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.
Decree-Law of 14 August 2020, n. 104, converted into the Law of 13 October 2020, n. 126 Decree Tax Matters includes:
- Depreciation of Tangible and Intangible Fixed Assets- The option was introduced not to carry out up to 100% of the annual amortization of the cost of tangible and intangible fixed assets.
- VAT Group - With a rule of authentic interpretation, the rules on operations have been modified carried out by the VAT Group and towards it.
- Tourism - The scope of application of the urgent measures envisaged for the tourism sector has been expanded
- Agricultural Activities - An authentic interpretation rule has been introduced regarding IMU (pursuant to and for the effects of Article 1, paragraph 23, of the Law of 27 July 2000, n. 212).
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;
- 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.
- 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.
Update: The Revenue Agency in Circular no. 26 / E of 15 October 2020 provided some clarifications - in the form of questions and answers - relating to the application of Article 124 of Decree-Law 19 May 2020, n. 34 containing “Urgent measures regarding health, support for work and the economy, as well as social policies related to the emergency epidemiological from COVID-19 ".
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 INCOME-SUPPORT BENEFITS Article 1 deals with the extension of income-support benefits for workers of companies that have temporarily shut down or reduced their business activities in connection with the healthcare emergency (Cassa Integrazione Ordinaria, Assegno Ordinario Fondo FIS, Cassa Integrazione in Deroga), for a period of 9 + 9 weeks between 13 July and 31 December 2020. The weeks of benefits requested under the prior legislation but falling after 12 July will be included in such new 18-week period (for example, if a company had already applied for Cassa Integrazione until 31 July, the weeks from 13 to 31 July will be deducted from the additional 18-week period made available by the August decree). In terms of the cost to the employers, an additional contribution will be payable to take advantage of the additional weeks of income-support benefits starting from the 10th (no contribution will be due for the initial 9-week period). This additional contribution will be calculated on the basis of the reduction in turnover in the first 2020 half-year compared to the first 2019 half-year, as follows: • 9% of the remuneration not paid during Cassa Integrazione, if turnover decreased by 20% or less; • 18% if no reduction in turnover occurred; No contribution is due if turnover decreased by more than 20% or if the company started doing business after the first 2019 half-year. The aggregate 18-week period can be taken in two 9-week instalments. The second 9-week period is granted only to employers who were authorized to take the first 9-week period. 2. EXEMPTION FROM PAYMENT OF SOCIAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTIONS IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OF INCOME-SUPPORT BENEFITS Article 3 of the Decree introduced a social security contribution exemption for companies which have not asked to qualify for the additional 18-week period under point 1 but which took advantage of income-support benefits for their workers in May and June. The exemption (of the employer’s share of the social security contributions) is granted as to twice the number of hours during which income-support benefits were applied for in May and June, does not include contributions to INAIL (the Italian worker’s compensation insurance authority) and is available for a maximum of four months, by 31 December 2020. The exemption is also available to employers who applied for income-support benefits under the earlier rules but which partly fall within periods subsequent to 12 July 2020. During the period in which an employer qualifies for the social security contribution exemption, he will be under the prohibition to dismiss workers (see point 5); if he does, the exemption will be revoked. The COVID-19 income-support benefits and the social security contribution exemption are mutually exclusive; therefore, the choice of one or the other requires careful analysis. Instructions from INPS (the Italian social security authority) are awaited, especially to determine the amount to the exemption with regard to “twice the number of hours during which income-support benefits were applied for in May and June”. The application of this provision is subject to authorization by the European Commission. 3. SOCIAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTION EXEMPTION FOR NEW HIRES Until 31 December 2020, companies who employ workers under an indefinite-term agreement are entitled to full exemption from social security contributions (not including INAIL contributions) for up to 6 months from the employment date and for a maximum of Euro 8,060 per worker per annum (proportionally recalculated on a monthly basis). The exemption is granted also if fixed-term employment contracts are changed into indefinite-term contracts, and may be combined with other exemptions currently granted by law. The exemption does not apply to workers who have been employed by the company under an indefinite-term contract for the prior 6 months. 4. FIXED-TERM CONTRACTS Until 31 December 2020, employers – subject to the standard maximum 24-month period – may renew or extend fixed-term contracts (by way of derogation from the provisions of article 21 of legislative decree 81/2015): a) For a maximum of 12 months; b) Only once; c) With no need to specify the reason for the renewal/extension. Under the new rules, renewals and extensions may concern all fixed-term contracts. Pending official confirmation from the Labor Ministry, it is believed that 31 December 2020 should be intended as the deadline for deciding on the extension or renewal, and not as the date by which the extension or renewal are to be concluded. Consequently, any extension or renewal may have an impact also in 2021. Another issue to be clarified by the Ministry is whether the new provisions apply also for workers who were already eligible for the extension with no need to specify a reason therefor until 30 August 2020, pursuant to “Decreto Rilancio”. Pending official guidance, it is believed that the two provisions are unrelated and that the one under Decree 104/2020 has no retroactive effect (as it applies as of the date of its entry into force, i.e. 15 August 2020). The same interpretation should apply in respect of the condition under letter b) above, “only once”. In practice, the fact that a fixed-term contract had already been extended without specific reasons in accordance with the “ordinary” rules, should not prevent employers from taking advantage of the new provisions under the August decree. For example, a fixed-term agreement entered into on 20 August 2019 for an initial 9-month duration (expiring 20 May 2020), and subsequently extended for a 3-month period (until 20 August 2020), should be eligible for the extension with no need to specify the relevant reason, introduced by Decree 104/2020. 