Saturday, July 20, 2024

Italian pensioners flee taxes: 350,000 live in 165 different countries


There are approximately 350,000 Italian retirees living abroad. 2.6% of the more than 17 million have settled outside the national borders. They are divided into 165 countries and receive printing – Around 1.5 billion euros. The phenomenon of retirement tourism, which seems to have exploded in recent years: in fact, the number of retirees who have moved elsewhere has increased by almost 11 percent, according to the latest data from the National Retirement Institute (2022). More specifically, in first place among the privileged and most representative destinations of this phenomenon is Spain (mainly the Canary Islands), followed by Tunisia, Portugal (even if the subsidized system is no longer active) and Bulgaria. The reasons are (almost) always the same: attractive tax exemptions, lower costs of living, increased purchasing power.

Countries concerned

In particular, Romania has seen an increase of 133.9 percent: in fact, the number has risen from around 3,000 pensioners with Italian nationality in 2018 to almost 8,000 in 2022. The numbers are also increasing for Portugal (although the subsidized system is no longer active now): from 1,500 to just over 3,500. In Italy, the Social Security Institute underlined in a note, pensioners who decide to pack their bags and move abroad after years of sacrifices, find “a weak economic growth in the country, an insufficient level of pensions compared to the cost of living, a very difficult tax system and insufficient personal services”.

Tunisia phenomenon

But according to the data, there is another state that is enjoying success among retirees. That is: Tunisia. The percentage of people who have decided to cross the Strait of Sicily has increased by 113.5 percent. Here, they can in fact benefit from a particular advantage that allows them to tax only 20 percent of their total pension (with an actual tax of only 5 percent, as the Turin newspaper specifies). This advantage is also valid for former public sector employees. According to the data, the number of Italian retirees in Tunisia has increased from 800 in 2018 to 1,800 in 2022. But the “flight” of pensions is not a new phenomenon. However, the INPS specifies that “in recent years, a real “commercial machine” has been launched, made up of different agencies operating at all levels, national and international, which invite retirees to move abroad by offering different destinations that are more economically and financially advantageous”.

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