Italy

Welcome to the high-level summary of Covid-19 related actions by the Italian Government. The details and links below have been split between “Tax Filings Affected”, “Government Employee Wages Benefits Programs” and “Government Loan Programs”; and are extracts from the more detailed information available on the websites of the Italian Praxity Participant firms’ websites, links to which are available at the bottom of this page. Praxity Participant Firms in Italy are Mazars and Pirola Pennuto Zei & Associati

Tax Filing Affected

  • There will be a postponement to June 30 of all tax obligations falling due in the period from March 8 to May 31, 2020. Including Esterometro, LIPE, Annual VAT return, etc.
  • The government will allow deductibility of the donations to institutions supporting Covid-19 activities - A deduction from the gross tax equal to 30% within the limit of € 30 thousand is recognized to natural persons while full income deductibles are recognized to business income holders
  • There will be an exemption from withholding tax for self-employed workers with revenues of less than € 400 thousand - The fees received until March 31, 2020 by subjects with revenues of less than €400 thousand are not subject to withholding tax upon presentation of a specific declaration by the earner. The earner will pay the amount of withholding tax by May 31st, 2020 or by installments up to a maximum of 5 monthly installments of the same amount starting from May 2020, without application of penalties and interest.
  • There will be a suspension of terms of checks and verifications and tax proceedings - The following liquidation activities are expected to be suspended for the period March 8th – May 31st, 2020: assessment, collection, and litigation by the offices of the tax authorities and the terms for the response to petitions.

Government Employee Wages Benefits Programs

Italian Care Law Decree

  • Layoffs for economic reasons are suspended for 60 days (from March 17th to May 16th 2020)
  • Cassa Integrazione Guadagni Ordinaria (CIGO) [Ordinary Unemployment Benefit] - This fund available to assist in wages for a nine-week limit with the limit of 1/3 workable hours. A union consultation required to be considered for the fund.

Cassa Integrazione in Deroga CIGD [Derogating Layoffs]

  • The fund is extended to the entire national territory, to all employees, of all production sectors. This fund has been extend to employers, including companies with 5 of fewer employees, who suspend or reduce their business following an epidemiological emergency, can resort to the layoffs earnings notwithstanding the new reason "COVID-19" for the maximum duration of 9 weeks. This possibility is also extended to companies that already in the process of receiving benefits from extraordinary layoffs.

Wage Integration Fund (FIS)

  • Ordinarily this fund only applies to companies with employees over 15 but in the current situation the right has also been extend to companies to 5 to 15 employees. - There is also a require approval from the INPS. They have published guidance on qualified sectors. - The possibility of accessing the ordinary check with the causal "COVID-19 emergency" is also extended to employees employed by employers registered in the Wage Integration Fund (FIS) who employ on average more than 5 employees;
  • Compensation of € 600 is recognized, on a monthly, non-taxable basis, for self-employed workers and VAT numbers. The compensation goes to an audience of almost 5 million people: professionals not enrolled in orders, artisans, traders, direct farmers, settlers and sharecroppers, seasonal workers from the tourism and spa establishments, show business workers, agricultural workers;
  • Fondo per il reddito di ultima istanza - This is the “Fund of last resort” that was set up with a budget of € 300 million as a residual fund to cover all those excluded from the € 600 compensation, including professionals registered with the orders;

Support measures for honorary magistrates in service

  • Support measures for a monthly economic contribution of € 600 for a maximum of three months and based on the actual period of suspension of activity. The contribution does not go to honorary public or private employee magistrates, even if in retirement, and cannot be combined with other contributions or indemnities, in any case, denominated, paid in accordance with the decree;
  • Equalization to sickness is envisaged for the period spent in quarantine or in fiduciary domicile with active surveillance for Covid-19, for the private sector (for the public sector the equation had already been included in the Legislative Decree of 9 March 2020);
  • In support of working parents, following the suspension of the school service, it is possible to take parental leave for children up to 12 years of age or with disabilities in situations of ascertained seriousness for 15 additional days at 50% of the remuneration treatment. Alternatively, a bonus will be awarded for the purchase of baby-sitting services within the limit of € 600, increased to € 1,000 for the staff of the National Health Service and Law enforcement agencies;
  • A bonus of 100 Euro, to be weighted by the number of working days carried out at the workplace in March 2020, is recognized in favor of employees with a total yearly income not exceeding 40,000 Euro. The bonus shall not be included in the taxable base for direct taxes purposes and shall be paid automatically by the employer, starting with the remuneration for the month of April, and in any case within the terms provided for the adjustments. Withholding tax agents recover the incentive paid by offsetting through F24 payment form. See Mazars, Pirola Pennuto Zei & Associati (Article “Wage integration treatments”), and Italian government, website for more information.

