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Italy: "Ristori" Decree – New relief measures to face the health emergency by Covid-19

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published on 2 November 2020 | reading time approx. 4 minutes

 

With the issuing of Decree-Law no. 137 of 28 October 2020 (published in the Official Gazette on 28 October 2020), the so-called ”Ristori Decree”, a package of economic support measures was introduced, tailored for the activities most affected by the restrictions recently imposed to deal with the worsening of the health emergency by Covid-19.


The following paragraphs provide a summary of the main facilitation and fiscal measures.

 

 

Content

  

Facilitation measures

Non-repayable contribution for VAT tax operators affected by the new restrictions (art. 1 Ristori Decree)

The Ristori Decree provides for a new non-repayable contribution to support operators, with VAT number active as of 25 October 2020, in the industries affected by the new restrictive measures ordered by the Prime Ministerial Decree of October 24, 2020, including bars, pastry shops, ice cream parlours, restaurants, swimming pools, gyms, theaters and cinemas.

 
In this case, compensation is also payable to those entities with a turnover exceeding 5 million euros, while entities that have started their activities on or after 25 October 2020 are excluded.

 
Notwithstanding the requirement of a decrease in turnover or fees, which in the month of April 2020 must be lower than 2/3 of the amount of turnover and fees for the month of April 2019. This requirement does not apply, or rather, should not be verified, in the case of those who have been registered for VAT purposes starting from 1 January 2019.

 
The contribution will be paid by the Italian Tax Authority to those who have already received the non-repayable contribution provided for by Article 25 of the so-called "Rilancio" Decree, by means of a direct transfer to the bank or postal account where the previous contribution has been paid.

 
For those who have not already received the previous contribution, the benefit will be paid only upon submission to the Tax Authority of a separate application. A provision is expected to be issued shortly, defining terms and methods of presentation of the application. The contribution is not due in any case, if the VAT number has ceased on the date of submission of the application.

 
Given the reference, by paragraph 10 of art. 1 of the Decree in question, to the provisions of, among others, paragraphs 7 and 11 of art. 25, DL n. 34/2020, the new benefit is neither taxed for IRPEF, IRES and IRAP purposes, nor is it relevant for the purposes of the deductibility of interest payable/negative components pursuant to articles 61 and 109, paragraph 5, TUIR.

 
We would like to remind that, in the event of the contribution not being eligible, in whole or in part, the Tax Authority shall recover it with the application of the penalty pursuant to Article 13, paragraph 5, D.Lgs. no. 471/97 (from 100 to 200 per cent) and interest pursuant to Article 20, DPR no. 602/73 (4 per cent per year), while Article 316-ter of the Italian Criminal Code remains applicable.

 

Support measures for “ASD” - Amateur sports clubs (art. 3 Ristori Decree)

In order to cope with the economic downturn of amateur sports associations and clubs arising from the mitigation actions and control measures of the epidemiological emergency by Covid-19, the ”Fund for the Support of Amateur Sports Associations and Amateur Sports Clubs” is established, with an endowment of 50 million euros for the year 2020. This Fund is intended for the adoption of support and recovery measures for amateur sports associations and clubs affected by restrictive measures and the suspension of their institutional activities.

 

Extension of the suspension of real estate executive procedures on the first house (art. 4 Ristori Decree)

Article 4 of the Ristori Decree extends the suspension of the foreclosure on the first house until 31 December 2020. The measure declares ineffective any executive procedure for the seizure of real estate, referred to in Article 555 of the Italian Code of Civil Procedure for the foreclosure of the debtor's main house, carried out from 25 October 2020 to the date of entry into force of the law converting the Decree itself, thus retroactively remedying also the 4-day interval between 25 October and the date of publication of the Decree.

 

Support measures for tourism and culture operators (art. 5 Ristori Decree)

With the Ristori Decree, 100 million euros have been allocated to the Fund of running part referred to in article 89, paragraph 1, of Legislative Decree 18/2020 for the support of emergencies in the entertainment, cinema and audiovisual sectors. An additional allocation of 400 million is also foreseen for travel agencies and tour operators, 50 million for publishing, fairs and congresses.

 
A refund with vouchers is also provided for live shows scheduled from October 24th until January 2021, cancelled following the introduction of the new anti-Covid restrictions. The measure also applies to “titles purchased from 1 to 24 October not used” so far and “not usable until 31 January 2021"”.

 
The Decree extended the validity of the “Vacation Tax credit” to 30 June 2021. As a result of the extension, the bonus can be used for the payment of services offered nationwide by tourist accommodation companies, as well as bed & breakfast and farmhouses until 30 June 2021 (instead of 31 December 2020). Applications for the granting of the bonus can be submitted by 31 December 2020.

 

Support measures for export and international fairs (art. 6 Ristori Decree)

In order to support exports and international trade fairs, severely affected by the restrictions arising from the health emergency, the Decree provided for the year 2020 to allocate to the revolving fund referred to in Article 2, paragraph 1, of Decree-Law no. 251 of 28 May 1981, converted, with amendments, by Law no. 394 of 29 July 1981, a supplementary provision of 150 million euros, in addition to an increase in the authorization of expenditure for a further 200 million euros, for a total benefit of 350 million euros.

