Wednesday, February 02, 2005


Well, there’s good news and there’s bad news. The good news is that we just found out that we owed a tax on our car, and thanks to Cristina at ExpatsinItaly, we found out in the nick of time. Actually we were one day late, but this only resulted in a 1¢ interest charge. The bad news is that we were COMPLETELY UNPREPARED for this tax of €135. Ouch!

Last year Wendy paid this tax for us, as she does for many of her clients. For some reason, she had our car tax listed as due to be paid in the summer. Cristina has added a calendar to the message board on her website to remind all us newbie ex-pats about such things as the ICI tax, (due in June and December), the garbage tax, (due in July) and assorted other important dates like when daylight savings time starts and ends, and if there are any train strikes scheduled. Luckily for me, I just happened to read the message board, and found out accidentally on January 31st that it was the last day to pay the car tax.

Since we were going to see Wendy this morning, I decided to ask her about our car tax. I honestly didn’t remember that she had paid it last year, and I was really afraid that we hadn’t paid it since we bought the car. Apparently it’s quite normal NOT to receive tax bills in Italy. Somehow people here just know what is due and when, and they go to the Post Office and pay it.

The car tax is due every year in the month after you first bought/registered the car. As luck would have it, we bought our car in December, meaning that our tax was due in January….damn! Luckily for us we had just made a cash withdrawal at the bank. I swear, we can’t really afford to have any more good luck for quite a while.

We got lucky last fall, again thanks to the Expats site. Cristina was conducting a survey to try to figure out average housing and utility costs. One of the questions was about the amount of garbage taxed paid. Garbage tax…what garbage tax? This was the first we’d ever heard about a garbage tax, so we walked up to the commune and found the office that dealt with the garbage tax. They told us that the bills had been mailed out in July…hadn’t we gotten ours? Well, no. We asked if we could pay it now, knowing that there would be some sort of late fee/interest, but we figured the sooner we paid it the better.

Imagine our surprise when they told us to just wait until next summer! They told us that if we didn’t receive a bill to make sure we came to their office to pay it. I was concerned about the interest, but they assured me that it wouldn’t be much….how scary is that? On top of that, now we’ll have to pay both last years’ AND this years’ garbage tax. Once again, it’s hard to feel lucky!


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home