Decreto Rilancio Decree-Law no. 34 of 19 May 2020 (“Decreto Rilancio”), containing urgent measures on healthcare, the support of employment and of the economy, and social policies in connection with the COVID-19 public health emergency. Main rules concerning income-support measures:

  • Cassa integrazione guadagni ordinaria – CIGO (ordinary unemployment benefit) and assegno ordinario (income support benefit paid by Fondo di Integrazione Salariale (FIS) to employees of companies that are not eligible for CIGO benefits) for employers who in 2020 suspended or reduced working activities due to the COVID-19 emergency;
  • Ordinary unemployment benefit for companies that already qualify for cassa integrazione guadagni straordinaria - CIGS (extraordinary unemployment benefits);
  • Cassa integrazione in deroga (for employers who are not eligible for the protection measures in connection with the suspension of work or the reduction of working hours under CIGO, CIGS or FIS).

Provisions common to all COVID-19 related income-support benefit: Duration: the benefits are granted for a period of 9 weeks between 23 February and 31 August 2020, or for an additional 5-week period (again between 23 February and 31 August) by employers who during that time used up the 9-week period. The benefits will be available for an additional 4-week period between 1 September and 31 October 2020. Employers in the tourist, trade fair, congress, amusement parks, live show and movie theater industry may take advantage of the additional 4-week period before 1 September, provided that they have used up the maximum 14-week period; Eligible workers: employees on payroll at 25 March 2020; Trade union consultation: Decreto Rilancio has reintroduced the obligation to inform, consult and jointly examine the requests for CIGO and assegno ordinario FIS with the trade union organizations, including online, within three days from the prior notification; the provisions of article 22 of Decree-Law 18/2020 continue to apply for cassa integrazione in deroga; Submission of the application for CIGO and assegno ordinario FIS: the application is to be submitted within the end of the month (no longer the end of the fourth month) subsequent to that in which work activities were suspended or reduced. Applications in connection with suspended or reduced working activities in the period between 23 February and 30 April 2020 must in any case be submitted by 31 May 2020; Exemption from additional contribution: the additional contribution for the use of the benefit shall not be due; Payment of the benefits: the benefits may either be advanced by the employer or, at the latter’s request, directly paid by the Italian social security authority (INPS). The benefits under cassa integrazione guadagni in deroga are only payable directly by INPS; the employer will be required to provide INPS with the relevant information for payment of the benefit, in the manner stated by the Authority, by the 20th day of each month after that for which the benefits are due. Focus on other measures in support of workers: Paid extraordinary leave

  • Eligible workers: all employees and self-employed with children up to 12 years of age;
  • Effective date: 5 March 2020 (until 31 July 2020);
  • Duration: maximum 30 days, which may be taken continuously or intermittently by either parent;
  • Amount:
  • For employees: 50% of remuneration;
  • For self-employed registered with Gestione Separata (separate INPS social security scheme for certain categories of independent workers): 50% of 1/365 of annual income;
  • For self-employed registered with INPS: 50% of the agreed daily remuneration established by law.

Baby-sitting bonus

  • Eligible workers: all employees and self-employed with children up to 12 years of age, as an alternative to paid extraordinary leave;
  • Condition: proof of enrollment with summer camps, pre-school services, children’s educational and recreational centers or similar facilities;
  • Effective date: 5 March 2020;
  • Maximum amount: € 1,200;
  • Incompatibility: the bonus for enrollment of children with alternative educational and recreational facilities is not compatible with the bonus for pre-school (child care) services

Unpaid extraordinary leave

  • Eligible workers: all employees and self-employed with children between 13 and 16 years of age;
  • Conditions: the other parent must not qualify for income-support benefits due to suspension or cessation of business, or be unemployed;
  • Effective date: 5 March 2020 (until 31 July 2020);
  • Duration: school-closing period.

Paid leave pursuant to article 33 of law 104/1992

  • Eligible workers: workers with severe disabilities or assisting individuals with disabilities;
  • Extension: additional 12 days of paid leave (with notional social security contributions);
  • Period: May and June 2020.

Decree-law of 16 June 2020, N. 51 With the Decree-Law of 16 June 2020, n. 52, which entered into force on 17 June 2020, has been extended to all the productive sectors the possibility of enjoying the 18 weeks of social safety nets related to reductions and / or suspensions of working activity attributable to the epidemiological emergency from COVID-19 and important extensions have also been made to deadlines for submitting applications for both the aforementioned social safety nets and those in emergency income and the emergence of employment relationships.

