Tel: +34 93 665 8596 |


British living in Italy

By Gareth Horsfall
This article is published on: 8th July 2024

In this E-zine I will keep things brief because house work is still ongoing from my end (hopefully completed by the end of July and moving into the new place on the 5th of August). The photo below was taken down the road from the property near a vineyard.

British living in Italy

I know many of you already own properties near views very much like this one, or see equally beautiful sunsets, but I thought I would share this as my excitement builds!

Anyway, not wanting to burden you too much with my own personal matter, I came across a few things recently which I thought should be communicated to the British contingent amongst the readers of this article.

The first is an important announcement for anyone who is over 80 years old and a recipient of the UK state pension!
The Department of Work and Pensions is checking to make sure that everyone is still eligible to receive UK state pension benefits, and therefore requires that anyone over 80 years old, of any nationality, and who is drawing a UK state pension, complete a form and have a witness sign it before sending it back signed, in the post!. This is called a life certificate. This is a routine process with which the DWP update their records. (If you have already done this, then you do not need to do it again!)

The number of submitted life certificates so far is lower than the DWP expected and so it has extended its deadline to the 31st of July 2024.

** If the certificate is not provided, it could lead to suspension of UK state pension benefits **

If anyone over the age of 80 and receiving UK state pension benefits has not received a letter explaining this, or has not updated their address details, then the link to do so is here:

Anyone receiving or about to receive UK state pension benefits UNDER the age 80 will be contacted towards the end of this year, therefore you may like to check that the DWP have the correct address on file for you by using the same link above.

Please feel free to share this information if you feel anyone might be affected or just to spread the word.


Brexit – for the Italians it’s all wrapped up!
The next bit of news came from the Agenzia delle Entrate recently. Specifically their notifications page on the telegram app.. They regularly post the latest decisions taken re: specific cases submitted to them (intepelli) and also the latest announcements re: tax and various other bureaucratic measures.

The Italian government has taken the decision to close the ‘Punti Assistenza’ for both foreign investors looking to invest in Italy and also the ‘Info Brexit’ points of assistance. The reason for such a move is that they say they are rarely used. They go on to say, regarding the punto ‘Info Brexit’, that since the UK left the customs union, the Agenzia delle Entrate has provided clarification regarding most issues and hence is closing the Brexit information point.This may or may not be the case, but, certainly, questions remain and it looks like the Facebook citizens group ‘Beyond Brexit’ will be the last bastion of information regarding Brexit issues in the end. I would imagine that the UK Embassy will also be providing little to no support moving forward.

If you want to read the communication from the Agenzia delle Entrate, you can do so at the following link:

Confirmation of EU permanent residence
Charlotte Oliver, of Oliver and Partners legal firm in Rome, also put out a recent communication from the Ministero dell’Interno which has issued guidance to the Comune in relation to British citizens resident in Italy since before 31.12.2020 which marks the end of the Brexit transition period. The Circolare confirms that British citizens are still entitled to obtain a certificate of permanent residence from the Anagrafe (“attestazione di soggiorno permanente“).

In other words, as guaranteed by the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement, British citizens continue to have the right to obtain a permanent residence certificate (as provided for in the EU Freedom of Movement Directive and article 16 of Italian Law no. 30/2007). British citizens are entitled to this certificate after 5 years of regular and continuous residence in Italy, registered with the Comune, even if part of those 5 years were after Brexit.

You can see Charlotte’s communication and the MInstero documents on her website, at the following link:

Sterling revival

A Sterling revival?
A nice piece written by Evelyn Partners, one of our asset management partners, was sent through to me on the 28th of June. It may interest you as it describes a possible revival in Sterling’s fortunes.

Some of you might remember the heady days of GBP:EUR (just after the launch of the EUR in 1999 and the uncertainty at the time) at €1.752 reached on the 3rd of May 2000. But, you may also be surprised to know that over the EUR’s 20 year history, the GBP:EUR exchange rate has averaged €.1.33. The lowest, €1.08, reached on 30th of December 2008 (financial crisis – right after the global crash) .

Due to Brexit and the political uncertainty, the average GBP:EUR exchange rate over the last decade has now fallen to €1.20.

So, why the potential revival?
Well, it may not surprise you to learn that it is all about the UK elections, the Labour win and the disastrous time under the Conservatives. (Theresa May, Covid lockdowns, rising energy prices and Liz Truss’s short-lived government).

It would seem that Labour is very likely to try and realign the interests of the UK with its nearest neighbours and Labour may try and negotiate new agreements with the EU to ease trade and the share of technology and other areas. The EU may be interested in the UK’s military equipment and intelligence capabilities, given the ongoing events in Ukraine. The UK may also decide to align with the EU market on food and agricultural products, which may maintain smooth customs arrangements for import and export, but it might be a sticking point because it may mean that the UK becomes a rule taker again rather than rule maker.

Also, the longer the UK remains non-aligned with the EU, the more its businesses are adapting to other foreign markets. The US is now the UK’s biggest customer regarding service led businesses. In reality, though, the service sector is unlikely to interest the EU anyway, because they are able to continue to take away valuable services based businesses from areas which had previously been monopolised by the UK.

This may all be rather positive for the GBP: EUR exchange rate of course, but a lot depends on to what degree Labour will be able to negotiate closer ties to the EU, without breaking the Brexit red lines.

If you are interested in the wider article, you can find it at the link below:

I have for years now been advising clients to retain any GBP holdings in the currency and invest likewise. It is my long term view that a single country like the UK, will have the ability to develop its markets and economy more dynamically and quicker than a bloc of 27 states who need approval from each (in most cases) to make decisions for the bloc. I am not anti EU by any means, but the political environment in the EU is such that it does not bode well for long-term economic stimulus and development. This will always be a drag on the EUR versus other currencies, and particularly now with the situation in Ukraine and long term inflationary pressures. That all being said the UK will need to go through some soul searching to determine it’s future direction, which may or may not lead to a Sterling revival.

Long-term productivity figures seem to imply that GBP:EUR should be at a natural rate of around 1.2 to 1.25 but that does not take into account political cycles and significant economic events such as Brexit. Markets like stability and until that returns sterling will probably still be in for a volatile ride.

I will be back with more information, musings and ideas when we are installed in the new home, after August 5th, but if in the meantime you would like to discuss any tax or financial planning related issues in Italy then please don’t hesitate to contact me as I will working through the summer. 


Article by Gareth Horsfall

If you live in Italy and or have financial interests in Italy you can contact Gareth Horsfall directly on: to request more information about how he may be able to help you. Alternatively you can complete the form below and a message will be sent to him. If you would like to read more about Gareth's work you can follow his blog on tax and financial planning in Italy HERE

Contact Gareth Horsfall direct about: "British living in Italy"

    The Spectrum IFA Group is committed to building long term client relationships. This form collects your name and contact details so we can contact you about this specific enquiry. For further information, please see our Privacy Policy.