Italy: Information about the new measures introduced by the Decree-Law No. 23 of 8 April 2020 in relation to the covid-19 epidemiological emergency

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published on 15 April 2020 | reading time approx. 11 minutes

  

With the issuing of Decree-Law no. 23 of 8 April 2020 concerning measures related to access to credit and tax compliance for businesses, special powers in strategic sectors, as well as intervention in healthcare and work, extension of administrative and procedural deadlines related to the epidemiological emergency by covid-19 (published in the Official Gazette General Series no. 94 of 08-04-2020), new measures have been introduced to deal with the health emergency that has recently affected Italy.

  

  
With regard to the fiscal area, the Government has implemented a series of measures to suspend, postpone or shift tax payments and fulfilments, in addition to what already provided for in the previous Decree-Law no. 18 of March 17 2020 (“Cura Italia” Decree), whose provisions remain valid, for those entitled, for the month of April 2020.
 
In the paragraph below, we provide a summary of the main measures introduced by the aforementioned Decree-Law no. 23 of 8 April 2020, with regard to tax deadlines for those subjects who have their fiscal domicile, registered office or operating headquarters in the territory of the State.

 

Remittance for overdue payments on 16 March - Art. 21

All payments to public administrations, including taxes, social security and welfare contributions and compulsory insurance premiums due on 16 March 2020, already deferred by the “Cura Italia” Decree Law to 20 March for taxpayers with revenues exceeding 2 million euros, are considered timely if made by 16 April 2020, without penalties and interest.
 
The 2019 VAT balance, for which the ordinary deadline expired on 16 March, can therefore be paid by 16 April by taxpayers with revenues exceeding 2 million euro, notwithstanding the longer deadline of 31 May for other taxpayers.
 

Suspension of payments (Taxpayers with revenues lower than € 50 million in 2019) – Art. 18 par. 1 e 2

Payments due in April and May 2020 are suspended for taxpayers who, in the previous tax period (2019), have accrued revenues and compensation not exceeding €50 million and who have suffered a reduction in turnover or compensation in March 2020 of at least 33 per cent compared to March 2019 and in April 2020 compared to the same month in 2019.
 
The deferral of payment deadlines applies to taxes subject to self-liquidation concerning withholding taxes on employees' and similar income, social security and welfare contributions, and compulsory insurance premiums, as well as value added tax.
 
The payment deadline is set at 30 June 2020, in a single installment, or in five equal monthly installments starting in June 2020, without the application of interest and penalties.
 

Suspension of payments (Taxpayers with revenues higher than € 50 million in 2019) - Art. 18 par. 3 e 4

Payments due in April and May 2020 are suspended for taxpayers who, in the previous tax period (2019), have accrued revenues and compensation exceeding €50 million and who have suffered a reduction in turnover or compensation in March 2020 of at least 50 per cent compared to March 2019 and in April 2020 compared to the same month in 2019.
 
The deferral of payment deadlines applies to taxes subject to self-liquidation concerning withholding taxes on employees' and similar income, social security and welfare contributions, and compulsory insurance premiums, as well as value added tax.
 
The payment deadline is set at 30 June 2020, in a single installment, or in five equal monthly installments starting in June 2020, without the application of interest and penalties.
 

Suspension of payments (Taxpayers who started the activity after 31 March 2019) – Art. 18 par. 5

The suspension of payments also applies to those who started the activity after 31 March 2019.
The payment deadline is set at 30 June 2020, in a single installment, or in five equal monthly installments starting in June 2020, without the application of interest and penalties.
 

Suspension of value added tax payments (Taxpayers in Bergamo, Brescia, Cremona, Lodi and Piacenza) – Art. 18 par. 6

The suspension of value added tax payments applies, regardless of the volume of revenues or compensation received in the previous tax period, to those carrying on business activities, art or profession that have their fiscal domicile, registered office or operating headquarters in the Provinces of Bergamo, Brescia, Cremona, Lodi and Piacenza, also for the months of April and May 2020, provided that they have suffered a reduction in turnover or compensation in the month of March 2020 of at least 33 per cent compared to the month of March 2019 and in the month of April 2020 compared to the same month of 2019.
 
The payment deadline is set at 30 June 2020, in a single installment, or in five equal monthly installments starting in June 2020, without the application of interest and penalties.
 

Suspension of other tax obligations – Art. 22

With regard to the provisions concerning the terms related to the 2020 pre-filled tax return, the deadline for the delivery to the beneficiaries and for the electronic transmission of the 2020 Certifications is postponed to April 30, 2020, without application of sanctions, without prejudice to the other provisions of art. 62 of the “Cura Italia” Decree Law.
 