 

Support measures for the agricultural and fishery sector (art. 7 Ristori Decree)

The Ristori Decree provided for the establishment of a 100 million euro fund aimed at supporting, through the granting of non-repayable contributions, companies in the agricultural, fisheries and aquaculture sectors, which are affected by the new restrictive measures introduced by the Prime Ministerial Decree of 24 October 2020. We have to wait for a decree of the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policies, in agreement with the Minister of Economy and Finance (after hearing the Standing Conference State - Regions) to define the audience of beneficiaries and the criteria to take advantage of the benefits.

 

New tax credit for rentals (art. 8 Ristori Decree)

Regardless of the volume of revenues and compensation registered in the previous tax period, for the activities affected by the restrictions provided by the Prime Ministerial Decree of October 24, 2020, such as, among others, restaurants, bars, pastry shops, discos, gyms, swimming pools, cinemas and theaters, the extension of the tax credit for the rental of real estate for non-residential use and business lease referred to in Article 28 of the Rilancio Decree No. 34/2020 is also provided for the months of October, November, December. The tax credit provided is equal to 60 per cent of the amount of the monthly rent paid, or 30 per cent (50 per cent for accommodation facilities) in the case of service contracts with complex services or business rental that also include the availability of a property intended for business or professional activity.

 
Compared to the provisions of the Rilancio decree, the turnover limit is therefore no longer applicable, but the number of interested parties is limited to the categories covered by the new restrictive measures. 

 
On the other hand, the requirement of a decrease in turnover or fees of at least 50 per cent in the month of reference, to be verified compared to the same period of the previous year, remains.

 

Fiscal measures

Cancellation of second IMU installment (art. 9 Ristori Decree)

For the sole categories affected by the restrictions of the Prime Ministerial Decree of 24 October 2020, the second installment of the IMU (local municipal tax on buildings) for the year 2020 relating to the buildings and appliances in which the activities are carried out has been cancelled. The benefit is granted only on condition that the owners are themselves the managers of the activities carried out therein.

 

Extension of the terms of presentation of model 770 (art. 10 Ristori Decree)

The deadline for submitting the 770 2020 model for tax year 2019 (WHT return), originally scheduled for 2 November 2020 (31 October 2020 falls on Saturday), has been extended to 10 December 2020.

 

Tax litigation (art. 27 Ristori Decree)

In order to allow the regular conduct of tax disputes during the health emergency by Covid-19 while safeguarding both public health and that of the operators involved, the Ristori Decree contains a provision on the conduct of hearings with remote connection.

 
Until the end of the effects of the declaration of the state of health emergency, which for the moment is set at 31 January 2021, if there are prohibitions, limits, inability to circulate on all or part of the national territory in view of the aforementioned state of emergency or other situations of danger to public safety or those involved in various ways in the tax proceeding, is in fact authorized to conduct public hearings and council chambers with remote connection, according to their respective jurisdiction. The authorization must be received by motivated decree of the president of the CTP or the CTR at least 5 days before the date set for the public hearing or the council chamber.

 
The decrees may provide that the hearings and council chambers may be held even partially remotely, if permitted by the IT equipment of the tax court and within the limits of available technical and financial resources. In all the cases in which the discussion is arranged remotely, the secretariat must communicate to the parties, as a rule, at least 3 days before the discussion, the notice of the time and the modalities of connection.

 
As an alternative to the discussion with remote connection, the disputes fixed for the discussion in public hearing, shall be decided on the basis of the acts, unless at least one of the parties does not insist for the discussion, with a special request to be notified to the other parties involved and to be deposited at least 2 free days before the date set for the discussion.

 
In case the discussion is requested but it is not possible to proceed by remote connection, it is proceeded by written discussion, with the setting of a term not shorter than 10 days prior to the hearing for the filing of closing statements and 5 days prior to the hearing for the submission of reply statements. In the event that it is not possible to guarantee compliance with the aforesaid terms, the dispute shall be postponed to a new trial with the possibility of a written hearing in compliance with the same terms. In case of written discussion, the parties are considered present and the proceedings are deemed to have been taken at the office's premises.
The members of the panels of judges resident, domiciled or otherwise residing in places other than those in which the committee is located, upon request and prior notice to the President of the section concerned, are exempt from participation in the hearings or council chambers to be held at the headquarters of the Commission concerned.

 

Suspension of debt collection (D.L. 20 October 2020, n. 129)

At a meeting of the Council of Ministers on 18 October 2020, it was decided, posthumously, to extend the suspension of the activities of the Collection Agents.  The deadline had expired on October 15, since requests from several parties to grant an extension of the “fiscal peace” during the conversion of the “Agosto” decree were not accepted. The deadline for the suspension of the activity of the Collection Agents is now set at 31 December 2020.

 
The decree also extends until the end of the year the provision that envisages the forfeiture of accruals only after the non-payment of 10 installments, instead of 5.

 
In addition, a 12-month postponement of the deadline within which to start the notification of tax records is provided for, so as to allow for the gradual disposal of the payment records that have accumulated.
Finally, the Decree introduces a two-year extension of the deadline for the notification of documents expiring in 2020.

 
Taxpayers can therefore, on the one hand, enjoy a suspension until the end of the year of the possibility of receiving notifications of acts by the tax authorities, on the other hand, the tax authorities have one more year to be able to notify acts in 2021 and two more years for those of 2020.

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