that individuals who do not reside in Italy can open a current account, like everyone else, at the existing credit institutions on the national territory.

A current account without residence doesn’t offer distinct features compared to accounts opened with an attached Italian residence. Essentially, it’s a contract between a current account holder and a bank or postal credit institution that enables the deposit of funds and various services for conducting payment and deposit transactions.

Some advantages of opening a current account include the ability to execute bank transfers, which allow for automated and direct payments to utility providers. Additionally, account holders can receive monthly salaries and pensions, as well as obtain credit cards for making purchases via POS terminals.

Italian Bank account without residence: how it works

As we have mentioned, the services offered and granted by the current account without residence are the same as those granted to accounts linked to a residence on the Italian territory.

When opening the current account without residency, an Italian address will be obligatorily requested, which is necessary to receive communications from the chosen credit institution. The address to be given when opening the current account without residence in Italy can be that of a family member or acquaintance.

In short, basically any support point on Italian territory to ensure direct communication between the credit institution and the account holder.

In general, the bank or post office where one wishes to open the current account, may require the completion of several forms provided mandatory by contract. If the account holder cannot be physically present during the signing of the contract for opening a current account without residence, it becomes necessary to have the presence of a public official with legal power, i.e., a notary public, to authenticate the signature of the applicant.

How much does an Italian Bank account without residency cost?

Having established that the differences for those who want to open a current account without residency and those who do have one do not substantially concern the services made available by the banking or postal institution, it remains necessary to pay attention instead to the costs involved.

In fact, the cost required to open an account without residency is higher than that reserved for Italian residents.

This is because the costs for fees are higher and one must inevitably take into account the currency exchange rate if one is a resident outside the European territory.

In addition, the increased opening cost, for opening a current account without residency, is influenced by the anti-money laundering rules applied by the financial institution. According to these mandatory rules for non-resident current account holders in Italy, it is forbidden to open a current account jointly held with another Italian person who is a resident of the national territory.

Bank account for Italian citizens residing abroad

The current account can also be taken out by Italian citizens registered in the Registry of Residents Abroad (Aire).

Subjects to the opening of the current account without residency, must in this case pay all fees and charges stipulated in the contract and must, in addition, necessarily close the ordinary Italian current account (if still open) and open a new one reserved for non-residents, as the sole holder.

This means that the account holder is obliged to transfer money from the current account with residence in Italy to the new current account without residence, at an Italian credit institution.

How to transfer money from a foreign state to your Italian bank account?

Accomplishing this type of transfer is really very simple, but there are taxes to consider.

The only way to transfer money from a foreign bank account to an Italian one is through a simple bank transfer. This way the money arrives within a few days, but according to what the Internal Revenue Service has determined, the bank must charge a 20 percent tax on the amount transferred, but only if this money is from capital income or sales income.

Tax is excluded on income generated from earnings, salaries or gifts. The burden of proof is always on the person receiving the transfer. The latter must prove that the money is not subject to taxation. This can be done by submitting a self-certification to the lending institution. By means of this one declares that the money is not taxable, as it is not from capital income or from different income.

Such self-certification, however, may not be sufficient, and bank employees may ask the party for other documents, such as a tax return. If the bank charges tax on the money transferred before the customer can submit any self-certification, the person receiving the down payment can request a refund directly from the bank. This, however, is only possible within a certain period of time, after which the refund in question must be requested from the Internal Revenue Service. As for everything else, the transfer is made in the same way as a normal bank transfer, within the time frame and in the manner prescribed by the bank making the transfer.

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