The dry coupon is an optional taxation regime for income deriving from the rental of residential properties , which is characterized by the replacement of the ordinary taxation system, based on IRPEF and the related regional and municipal surtaxes. This alternative tax regime, introduced by Legislative Decree no. 23 of 14 March 2011, offers numerous advantages to landlords, including a simpler and more convenient tax calculation, the exclusion of income subject to coupon from the total income and the possibility of avoiding the payment of registration taxes and stamp duty on contracts of lease.
Who can opt for the dry coupon
Natural persons who hold property rights or real rights of enjoyment (for example, usufruct) on properties leased for residential use can choose the dry coupon regime. On the other hand, it is not possible to apply the dry coupon for lease contracts stipulated in the exercise of business or self-employment activities.
Even in the case of short-term leases, with a duration of no more than 30 days, it is possible to opt for the flat rate coupon at 21%. These contracts must be entered into by natural persons outside the exercise of business activities and are equivalent to sub-lease contracts and those of concession in use to third parties for a fee by the borrower.
Limitations for the application of the dry coupon
Starting from 2021, the application of the dry coupon is envisaged only if, during the year, a maximum of four apartments are used for this purpose. Beyond this threshold, the leasing activity, regardless of who exercises it, is considered to be carried out in an entrepreneurial form.
Which properties can benefit from the dry coupon
The option for the dry coupon can be exercised for real estate units belonging to the cadastral categories from A1 to A11 (excluding the A10 – offices or private studios) leased for residential use. Residential appurtenances are also affected, such as boxes, garages, cellars and parking spaces, which can be rented jointly with the home or with a separate and subsequent contract, provided that the lease relationship exists between the same contractual parties and the existence of the bond is highlighted appurtenant with the housing unit already leased.
In the event of co-ownership of the property, the option for the dry coupon must be exercised separately by each lessor. Co-owner landlords who do not exercise the option are required to pay the registration tax calculated on the part of the rent attributable to them on the basis of the ownership shares. In addition, the stamp duty on the lease must still be paid.
Leases of commercial premises
For commercial premises lease agreements entered into in 2019, it is possible to opt for the dry coupon, provided that the premises are classified in the cadastral category C/1 and have an area not exceeding 600 square metres, excluding the appurtenances. In this case, the applicable rate is 21%.
Which tenants can benefit from the dry coupon
The dry coupon regime cannot be applied to lease contracts entered into with tenants who act in the exercise of business or self-employment activities, regardless of the subsequent use of the property for residential purposes by collaborators and employees. However, there are exceptions for commercial premises classified in category C1 .
The option for the dry coupon can also be exercised for residential real estate units leased to building cooperatives for leasing or non-profit entities, provided that they are sub-leased to university students and made available to the municipalities with waiver of the rent update lease or assignment.
Duration of the dry coupon option
The option for the dry coupon involves the application of the rules envisaged for the entire duration of the lease contract (or of the extension), or, in cases where the option is exercised in the years following the first, for the remaining term of the contract. However, the lessor has the right to revoke the option in each contractual year following the one in which it was exercised.
The revocation of the option must be made within 30 days of the expiry of the previous year and involves the payment of any registration tax due.
Extension of the contract and confirmation of the option
In the event of an extension of the contract, it is necessary to confirm the option for the dry coupon at the same time as the communication of extension. Confirmation of the option must be made within 30 days of the expiry of the contract or a previous extension. In the event of termination of the contract, the registration tax is not due if all the landlords have opted for the dry coupon regime. However, early termination must be communicated by submitting the duly completed RLI form to the office where the contract was registered.
Calculation of the substitute tax of the dry coupon: how much you pay
The substitute tax envisaged by the dry coupon is calculated by applying a rate of 21% to the annual rent established by the parties. A reduced rate of 10% is envisaged for lease contracts with agreed rent relating to homes located:
- in municipalities with housing shortages (article 1, paragraph 1, letters a) and b) of law decree 551/1988), i.e. the municipalities of Bari , Bologna , Catania , Florence , Genoa , Milan , Naples , Palermo , Rome , Turin , Venice , the neighboring municipalities and the other provincial capitals;
- in high-voltage residential municipalities identified by the CIPE.
Effects of the dry coupon on income
The income subject to the dry coupon:
- it is excluded from the total income ;
- deductible charges and deductions cannot be claimed respectively on the income subject to a coupon and on the coupon itself.
However, the income subject to the dry coupon must be included in the income for the purpose of recognizing the entitlement or determining deductions, deductions or benefits of any kind connected to the possession of income requirements (determination of the ISEE, determination of income to be considered a load).
Dry coupon: when do you pay?
The dry coupon is paid with a deposit of 95% in a single solution by 30 November if the total amount of the dry coupon is less than 257.52 euros .
In the event that the total amount of the dry coupon exceeds the threshold of 257.52 euros, the tenants have the possibility of managing the payments in two stages. The first installment, equal to 40% of the 95% down payment, must be submitted by 16 June, while the remaining 60% must be paid by 30 November.
In both cases, the remaining 5% is paid in the balance in the following year.
The dry coupon represents an advantageous option for landlords of residential properties, offering a simplified and generally more convenient tax regime compared to the ordinary system based on IRPEF.
However, it is important to carefully evaluate your tax situation and the specific characteristics of the lease before deciding whether to opt for the dry coupon or the ordinary tax regime. In any case, it is always advisable to contact a professional expert in tax matters to obtain a personalized opinion tailored to your needs.
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