Prepared by Carlo Romano, Maurizio Foti and Giulia Faustini
With the latest Law Decree n. 129/2020 (published in the Official Journal n. 260 on October 20th, 2020 and entered into force on October 21st, 2020, hereinafter also the “Decree”), the Italian Legislator has introduced urgent measures in the field of the tax collection. More precisely, the Decree has modified Article n. 68 of the Law Decree n. 18/2020 (so called “Decreto Cura Italia”), which sets forth the regime of the suspension of the terms for the payment of the taxes attributed to the Collector Agent.
Payment of the tax files, debts advice and deeds of tax assessment
The deadline of the suspension of the activity of the Collector Agents, originally set on October 15th, 2020, has been postponed to December 31st, 2020. With specific regards to the collection of taxes and other no tax debts, the deadlines for the payments that fall between March 8th, 2020 and December 31st, 2020, and that are related to tax files issued by the Collector Agents, to executive deeds of assessment – also related to excises and duties – to tax injunctions of local authorities and to the executive assessments of local Authorities, are suspended.
These payments area suspended within the end of the calendar year and must be made in one installment within one month after the expiration of the suspension period, i.e. within January 31st, 2021. In this regard, in some cases taxpayers can request an installment payment (within January 31st, 2021, as illustrated in the answer to the F.A.Q. n. 5 published on the Revenue Agency-Collector Agent’s website) of the amounts subject to the suspension.
Moreover, as provided in the Revenue Agency Circular 25/E of 20 August 2020, the notification of new tax files related to taxes attributed to the Collector Agent before the beginning of the suspension period as well as during the suspension period itself, are suspended for the period running between March 8, 2020 and 31st December 2020 (previously the period was from 8 March 2020 to 15 October 2020) and so are the recovery activities, included the coercive ones (executive deeds of assessment/debt advices/executive deeds/tax collection notices/tax files), already expired before the suspension period. In addition, as specified in the answer to the F.A.Q. n. 10 published following the publication of the new Decree, no tax collection activity can be initialed with reference to a tax file whose payment deadlines are expired before 8 March 2020.
Forfeiture of the right of a payment extension
Article n. 68 of the Decreto Cura Italia, as known, has introduced the forfeiture of the right of a payment extension in case of lack of payment of 10 instalments, even non-consecutive (the ordinary regime limits this right in case of lack of payment of only 5 instalments). This regime, however, refers only to the instalments agreed upon in relation to forfeiture plans already existing by 8 March 2020 and the requests for instalments submitted until 31 December 2020 (prior to the measures introduced with the Decree the deadline was October 15, 2020).
Postponement of 12 months of the statute of limitations and forfeiture
With the new paragraph 4-bis of Article n. 68 of the Decreto Cura Italia, introduced by the Decree, the statute of limitations and forfeiture of the tax files related to the tax debts referred to taxes and non-tax debts attributed to the Collector Agent during the suspension period (8 March – 31 December 2020) – which would have expired in 2021, have been postponed of 12 months. Therefore, the Collector Agent can notify the tax debts until 31 December 2022.
In relation to the tax files expiring in 2020, according to paragraph 4-bis of Article n. 68 of the Decreto Cura Italia, the statute of limitations and forfeiture for the notification of the tax files are postponed of two years compared to the ordinary term provided by Article 12, paragraph, 2, of Legislative Decree n. 159/2015. Therefore, also in those cases, the Collector Agent could notify the tax files also in relation to these debts up until 31 December 2022.
However, the Decree is without prejudice of the application of Article n. 157, paragraph 3, of the Law Decree n. 34/2020 (hereinafter also “Decreto Rilancio”), according to which the deadline for notifying the tax files (pursuant to Article 25, paragraph 1, letter a) and b) of the Presidential Decree n. 602/1973), which regards: i) the liquidation of the tax returns pursuant to Article 36-bis of the Presidential Decree n. 602/1973 and Article 54-bis of the Presidential Decree n. 633/1972 filed in 2018; ii) the payments of the tax returns of the withholding agents, pursuant to Articles 19 and 20 of the Presidential decree n. 917(1986 filed in 2017; iii) the liquidation of the tax returns pursuant to Article 36-ter of the Presidential Decree n. 600/1973 filed in 2017 and 2018, is postponed by one year.
Foreclosures of salaries and pensions
Article 1, paragraph 2, of the Decree has also set forth the suspension until 31December 2020 of the obligation of allocation deriving from third-party foreclosures made prior to the tax collection date by the Collector Agent and by the persons inscribed in the register of the assessments and the collection of the local taxes concerning the sums due by way of wage, salary, other indemnities related to the employment relationship, as well as those related to retirement, including allowances that replace pensions or allowances of acquiescence.
Therefore, until 31 December 2020 the obligations deriving from third-party foreclosures, made by collector agents before the entry into force of the Decreto Rilancio, if concerning the sums due by way of wage, salary, other indemnities related to the employment relationship, as well as those related to retirement and similar sums are suspended (for instance, in case of foreclosure of the salary, the employer could not withhold sums until 31 December 2020). From 1 January 2021 all the obligations of the third-party debtor will return to apply.
“Rottamazione-ter” and “Saldo e stralcio”
No measure has been introduced by Decree in relation to the statute of limitation of the so-called “Rottamazione-ter” and “Saldo e stralcio” (whose regime was already modified by the Decreto Rilancio), therefore, taxpayers compliant with the payment of the instalments expired in 2019 can make payments of the instalments that will expire in 2020, until 10 December 2020 without any delay and without losing the benefits of the facilitating measures.
On the contrary, taxpayers lapsed from the facilitating measures of the “Rottamazione-ter”, “Saldo e stralcio” and of the settlement of the EU sums (so-called “Definizione agevolata delle risorse UE”), for no payment, insufficient or late payment, of the instalments expired in 2019, can benefit of a deferred payment of the sums still due, pursuant to Article 19 of the Presidential Decree n. 602/1973, as amended by the Decreto Rilancio.
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