Withholding tax: postponement (Taxpayers with revenues lower than € 400.000 in 2019) – Art. 19

The term already provided for by the “Cura Italia” Decree Law is extended to 31 May with reference to the date of accrual of revenues and compensation received by subjects with revenues or compensation not exceeding € 400.000 in the previous tax period (2019).
 
The fees received in the period from 17 March 2020 to 31 May 2020 are therefore not subject to withholding tax as per articles 25 and 25 bis of D.P.R. 600/1973 (on income from self-employment and other income on remunerations relating to commission, agency, brokerage, trade representation and business procurement), upon the non-exposure of the withholding tax on the invoice and the submission of a specific declaration by the recipient.
 
Those who have incurred expenses for employment or equivalent services in the previous month will not be able to benefit from this provision.
 
Withholding taxes shall be paid by the recipient in a single installment by 31 July 2020 (the previous deadline of 31 May 2020 is cancelled), without the application of penalties and interest. In this regard, a special tax code will soon be instituted by the Tax Revenue Agency.
 
It is still possible to benefit from the payment by 5 equal installments starting from the month of July 2020 (no longer May 2020), without the application of sanctions and interest.
 

Below are the additional accounting and tax provisions contained in Legislative Decree no. 23/2020 (“Decreto Liquidità”).
 

June advance payments method - Art. 20

With regard to the payment of tax advances due in June 2020, in order to support taxpayers who, as a result of the epidemiological crisis, could incur a decrease in taxable income in respect of IRPEF, IRES and IRAP, the Decree allows them to calculate and pay the advances due using the provisional method.
 
For tax period 2020 only, therefore, no penalties or interest will be applied if the prepayments made for the purposes of personal and corporate income tax and regional tax on productive activities are later revealed to be not lower than 80 per cent of the amount due on the basis of the tax return for the current tax period.
 

Tax credit for the purchase of protective equipment in the workplace - Art. 30

With regard to tax credits, the Decree-Law extends the 50 per cent tax credit facilitation already provided for the sanitation of workplaces and work tools, as per art. 64 of the “Cura Italia” Decree Law, also to the expenses incurred for the purchase of personal protective equipment (surgical masks, protective overalls, glasses or visors) and of other safety devices to protect workers from accidental exposure to viruses or to guarantee their distancing (panels). The criteria and methods of application and use of the tax credit will be established by a Ministerial Decree, to be implemented by 16 April 2020.
 
Extension of validity of the certificates referred to in article 17-bis, paragraph 5, of legislative decree no. 241 of 9 July 1997, issued in February 2020 - Art. 23
 
With regard to the obligation, in relation to tender contracts, to pay withholding taxes on employees' and similar income for workers employed in the execution of the work or service, as well as the related social security contributions and INAIL premiums, in compliance with certain conditions set out in Article 17-bis of Legislative Decree 241/97, Article 23 of Legislative Decree no. 23/2020 provides that the certificates pursuant to art. 17-bis paragraph 5 of Legislative Decree no. 241/97 issued by the Italian Revenue Agency until 29 February 2020 - aimed at notifying the client by the contractors or subcontractors of the existence of the requirements set out in the same paragraph so that the obligations relating to the aforementioned withholding taxes and compensation do not apply - remain valid until 30 June 2020.
 

Terms and conditions for “Prima Casa” benefits - Art. 24

During the period between 23 February 2020 and 31 December 2020, the terms set out in note II-bis of Article 1 of the Tariff annexed to Presidential Decree no. 131 of 1986, are suspended; namely: the period of 18 months from the purchase of the first home, within which the taxpayer must transfer the residence to the municipality where the property is located; the term of one year within which the taxpayer who sold the property purchased with the “Prima Casa” benefits must proceed with the purchase of another property to be used as his main residence, requested in order not to lose the original benefit in case of transfers occurred within 5 years from the purchase; the term of one year within which the taxpayer who purchased a property to be used as his main residence must proceed with the sale of the property still in his possession. The deadline for the repurchase of the first house provided for by Article 7 of Law No. 448/1998 is also extended in order to benefit from the tax credit relating to registration tax or VAT paid in relation to the "first" facilitated purchase. The above-mentioned terms will start to run again at the end of the suspension period.

 
Remote tax assistance - Art. 25

With reference to the 2019 tax period and until the termination of the state of health emergency, it is allowed to those who have income from employment and similar to send to the CAF and qualified professionals the proxy to access the pre-filled declaration (“Precompilata”) electronically (where necessary, also by means of a copy of an appropriate authorization prepared in a free and signed form). Such telematic modalities are also allowed for the submission of declarations, models and applications for access or use of services to INPS. The above-mentioned proxies and documentation must be promptly delivered for regularization once the current emergency situation has ceased.
 

