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The tourist tax on accommodation. What is it and in which Italian cities do you pay it?

The tourist tax on accommodation. What is it and in which Italian cities do you pay it?

An unpleasant surprise if you are coming on holiday to Italy: the tourist tax on accommodation. What is it and in which Italian cities do you pay it?

It happens very often that tourists (especially foreigners) that come on vacation to Italy, have to face an unpleasant surprise when they go to pay their hotel or B&B room at the checkout. In fact, the hotel/B&B staff will ask them to pay, in addition to the price for their room, a tax of which most tourists are absolutely unaware: the tourist tax.

The tourist tax was introduced by the law on fiscal federalism (Legislative Decree  March 14, 2011, n0. 23) with the intention of financing public policy on tourism. Italian municipalities are entitled to apply a tax on tourists’ stays in hotels, bed & breakfasts, holiday homes, cottages, campsites, etc.. The amount of the tax ranges from € 1 to € 5 per day per person depending on the type and “luxury level” of the facility (except in the case of Rome where it is up to € 7 per day in 5-star hotels).

Therefore, the amount of the tourist tax, which a tourist staying in an Italian hotel/B&B etc. will have to pay to the hotel/B&B etc. (the facility will then transfer the sum to the municipality) at the time of the checkout, is not fixed but is calculated according to the rate decided by each municipality.

For example, the fees that a tourist will have to pay if he/she stays in a hotel in the city of Rome are the following:

a) € 3.00 per day per person in 1-star hotels;
b) € 3.00 per day per person in 2-star hotels;
c) € 4.00 per day per person in 3-star hotels;
d) € 6.00 per day per person in 4-star hotels;
e) € 7.00 per day per person in 5-star hotels.
For a bed and breakfast or a house (e.g. Airbnb) in the city of Rome, there is a € 3.50 fee per day per person, while for an agriturismo there is a € 4.00 fee per day per person.

The tourist tax can be paid in cash or by card, and the accommodation must issue a payment receipt.

So, if, for example, a couple stays in a 4-star hotel in Rome for two nights, in addition to the cost of the hotel room, the couple will have to pay an extra € 24 (€ 6x2x2= € 24).

However, there are some exemptions, that for the city of Rome are the following (they generally apply to other cities as well):

  • those who reside in the city;
  • children up to 10 years of age;
  • those who stay at youth hostels;
  • bus drivers and tour leaders for every 23 participants;
  • people who are ill and one caregiver for a patient admitted to a health facility;
  • parents accompanying their children under the age of 18 who are admitted to a medical facility;
  • State Police and other armed forces personnel who are carrying out activities of public order and security.

For students and workers who stay overnight, even non-continually, for prolonged periods of time, to attend study courses or for work reasons the fee is applied up to a maximum of ten overnight stays in the calendar year, as long as the student or worker stays in the same accommodation facility. In order to benefit from this exemption, the student/worker must document the reason for their stay.

The tourist tax which already must be paid in major Italian tourist centers, such as Milan, Rome, Florence, Naples, Turin, Venice, starting from January 1, 2018, will be extended to other smaller municipalities including Todi, Assisi, Pompeii, Paestum, and later on in the year to Portofino, Rapallo, Santa Margherita Ligure and many others.

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19 Comments
  1. Can a hotel force me tot pay the tourist tax in cash (even if they allow a card payment for the stay itself)?

    • David

      Dear Charlotte,
      No, the Hotel should not force you to pay in cash.

      The tourist tax can be paid in cash or by card, and the accommodation must issue a payment receipt.

      For example, the Comune di Roma has published the following FAQ: L’importo del contributo deve essere pagato in contante dal cliente?
      Laddove l’importo del Contributo di Soggiorno viene pagato insieme all’importo dovuto per la
      camera può essere pagato anche con carta di credito. Qualora invece il turista deve pagare solo
      l’importo del Contributo di Soggiorno è preferibile (ma non obbligatorio) pagarlo in contanti.”
      .

      Thank you,
      David.

  2. My Air BNB host wants info about the guests (age, nationality, etc) and says its part of the required tourist tax info. He also asked for one person’s document info… is this legit?
    Thanks

    • David

      Dear Judy,
      Thank you for contacting VI.

      Every owner of a Bed and Breakfast should ask customers for a copy of their passport in order to identify them, and collect their relevant information (full name, date and place of birth, citizenship, sex).

      Regards,
      David.

      • Hi David,

        Is it possible to write down my name, nationality, citizenship and sex, and give that to the Airbnb host? I just dont understand why a copy of my passport is required from a safety standpoint.

        • David

          Dear Toyib,
          Thank you for your query.

          Hotels,B&Bs etc. have an obligation to identify those who intend to stay at the facility.

          Regards,
          VI.

