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I am new to this forum and have searched to find some answers but to no avail. Not knowing if my question is not your typical. So here goes, I will try to give you all the details as to not go back and forth with questions. I have a have an italian/Us dual citizenship. Italian passport and US passport and a carta di identification which states that my home address is US. I also have a fiscale code. I inherited my fathers house here in Italy 10 years ago. I am married and and in the process of getting a dual citizenship for my husband so we don't have to get a visa if we want to stay longer than 3 months. We usually stay 4-5 months in italy and live 8 months in the US. The house has been all legalized in my name and since I am not a resident I pay higher taxes, electric, water etc because this is my second house. I am retired and receive social security. Now trying to get a bank account and have come into more problems because I am not a resident. Would it be beneficial become a resident(just myself) have my social security deposited here. i went down to the local commune and they said it isn't a problem here and that I have to let the consulate in Miami know. Would appreciate any solutions and if I should get a lawyer in US to help me decide what is in my best interest. Also tax wise, I know that Italy taxes are higher than the US. But if it is just me and my social security (which isn't much) does it make sense to go through this residency procedure. Thanking you in advance
 

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You NEVER need a visa to enter Italy as you are an Italian citizen. Your husband would need a visa to ENTER Italy only if he planned to stay longer than 90 days WITHOUT applying for a permesso di sogiorno per motivi familiari (permission to stay for family motives). In other words, you arrive together in Italy, you as an Italian citizen and your husband on the 90 day visa waiver, you establish formal residenza and then your husband applies for the permesso di sogiorno per motivi familiari which will be granted pretty much automatically so long as you have registered your marriage in Italy.

Many couples reside in Italy in this manner (one citizen, the other not) and some claim there are certain advantages to doing so.

I am curious to know: how did you manage to get a carta d'identità if not resident in Italy? Most of what I have read on this subject implies that it is not possible to do so.
 

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AIRE-registered Italian citizens, i.e. Italian citizens residing outside Italy and registered via their local consulates, can get carte d'identità in two situations:

1. If they are residing in an EU/EEA consular jurisdiction, they can get carte d'identità from their local Italian consulates in Europe;

2. Regardless of place of residence, an AIRE-registered Italian citizen can obtain a carta d'identità specifically upon in-person application in the "home" commune in which their AIRE registration is kept.

So yes, it is possible for any/all residentially registered Italian citizens, regardless of place of residence around the world, to obtain a carta d'identità. However, except for the Italians living in Europe, it requires a personal visit to a particular commune.
 

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OK, here are my views on whether you should become resident in Italy:

1. If you become a resident you would also become tax resident. That adds significant tax complexity but not necessarily increased taxes. You'd probably get the prima casa reduction in property tax in Italy, but you might have some small Italian wealth taxes to pay, in particular.

2. You could get public medical coverage in Italy through the ASL if you're a resident, and that's more than the 90 day emergency medical coverage letter that the Italian consulate back in the U.S. can give you (upon request) each year. On the other hand, you probably already have U.S. Medicare, and you probably pay for it already. And that will probably continue. Some U.S. Medicare private plans include rather good international coverage which can provide coverage past the 90 day consulate letter (and for your husband as well). You can't get one of those private plans unless you're resident in the U.S., so your Medicare choices are more limited without residency. That said, many people "fudge" that and continue being Medicare resident in the U.S. and Italian resident. That's probably not what the two governments intended, but people do it. (Maybe you'd simply say you're resident in Italy but domiciled in the U.S. if anybody asks and if that's what you decide to do.)

3. You don't need an Italian bank account to accomplish normal consumer banking tasks in Italy. But you should be using the low cost methods to get cash and to buy things in Italy from your U.S. accounts. This post provides some ideas. I would add that XE Trade, a foreign currency transfer specialist, looks like a good way to pay bills in Italy since they support both EFT (ACH) on the U.S. bank account side and EFT (SEPA) into anybody's Italian bank account, including ENEL's for example. XE Trade doesn't charge for the bank transfers, but they do charge a little bit (everyone does) for converting U.S. dollars to euro.

The major and maybe only reason you really ought to have an Italian bank account is if you need to make a lot of payments (maybe, but probably not) or if you are receiving payments in Italy. Otherwise it's not essential and maybe more expensive to maintain a bank account in Italy.
 