Simplifications for the payment of stamp duty on electronic invoices - Art. 26

It is provided that if the amount of stamp duty due for electronic invoices issued in the first calendar quarter of the year is less than €250 (but the total amount of tax due for the first and second quarter is more than €250), the payment can be made within the deadline for payment of stamp duty on invoices issued in the second quarter of the year (deadline 20.07.2020). If, taking into account also the stamp duty due on invoices issued in the second quarter of the year, the total amount (first quarter and second quarter) to be paid remains less than €250, the stamp duty due in respect of the first and second quarter of the year may be paid within the time limits set for the payment of the stamp duty due on electronic invoices issued in the third quarter of the reference year (deadline 20.10.2020). The ordinary deadlines for payment of stamp duty due on electronic invoices issued in the third and fourth calendar quarter of the year (i.e. 20.10.2020 and 20.01.2021 respectively) remain unchanged.
 

Free supply of drugs for compassionate use - Art. 27

The presumption of supply of goods for VAT purposes does not apply to free supplies of medicines under authorised compassionate use programmes, nor does the market value of such supplies is considered as revenue for direct tax purposes.
 

Amendments to art. 32-quater, DL no. 124/2019 on the regulation of profits distributed to simple companies - Art. 28

The rules laid down in Article 32-quater of Decree Law No. 124/2019 on profits distributed to incorporated partnership (“Società Semplici”) are amended. In particular, the amendments are aimed at:

  1. Including within the scope of application of the aforementioned regulations also dividends distributed by companies and entities not resident in the territory of the State, with the exclusion of profits from companies or entities resident or located in States or territories with a privileged tax regime (on which the provisions of the TUIR continue to apply);
  2. Clarifying the procedures for the application of the 26 per cent withholding tax for the share of profits attributable to resident individuals in relation to qualified and non-qualified shareholdings not related to the company pursuant to art. 65 TUIR;
  3. Providing for the formation of the total income for the entire amount for the share of profits attributable to shareholders public and private entities other than companies, non-commercial trusts and undertakings in collective investment, resident in the territory of the State;
  4. Providing, for the share of profits attributable to shareholders who are not resident in the territory of the State, the taxation with the application of withholding taxes in the measures provided for in Article 27 of Presidential Decree 600/1973;
  5. Regulating a transitional regime for profits produced up to the financial year in progress as at 31 December 2019, the distribution of which is approved by 31 December 2022. These profits are subject to the tax regime in force at the time of the amendments made by Law no. 205 of 27 December 2017.


Tax justice provisions - Articles 29 and 36

There is an obligation for all parties in the tax process who have joined the lawsuit by analogical means to serve and file subsequent documents, as well as court orders, exclusively by telematic means. A new provision is also introduced to allow the Judicial Offices to serve the sanctioning acts resulting from omitted or partial payment of the unified contribution (“Contributo Unificato”) through PEC (even if the imposition of the sanction is contained in the invitation for payment referred to in Article 248 of the TUSG) at the address for service or, in the absence of such indication, by filing at the Secretariat Office of the Tax Commissions or at the competent registry.
 
The deadline set by art. 83 of Legislative Decree no. 18/2020 of 15 April 2020 is postponed to 11 May 2020 in relation to the ex officio postponement of the hearings of the tax proceedings pending at all the judicial offices and the suspension of the expiration of the deadline for the completion of any act for tax proceedings. Finally, the terms for the suspension of proceedings for both parties to the tax proceedings are realigned. In fact, the suspension period set at 31 May 2020 for the litigation activities of the tax authorities by Article 67, paragraph 1, of Legislative Decree no. 18/2020 is brought forward to 11 May 2020.
 

Prohibition of accumulation of pensions and income - Art. 34

It is clarified, with reference to the Fund set up in favour of workers damaged by the covid-19 by art. 44 of Legislative Decree no. 18/2020, that professionals who are members, on an exclusive basis, of the private law institutions of compulsory social security, as per Legislative Decree no. 509/1994 and 193/1996 and who do not have direct pension benefits, can benefit from the indemnity provided for by the same article.
 

PIN Inps - Art. 35

Until the end of the state of emergency, INPS is allowed to release its digital identities (INPS PIN) in a simplified way, through the telematic acquisition of the elements necessary to identify the applicant, postponing the verification with direct recognition, i.e. with remote facial recognition, until the end of the current emergency state.

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