5. PROHIBITION TO DISMISS Article 14 of Decree Law 104/2020, named “extension of the provisions on collective and individual dismissals due to justified objective reasons” has extended to 31 December 2020 (although official confirmation is required) the prohibition to dismiss introduced by “Decreto Cura Italia” until 17 August 2020. Article 14(1) provides that employers who have not wholly taken advantage of the COVID-19 related income-support benefits or of the social security contribution exemption (see point 2 above) are not allowed to initiate collective dismissal procedures; likewise, collective dismissal procedures started after 23 February 2020 have been suspended. Article 14(2) provides that employers are not allowed to terminate an employment contract due to justified objective reasons; furthermore, ongoing dismissal procedures for justified objective reasons, initiated after the required notification to the competent labor authority (Direzione Territoriale del Lavoro) are to be suspended. Purpose of the measure is to prevent termination of employment for financial reasons until the employer: a) Has taken advantage of all income-support benefits provided by decree law 104/2020; or b) Has taken advantage of the social security contribution exemption. The rule does not set a deadline for the end of the prohibition to dismiss, but simply links it to the occurrence of one of the above conditions. Therefore, (i) if income-support benefits are applied for, the prohibition expires at the end of the 18th week and (ii) if the social security contribution exemption is applied for, the prohibition expires at the end of the incentive and in any case not later than 4 months after the entry into force of the decree. While it is clear how the expiration date of the prohibition is determined for companies which take advantage of one of the two above benefits, there are doubts as to how it should be determined for companies which have not applied for either. According to the literal interpretation of the rules, the prohibition to dismiss should apply also for these companies, on the basis that according to the Decree the prohibition applies throughout the period in which companies are able to take advantage of the 18-week period of income-support benefits (starting from 13 July 2020). Therefore, throughout the period in which the income-support benefits are available (between 13 July to 31 December), companies may not dismiss their employees. It is clear that the intention of the lawmakers is to avoid that company first dismiss employees and then apply for the benefits or exemption. Article 14(3) provides for exceptions to the prohibition, as follows: a) Dismissals in connection with the definitive shutdown of business as a result of liquidation without continuation (if during the liquidation proceedings no sale of a set of assets takes place which may constitute a transfer of business or of a business division pursuant to article 2112 of the Italian civil code); b) Bankruptcy; c) Collective company agreements with the trade unions to offer termination incentives to those workers who wish to accept the arrangement. Such workers are in any case eligible for the NASPI unemployment benefits. The case under letter c) could be a helpful instrument to implement corporate reorganizations. The pre-condition is the execution of an agreement with the Trade Unions to offer “collective” incentives to leave, to be individually accepted by the workers concerned. The difference with the consensual termination of employment is that under this procedure workers will be eligible for the NASPI unemployment benefits.
Decreto Ristori On 28 October 2020, the Decree-Law no. 137/2020, Refreshments Decree, which contains, among other things, important measures in the labor sector that are set out below they report. The Decree enters into force the day following that of publication in the Official Gazette. Article 12, paragraphs 1 to 7 of the Refreshments Decree, in order to deal with the health emergency caused by the resumption of infections, has a further 6 weeks of ordinary layoffs, in derogation and ordinary check related to the COVID-19 emergency to be used in the period between November 16, 2020 and January 31, 2021. Any salary integration periods previously requested and authorized pursuant to August Decree (article 1 Decree-Law no.104 / 2020) placed, even partially, in periods after 15 November 2020, they are automatically charged, if authorized, to 6 weeks provided for by the decree in question. These 6 weeks are recognized for employers who have been fully authorized on second block of the 9 weeks foreseen by the August Decree (those to be requested with reason "COVID-19 with turnover") and on condition that the aforementioned period has completely expired, as well as employers belonging to the sectors that have been affected by the restrictions introduced by the D.P.C.M. of 24 October 2020 which orders the closure or limitation of activities economic and productive. The granting of the aforementioned 6 weeks of social safety net takes place without additional charges at the expense of companies that have suffered a reduction in turnover equal to or greater than 20% or that have started business activity after 1 January 2020; otherwise, an additional contribution will be paid as follows:
- 9% of the total remuneration that would have been due to the worker for non-working hours provided during the suspension or reduction of work, for employers who they had a reduction in turnover of less than 20%;
- 18% of the total remuneration that would have been due to the worker for non-working hours provided during the suspension or reduction of work, for employers who they did not experience any reduction in turnover
The deadline for submitting license applications to INPS, in line with the provisions of the previous provisions on the subject, is set, under penalty of forfeiture, by the end of the following month to the one in which the period of suspension or reduction of work began. However, in the phase of first application, the deadline is set by the end of the month following a that of entry into force of the Refreshments Decree, ie November 30, 2020. To the question it must be attached the self-certification, made pursuant to D.P.R. 445/2000, regarding the existence of any reduction in turnover. Although nothing is said about the procedural aspects, in analogy with the August Decree, we believe that prior trade union information is necessary. The possibility of direct payment by INPS is confirmed. For this purpose the employer is required to send the Institute all the data necessary for the payment or for the balance of the integration salary by the end of the month following that in which the integration period is located salary, or, if later, within thirty days from the adoption of the provision of concession. In the first application, the terms referred to in this paragraph are moved to thirtieth day following the entry into force of this decree, if that last date is after that referred to in the first sentence. After these terms have elapsed in vain, the payment of the performance and related charges remain the responsibility of the defaulting employer. Paragraph 7 provides that the deadline for sending requests for access to treatments is expired connected to the COVID-19 emergency and transmission of the data necessary for payment or the balance of the same which, in application of the ordinary rules, are between 1 and 10 September 2020, is scheduled for October 31, 2020. Elements of the decree include:
- Exemption form payment of social security contributions for companies that do not require cash integration treatment
- Suspension of the terms for the payment of social security contributions ED assistance
Government Loan and Support Programs
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Links to Our Member Firms
Further Covid-19 advice
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.