URGENT MEASURES FOR SUPPORTING AND RELAUNCHING THE ECONOMY Decree Law – 104

  1. EXTENSION OF SOCIAL SHOCK ABSORBERS Article 1 deals with the extension of social safety nets. Employers that are expected to suspend or reduce work for events related to the health emergency can benefit from social safety nets (Ordinary Redundancy Fund, Ordinary Check for FIS Fund, Redundancy fund in derogation) for an initial duration of 9 weeks, increased by a further 9 weeks. The coverage period of these shock absorbers is equal to a total of 18 weeks placed in the period from 13 July 2020 to 31 December 2020. It is expected that the COVID-19 support requested and authorized in relation to the previous regulatory provisions, which also fall in periods after 12 July, they must be placed at the "new" 18 weeks granted. For example, if by virtue of previous requests the redundancy fund ends on July 31, the weeks from 13 to 31 July they are to be attributed to the "new" 18 total funds made available by August decree. An additional contribution paid by companies has been introduced, from commensurate with the Cash weeks exceeding the first 9. Essentially, the 18 weeks overall available, the first 9 can be used without the application of additional contribution which, on the other hand, will be applied starting from 10th. This additional contribution is determined to varying degrees on the basis of the comparison between the turnover produced by the company in the first half of 2020 with those of the same period in 2019. In particular: - 9% of the salary not paid during the Redundancy Fund if the reduction in turnover is equal to or less than 20%; - 18% of the salary not paid during the redundancy fund if there was no reduction in turnover.
  2. EXEMPTION FROM CONTRIBUTION RESULTING FROM THE USE OF SHOCK ABSORBERS SOCIAL Article 3 of the Decree introduced an exemption from the payment of social security contributions for companies that do not require the 18 weeks of layoffs (point 1 above) but which already have benefited from social safety nets in the months of May and June. In fact, the exemption is recognized within the limits of double the hours of wage supplement already used in aforementioned months of May and June (only for the share to be paid by the employer) with the exclusion of INAIL insurance premiums and must be used for a maximum period of four months, usable by 31 December 2020. It is restated on a monthly basis. This measure can also be recognized by employers who have requested periods of salary supplement pursuant to previous decrees placed, even partially, in periods after 12 July 2020. During the period of use of the exemption, the employer must comply with the prohibition of dismissal (point 5 below) under penalty of revocation of the benefit. Therefore, the COVID-19 social safety nets and the exemption in question are alternative to each other with the consequence that the choice for one or the other measurement requires careful analysis. From a technical point of view, instructions are awaited from the INPS especially for the procedure quantification of the subsidized amount in relation to the reference of "double the hours of salary supplement already used in the months of May and June ". The effectiveness of this provision is subject to the authorization of the European Commission
  3. EXEMPTION FROM CONTRIBUTION FOR NEWLY HIRED Until 31 December 2020, employers hiring temporary employees, with the exclusion of apprenticeship contracts, total exemption from the payment of social security contributions for a maximum period of six months starting from hiring, with the exclusion of bonuses due to INAIL, up to a maximum limit of Euro 8,060 (each worker) on an annual basis, restated on a monthly basis. The exemption is also recognized in cases of transformation of the employment contract a fixed term in a permanent employment contract subsequent to the date of entry into force of the Decree and can be combined with other exemptions provided for by current legislation. The exemption does not apply to workers who have had a permanent contract with the same company in the previous 6 months.
  4. FIXED-TERM CONTRACTS Until December 31, 2020, employers, subject to the overall "ordinary" limit of 24 months, they can renew or extend forward contracts (notwithstanding the provisions of in Article 21 of Legislative Decree 81/2015): a) for a maximum of 12 months; b) for one time only; c) without the need to indicate the reason. The renewals and extensions, according to the new legislation, may concern all temporary contracts determined having been eliminated the constraint of the existence of the forward contract in force on February 23, 2020. While having to wait for official confirmation from the Ministry of Labor, it is believed that the date of December 31, 2020 should be understood as the deadline to complete the extension or renewal and not as term within which the extension or renewal must end with the consequence, therefore, that the effects of these, may also occur in 2021. Another aspect that the Ministry of Labor is called to clarify is whether the new forecasts are also applicable to those workers who have already benefited from the “acausal” extension until 30 August 2020 as required by the "Relaunch Decree". Pending the aforementioned expected clarifications, yes considers that the previous possibility of extension to 30 August has no impact on the new legislative provision since these are two distinct provisions and, above all, the one contained in Law Decree 104/2020 has no retroactive effect, applying from its entry into force (15 August 2020). The same interpretation is considered to go to the requirement referred to in letter b) above, "for one time only". Basically, the fact that you have already previously extended a fixed-term contract using the "a causality" provided by the "ordinary" legislation it should not prevent making use of the new provisions referred to in the Decree in question. To example, a fixed-term contract entered into on August 20, 2019 for an initial duration of 9 months (expiring on May 20, 2020), subsequently extended for 3 months (until August 20 2020), should be able to fall within the possibility of acausal extension introduced by the Decree 104/2020.
