Prepared by Carlo Romano and Maurizio Foti
With the Law Decree no. 34 of March 30, 2023 (so-called “bill Decree”, hereinafter “LD 34/2023”) – published on the same date in the Official Journal and in force since March 31st, 2023 – some measures of the regime relating to the tax amnesty introduced by the Law of December 29th, 2022, no. 197 (i.e. the Budget Law for 2023) have been extended and innovated, also in relation to the tax crimes.
The criminal shield
One of the main new measures of the LD no. 34/2023 is represented by the introduction, in favor of those who apply for the tax amnesty, of a special cause of non-punishment of the following tax crimes: the crime of omitted payment of withholding taxes (article 10-bis of the Legislative Decree no. 74/2000), the crime of omitted payment of VAT (i.e. article 10-ter of the Legislative Decree no. 74/2000) and the crime of unlawful compensation of undue credits (i.e. article 10-quater, paragraph 1 of the Legislative Decree no. 74/2000).
In particular, Article 23 of the LD no. 34/2023 provides for the exemption from the criminal liability for those who settle (by way of any of the tax amnesty instrument introduced by the Budget Law 2023, such as the special amends, the settlement procedure of pending tax controversies, the settlement of the notices of tax collection, etc.) the violations associated to one of the aforementioned tax crimes by paying in full and according to the terms established by the new measures before the judgement of the Tax Court of First Instance is pronounced.
This provision, therefore, would allow those who have already been condemned in the first instance to take advantage of the cause of exemption from the criminal liability. For completeness, in fact, it should be noted that the ordinary cause of exemption from criminal liability envisaged for the same tax crimes by Article 13 of Legislative Decree 74/2000 is instead envisaged for those who extinguish their tax debts by paying in full the taxes, penalties and interest – before the opening of the trial of first instance.
Article 23 of LD no. 34/2023 also provides that the party, to obtain the suspension of the pending criminal proceeding, should notify to the Criminal Courtabout the payment of the amounts due and simultaneously inform the Revenue Agency of this communication, providing the details of the criminal proceeding.
In this way the criminal trial is suspended until the criminal Court is informed by the Revenue Agency of the correct closing of the procedure (i.e. of the full payment of the sums due within the terms established by the new measures) or of the failure to settle the procedure .
The new timing
For tax matters, Article 17 has introduced the following new cases:
- of settlement of the deeds within the tax assessment process (benefiting from the reduction of sanctions to 1/18 of the minimum), including the possibility of defining, within 30 days from the entry into force of LD no. 34/2023, the deeds of assessment that have become final in the period between 2nd January and 15th February 2023;
- of facilitated judicial conciliation (the benefit of which is always represented by the reduction of penalties to 1/18 of the minimum) also for disputes pending as of 15th February 2023 before the Tax Courts concerning tax assessments which involve the Revenue Agency.
Furthermore, Articles 18, 19, and 20 of LD no. 34/2023 provides for some extensions of the terms relating to the different types of tax amnesty. In particular, the main extensions introduced include:
- the extension to 30th September 2023 (previously set at 31st March 2023) of the deadline for applying for the special amend (Article 1, paragraphs 174-178 of the budget law);
- the extension to 30 September 2023 (previously set at 30 June 2023) of the deadline for applying for both the settlement procedure of the pending tax controversies (Article 1, paragraphs 186-203 of the law of 2023 budget), the facilitated judicial conciliation (Article 1, paragraphs 206-212), and for the facilitated tax proceedings pending before the Supreme Court (Article 1, paragraphs 213-218). This extension to 30 September also led to an extension of some other terms of the settlement procedure of the pending tax controversies, such as: the deadline for suspending the proceedings (which goes from 10 July to 10 October 2023), the deadline within which the Revenue Agency can notify a denial of the settlement (which goes from 31 July 2024 to 30 September 2024) and the suspension of the terms to appeal (which goes from 9 to 11 months).
Finally, the Article 21 of LD no. 34/2023 contains some relevant clarifications regarding some provisions of the budget law 2023, such as the following: the scope of the special tax settlement does not include the violations pursuant to Article 36-bis of Presidential Decree 600/73 and 54-bis of Presidential Decree 633/72 but includes those relating to the income from foreign sources, i.e., Ivie and Ivafe, despite the violation concerning the fulfilments in the tax return; in regards to the settlement of the tax assessment reports issued until 31st March 2023 the reduction to 1/18 of the penalties also applies to the tax settlement relating to the assessment notices notified after March 31 and issued on the basis of the results of the aforementioned reports.
The tax amnesty introduced by the budget law 2023, with the extensions and changes introduced by LD no. 34/2023, become even more attractive for taxpayers who will now have more time to consider, case by case, whether apply for such amnesty.
For a deeper discussion, please contact:
PwC TLS Avvocati e Commercialisti
PwC TLS Avvocati e Commercialisti