  3. We have been asked to pay a €2 per day tourist tax at a b&b in Ortigia. We were asked for cash but have not been given a receipt yet. Is this the correct amount? We are staying for 4 nights

  4. I stayed in an apartment in Rome and received an email three weeks after my return to the U.S. that they had failed to ask for the tourist tax. They were most apologetic for their failure. I was asked to wire the 35 euro to their account at that time. My bank had a minimum of 100 euro for wire transfers. Eventually, I was able to acquire the company’s address and sent a cashier’s check in Euros. Never received any acknowledgement and the funds were deducted from my account upon the issuance of the check not the cashing of the check. Are their any consequences to the tourist if the company did not collect the tax?

  5. Just realized I entered my email incorrectly. I stayed in an apartment in Rome for a week. Three weeks upon my return to the US I was notified the agent had failed to collect 35 Euros for the tourist tax. I was asked to wire that amount. My bank would not wire anything less than 100 euro. Eventually, I acquired the company’s address and sent a certified check for the amount. The funds were deducted when the check was cut, so I have no cancelled check or receipt of the check. My question is whether there are any consequences the tourist should be aware of if the tourist returns to Rome and the agent did not report collection of the tax.

    • David

      Dear Alice,
      There should be no consequences in a case like yours, especially if you have the receipt of the cashier’s check you sent or any proof that you tried to pay, and the email with which they ask you for the late payment.

      However, I am sending you an email to inform you of what I can do for you.

      Thank you,
      David.

  6. Hello,
    We have a hotel booked in Rome for 16 days. However, we will be traveling to Venice and staying for 3 nights during the 16-day time period. Are we still required to pay 3 nights Tax to the Rome hotel even though we will not be there?

    Regards,
    Lisa

  7. Hello,
    We have a hotel booked in Rome for 16 days. We will be going to Venice for 3 nights during the 16-day period. Are we still required to pay the Tax for the Rome hotel for 3 nights even though we will not be there?

    Regards,
    Lisa

    • David

      Hi Lisa,
      According to “Regolamento sul contributo di soggiorno nella città di Roma capitale”, art. 4, par. 3, the fee is applied up to a maximum of ten consecutive overnight stays in the calendar year, as long as you stay in the same accommodation facility.
      Otherwise, unless you are in a case of exemption, you could try to prove (with your reservation) to the hotel in Rome that you will be staying in Venice and ask them to give you a “suspension” for those three days based on the fact that, although you have booked a room, considering that you will not stay at the hotel during those days, technically you should not be considered as a taxable person (those staying overnight at a facility) for the purposes of Article 2 of the above-mentioned Regulation. However, I cannot guarantee that they will accept this interpretation, especially if you consider that being a very uncommon case they will not be very familiar with the matter.
      Please let me know their answer.
      I look forward to hearing from you.
      Thank you,
      David.

  8. Hi dear,
    I would like to know what is the consequense of not paying hotel tax?

    • David

      Dear Sahar,
      I apologize for the late reply.

      Technically, the manager of the facility where you stayed, if required by municipal regulations, can ask you to sign a paper where you state that you do not intend to pay the tax, and then forward your information to the Municipality. The Municipality could then try to collect the tax, which can also be increased by 30 percent.

      Thank you,
      David.

  9. Hello,
    I recently stayed at a place where I received a non fiscal receipt which showed the payment for my stay and also the additional city tax I paid. But there was no VAT shown on this receipt. Is it legal to give those non fiscal receipts to the hotel customers? To my understanding this hotel took the city tax all for themselves and also didn’t pay any tax. How would you deal with a situation like this? They also insisted that the city tax had to be paid in cash.

    • David

      Dear Heinze,
      In general, they should issue a regular fiscal receipt. I cannot know if they kept the city tax for themselves or if they will pay it. If you want you can inform the authorities, but, unfortunately, I don’t think they will take care of the case.

      Thank you,
      David.

  10. I stayed in Hotel Centrale in Siena, Italy. I paid my city tax in cash and received a receipt for it. Then a few days after I left the hotel I noticed a charge for the same amount to my credit card. I advised them of their mistake and they have acknowledged it and say they are refunding the money but they have been unsuccessful so far. I am always initiating contact about this issue with them. First they said that it’s been to long and they didn’t have my credit card number. Okay, I gave them my credit card information. Waited 10 days nothing. Contacted them again and they said they couldn’t give me my refund onto the credit card. They had all the information they needed including expiry and CVV. I called the credit card company and they said they have the information they need to refund it. Next the hotel advised they needed some number a combination of my, name, birthday and something else. No idea what this number is. Yes, I know, I’m dealing with the Hotel and not fraud as I recognize the voices I’m Skyping with also. I’m Canadian, this is 2018, you’re a Hotel figure out how to get me back my money, I don’t care if it’s refunded back to my credit card, get it to me thru email, PayPal, Western Union, there aremult iple ways to refund money. It’s now 1.5 months into this. I will not give up on this and am also posting all over the internet as I suspect this might be a common problem with “City Tax” or perhaps it is a problem with this one Hotel in Siena, Italy called Hotel Centrale. Be ware, it’s a great way to collect money for personal gain perhaps.

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