How to open an Italian bank account for US residents with the Italian fiscal code

In this article we will give an answer to a frequent question we receive from American Citizens living in the US: is it possible to open an Italian bank account without being tax resident in Italy while having the Italian fiscal code?
The answer is yes.
Let's see how to open an Italian bank account as non-resident.

Why opening an Italian bank account as non-resident?

The first thing to consider is the fact that having an Italian bank account can be very useful not only for American Citizens who want to move to Italy, but also for US Citizens who want to remain tax resident in the US, but they have the intention of spending more time in Italy.

This can happen for several reasons; the American Citizen may in fact:

- be interested in buying a house in Italy. Please, take a look at our section:

- be interested in spending more time in Italy for vacation;
- be interested in some Educational and University program in Italy for US students; Please, take a look at this link;
- be interested in searching a place or a job for a future move to Italy;
- be interested in buying some piece of Italian art, like paintings and sculptures.

The main advantage of having an Italian bank account in these cases, is that it's possible to:

- withdraw money from an Italian ATM; many times it's possible to do the same with an American Credit Card, but the exchange rates that are applied are really expensive. Moreover, not always the ATM machine allows the withdrawal from a US credit card. 
- to pay for larger amount of money, like when you buy a house or a car, that are not usually in the crediT card limits. 

The documents needed.

Now, what are the necessary documents you need to open a bank account?
You need the following documents:

1) The Italian Fiscal code;
2) An identity document;
3) A valid address in the US.

About the Italian Fiscal code, this is really the most important document you need, as without it you cannot do anything.
If you want to get an Italian Fiscal code, please see the following link:

About the Identity document, the most used one is for sure your American Passport. The American driver's license is sometimes accepted, but it's not technically an Identity document and most of the times is rejected.
Keep in mind that the identity document is important in Italy for all the privacy laws and also for the anti- money laundering legislation.

About the address: you have to give your US address, as you are qualified as a Non-resident bank account holder.

Is it possible to open an Italian bank account on-line?

This is another very common question, but the answer is, generally speaking, negative: you must come to Italy, show your documents and sign all the papers in person.
This is due to the fact the anti-money laundering legislation is pretty strict in Italy and the bank wants to make sure that the person opening the bank account exists and has exactly the identity that he/she is claiming.

Some important hints.

There are several hints that we give to our clients when opening the first Italian bank account as non-tax resident.

Hint n. 1: No business bank accounts

An important consideration that must be kept in mind is that the American Citizen not living in Italy can open an Italian bank account only as a private person: it's not allowed the possibility to open a corporate or business bank account in Italy as non-resident person.

Hint n. 2: Be careful with the tax residence variables.

Opening an Italian bank account as non-resident from a fiscal point of view is possible, but keep in mind that having an Italian bank account is clearly a tie to the Italian Country. So, every time that the tax residence is under evaluation, because the number of days spent in Italy is close to 183 days in the calendar year, or because the spouse or the children already live in Italy, the assets possessed in Italy (bank account included) are elements in favor of the Italian fiscal residence.
See the following links for a deeper understanding of the concept of Italian fiscal residence:

Hint n. 3: It's better a bigger bank 

When the problem becomes which Italian bank to choose, it's important to understand that bigger banks are more used to have non-resident clients, and so it's easier to find someone able to qualify correctly the bank account.
It's also advisable to choose the branch/office of a bank in a larger city than a smaller one: bank offices in larger cities have more employees, and it's more likely that you will find someone speaking English.

Hint n. 4: Ask for your homebanking.

Another important hint is to ask for the immediate activation of the "homebanking" tool: in this way you will be able to operate from the US on-line in your Italian bank account. Keep in mind that Italian rules for identifying the person operating on-line is much stricter than in the US.
Also, we suggest to avoid those banks that do not have physical offices: the fact that you can operate only on-line or at the phone is, in the long run, a limitation that can be problematic.

Hint n. 5: Report the Italian bank account in your US Tax return.

This is one of the most important US obligations that are connected with opening an Italian Bank account: you must report it inside your US tax return, in a specific part called FBAR, Foreign Bank Accoun Report.
There are severe penalties in case of not reporting it, so remember to tell your CPA before doing the US tax return.
Please, take a look at this article:


1) Our section of posts tagged with the keyword "TAX RESIDENCE" that you can find at the following link:

2) Our section of posts tagged with the keyword "MOVING TO ITALY" that you can find at the following link:

3) The following posts:


If you need more information you can send an email to:

or make a phone call to the following number:

+39 0444 322987

Enrico Povolo