  5. PROHIBITION OF DISMISSAL Article 14 of Law Decree 104/2020, entitled "extension of the provisions on collective and individual dismissals for justified objective reasons "has ordered the extension of the ban on dismissal already introduced by the “Cura Italia” decree which, it should be remembered, had set the date of 17 August 2020 the impossibility of resorting to dismissals for justified objective reasons or following collective redundancy procedures. Now, the new decree extends this prohibition extending it to 31 December 2020 even if, on that date, the wording of the regulatory provisions causes several doubts arise which, hopefully, will be resolved quickly. The first paragraph of Article 14 provides that employers who have not fully benefited wage integration treatments attributable to the epidemiological emergency COVID-19 or the exemption from the payment of social security contributions (see point 2 above) remains the initiation of collective dismissal procedures is precluded, as are those suspended procedures started after 23 February 2020. The second paragraph of the same article provides that employers are also precluded from the right to withdraw from the employment contract for justified objective reasons (g.m.o.) as they remain dismissal procedures suspended for g.m.o. in progress, started with the expected communication to the Territorial Labor Directorate. The meaning of the provision appears to be to prevent the termination of the employment relationship for economic reasons until you are: a) “fully benefited” of the wage integration treatments provided for by the Law Decree 104/2020; or b) "benefited" from the exemption from the payment of social security contributions. The rule, therefore, does not set a precise deadline for the duration of the block by providing for a mechanism that ends the prohibition of dismissal in the event of one of the two situations referred to over it. And therefore, for each of these hypotheses, the expiry of the prohibition must be obtained indirectly: (i) in the case of use of shock absorbers, at the end of the 18th week; (ii) in the case of using the contribution bonus, with the expiry of the incentive but no later than 4 months from the entry into force of the decree. From what has been seen above, it seems clear to identify the expiry of the constraint for those companies that make use of one of the two tools mentioned above. The most relevant doubt concerns those companies that, on the other hand, do not use them. The literal interpretation of the norm leads to believe that redundancies are also being blocked for these companies. This is because, for how the Decree is formulated, the ban remains for the entire period within which companies can benefit of the 18 weeks of social safety net (starting from 13 July 2020). Basically the prior consumption of the shock absorber is identified as an indispensable condition to end the prohibition on dismissal. And then, as long as you have a chance to use the social safety nets (from 13 July to 31 December) you cannot proceed with firing. It is clear the intent of the legislator is to prevent companies from firing first and subsequently to take advantage of the social safety nets or the contribution exemption. Paragraph 3 provides for exceptions to the above prohibition. In particular, this prohibition does not apply: a) in the event of dismissals motivated by the definitive cessation of business activity, consequent to the liquidation of the company without continuation, even partial, of the business, in the event that during the liquidation the sale of a complex of assets or activities that may constitute a transfer of a company or a branch of it (article 2112 of the Civil Code); b) in the event of bankruptcy, when the provisional exercise of the company is not foreseen, or its termination is ordered; c) in the case of a company collective agreement, stipulated by the trade unions comparatively more representative at the national level, an incentive to resolve the employment relationship, limited to workers who adhere to the aforementioned agreement. To such workers are however guaranteed the benefit of NASPI. The case referred to in letter c) is of great interest as it could prove to be a very valid tool for carrying out corporate reorganizations. The requirement is that of the incentive agreement to the "collective" exodus signed with the trade unions (R.S.A, R.S.U. or territorial representatives) with the voluntary adhesion of the individual employee to this agreement. The advantage is that, unlike the "ordinary" case of consensual termination, the Beneficiary employee will have access to NASPI unemployment benefit.

