Annual Cap on the social security individual taxable base: the INPS (National Institute for Social Security) massive control activity

Prepared by Marzio Scaglioni and Davide Poli

As it’s well known, indeed, from 1° January 1996 (article 2, para. no. 18), Law no. 335/1995) the Social Security system concerns the annual cap on the contribution and retirement base applicable to all workers who didn’t have seniority contributions by 31 December 1995 (and so to all people enrolled in retirement management since 1° January 1996, as well as to who opted for the application of the so-called. “contribution system”).

For workers who are part of the contributory retirement system, any remuneration received above the contribution cap (identified, for the year 2020, amounting to € 103.055,00) should not be subject to social security contribution charges neither to the employer nor to the employee (as a result, it is not calculated for the purposes of calculating retirement benefits) without reference to the so-called minor social security contributions.

For the purposes of the correct performance of the contribution obligations – of particular importance also for the considerable complexity and for deadlines about practices of “recovery” of the contribution paid in excess– the employer is then called when hiring or the level of remuneration of workers concerned is above the annual threshold of contribution cap, to obtain a declaration by the worker attesting to the existence or non-existence of useful or usable periods for the purposes of seniority contributions prior to 1°January 1996.

After the start given by the Central Management – at national level, over the days immediately preceding the Christmas break of last December 2020 – of the massive operations aimed at verifying and recovering the contribution erroneously not paid due to the excess of the annual social security cap, even during the first months of 2021 the INPS is continuing its control activities, focusing the attention on the anomaly hypotheses specifically detailed in the INPS Message no. 5062 of 31 December 2020.

Based on the above-described scenario, INPS is therefore focusing its attention on all the hypotheses of improper application (for now, with regard to the years 2015/2016) of the so-called contribution cap towards workers whose social security statement shows the presence of contributions prior to January 1, 1996, even in the absence of an option, asking to the employers involved in the anomalies detected – within a period of 90 days – to contact the competent offices (in order to be able to resolve any situations of documental misalignment) or to proceed with the payment of the whole unpaid contribution (both considering social security contributions in charge of the employer and in charge of the employee), and the related penalties calculated with reference to the omissive sanctioning case.

In all these cases, the competent Offices will be responsible for managing the changes in the case within the contribution flows transmitted. Within this context, the proactivity of employers who have been notified of this type of assessment becomes crucial, so that all the resulting activities can be managed promptly.

More in detail, a detailed check on the actual applicability or otherwise of the ceiling to the case in question is still appropriate (and recommended by the competent offices itself), which – in the event of a negative outcome – must be followed by a check on the correct contribution and sanction exposure. . If on the one hand, in fact, the company will be called upon to “manage” any compensation against the worker in question with regard to the contribution on his charge (taking particular care when considering employment relationships for which the termination has already occurred in the meantime), on the other hand a preliminary verification of the validity of the calculation of the sanctions (for omission, not for evasion) applied to the cases in question will be crucial, evaluating the outcome if it can be also appropriate spontaneous regularization activities for the years 2017 and following (not yet ascertained by the INPS, but which in any case could soon be affected by the same dynamics).

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Marzio Scaglioni

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