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OK, here are my views on whether you should become resident in Italy:

1. If you become a resident you would also become tax resident. That adds significant tax complexity but not necessarily increased taxes. You'd probably get the prima casa reduction in property tax in Italy, but you might have some small Italian wealth taxes to pay, in particular.

2. You could get public medical coverage in Italy through the ASL if you're a resident, and that's more than the 90 day emergency medical coverage letter that the Italian consulate back in the U.S. can give you (upon request) each year. On the other hand, you probably already have U.S. Medicare, and you probably pay for it already. And that will probably continue. Some U.S. Medicare private plans include rather good international coverage which can provide coverage past the 90 day consulate letter (and for your husband as well). You can't get one of those private plans unless you're resident in the U.S., so your Medicare choices are more limited without residency. That said, many people "fudge" that and continue being Medicare resident in the U.S. and Italian resident. That's probably not what the two governments intended, but people do it. (Maybe you'd simply say you're resident in Italy but domiciled in the U.S. if anybody asks and if that's what you decide to do.)

3. You don't need an Italian bank account to accomplish normal consumer banking tasks in Italy. But you should be using the low cost methods to get cash and to buy things in Italy from your U.S. accounts. This post provides some ideas. I would add that XE Trade, a foreign currency transfer specialist, looks like a good way to pay bills in Italy since they support both EFT (ACH) on the U.S. bank account side and EFT (SEPA) into anybody's Italian bank account, including ENEL's for example. XE Trade doesn't charge for the bank transfers, but they do charge a little bit (everyone does) for converting U.S. dollars to euro.

The major and maybe only reason you really ought to have an Italian bank account is if you need to make a lot of payments (maybe, but probably not) or if you are receiving payments in Italy. Otherwise it's not essential and maybe more expensive to maintain a bank account in Italy.

Thank you so much for your prompt and informative reply. You are a wealth of information. I only need a bank account to pay for utilities and have cash on hand here when I am living here for 5 months.Most of the utility companies say you can pay with an Italian credit card or an Italian bank account so I wasn't sure that XE trade would meet their requirements. I will look into that with each utility company. I am not on medicare yet. I am on my husbands insurance from the government job he is retired from and he has medicare Part A & B. I have an appointment for his dual citizenship for Oct 2014. Do you recommend that I go ahead with that and we will both have dual citizenship but I will be the only one to become a resident? Thanks again
Mena
 

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Most of the utility companies say you can pay with an Italian credit card or an Italian bank account so I wasn't sure that XE trade would meet their requirements.
To be very precise, to pay bills in Italy sometimes you have to pay into an Italian bank account. That doesn't mean the funds must come from an Italian bank account, although they could. XE Trade is an example of an international money transfer specialist that can get the job done, but there may be others. (I have no affiliation with them or with any other financial institutions.)

I am not on medicare yet. I am on my husbands insurance from the government job he is retired from and he has medicare Part A & B.
OK, I think I know what you mean, and that's excellent. If you haven't already I would take a look at which Medicare options provide international coverage (and the retiree medical insurance that's covering you). "Classic" Medicare does not, but some Medicare Part C plans and some "MediGap" plans do. If so, that should work well for covering the majority of the time when you're in the U.S. and the ~4 months per year when you're in Italy. Check the fine print carefully, though. It could be that you and your husband already have that coverage.

I have an appointment for his dual citizenship for Oct 2014. Do you recommend that I go ahead with that and we will both have dual citizenship but I will be the only one to become a resident?
That's really a separate issue. I would recommend he proceed with his acquisition of Italian citizenship since it would secure his independent right to live in Italy. Considering that you already both spend lots of time there, that'd be great to protect him just in case you predecease him.

I hadn't thought of one of you declaring residence in Italy and the other in the U.S. It's a possibility. The scenario where that might make sense is if one of you really wants to enroll in the Italian public medical system and consequently stay in Italy for treatment (and maybe stop paying for U.S. Medicare except for Part A, which is free). And that'd probably result in the prima casa tax break in Italy. The downsides are the same as above: more tax complexity and perhaps some wealth tax. Also, it seems unlikely to me that a "split residency" would offer tax advantages which would be one reason you might do that.

Just check inheritance taxes, by the way. I don't think there's any particular issue between the two of you in either country, but it's something to check, especially for the next generation.
 
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