Government Loan and Support Programs

Tax credits

  • Credit transformation for prepaid taxes following the assignment of difficult to pay loans - For the companies that by December 31, 2020 transfer pecuniary claims of debtors for consideration default of 90 days, the transformation of prepaid tax credits relate to tax losses and ACE not yet used.

Room sanitization

  • A tax credit of 50% of the expenses utilized for sanitation in the workplace, within the limit of € 20 thousand for each beneficiary.

March rental of shop buildings

  • A tax credit of 60% of the amount of the rent, relating to the month of March 2020, of properties included in the cadastral category C / 1.

Suspension of payments and settlements

  • Mortgages and Loan Payment Postponement: - For small and medium enterprises, postponement of the deadlines for mortgages and loans are available. In support of SMEs, the suspension is expected until September 30th, 2020 for the payment of installments of mortgages or loans falling due before said date.

VAT:

  • For subjects with revenues of less than €2 million - Payment terms expiring in the period March 8th – March 31st 2020 can be deferred to May 31st 2020 in a single installment or in 5 equal monthly installments starting from May, without adding interests and penalties. - For subjects with activity codes identified by the R.M. n. 12 / E 2020, independently from the volume of revenues - The deferment of VAT payment terms from March 2020 to May 31, 2020 can be made a single payment or in 5 equal monthly installments starting from May, without adding interest and penalties.

Contributions and withholding taxes (Payments due from 8 March -31 March):

  • For subjects with revenues of less than €2 million - Deferment of payment terms expiring in the period 8 March - 31 March 2020 to 31 May 2020 in a single installment or in 5 equal monthly installments starting from May, without adding interests and penalties.
  • For subjects with activity codes identified by the R.M. n. 12 / E 2020, independently from the volume of revenues - Deferral of payment terms of withholding taxes, social security and insurance contributions due from April 30th, 2020 to May 31st, 2020 in a single solution or in 5 monthly installments of the same amount a starting from May, without adding interest and penalties.

Contributions and withholding taxes (Payments due from April and May)

  • For parties with revenues/fees NOT exceeding 50 million euros: decrease in revenues or fees of at least 33% in March 2020 compared with March 2019 and in April 2020 compared with April of the previous year.
  • For parties with revenues/fees exceeding 50 million euros: decrease in turnover or fees of at least 50% in March 2020 compared with March 2019 and in April 2020 compared with April of the previous year.
  • In any case, payments shall be suspended for taxpayers who have undertaken the business, trade or profession after 31 March 2019
  • The deferred amount can be paid without penalties and interest in two alternative ways: payment in one instalment by 30 June 2020 or monthly instalments of equal amount from June 2020 with a maximum of 5 instalments

Provinces of Lodi, Cremona, Bergamo and Piacenza:

  • The suspension of taxes and contributions applies to all companies regardless of the volume of revenues and to professionals who have their headquarters or domicile in the Provinces of Bergamo, Cremona, Lodi and Piacenza. The deadline for the payment is established on May 31, 2020 in a single solution or in 5 installments monthly without penalties and interest.

Tax Payment Order:

  • Payments expiring in the period from March 8th to May 31st, 2020, deriving from payment orders can be made a single payment by June 2020.
  • Tax credit for the purchase of protective equipment in the workplace (art. 30) - The decree extends the types of expenses allowed to the tax credit granted for the costs of sanitation of environments and work tools referred to in Article 64 of Decree-Law no. 18 of 2020, for business, trades or professions, including those related to the purchase of personal protective equipment, masks and glasses. The tax credit is granted, up to a maximum of € 20,000 for each beneficiary, at the rate of 50% of the expenses incurred in the fiscal year 2020. The maximum expenditure limit for the measure is € 50 million for the year 2020.
  • Temporary liquidity support measures for companies (Article 1) - SACE S.p.A. (part of the ‘Cassa Depositi e Prestiti’ group) may provide guarantees in favour of banks and other entities authorised to exercise credit in Italy in relation to loans of any kind granted to medium and large enterprises, but also to SMEs including the self-employed. - The aforementioned guarantees may be issued against loans disbursed by 31 December 2020 under the following conditions: - a) loans with a duration of no more than 6 years, with the possibility of having up to 24 months of preamortisation; - b) the impossibility of distributing dividends by the beneficiary company, as well as by any other company resident in Italy that is part of the same group to which the former belongs, during 2020; - (c) agreements with the trade unions for the management of employment levels; - (d) the funds must be used to support personnel costs, investments or working capital related to productive activities located in Italy, as documented and certified by the legal representative of the beneficiary company; - e) on 31 December 2019, the beneficiary company was not included in the category of companies in difficulty (within the meaning of EU Regulation No. 651/2014 of 17 June 2014) and on 29 February 2020 it was not included among the non-performing exposures in the banking system.

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The information contained herein on Covid-19 government measures within the G8, consists solely of information that can be found on the websites of one or more Praxity Participant firms, and has not been written, modified or verified by Praxity, it’s staff, officers or directors.