Taxes, another postponement and longer installments coming soon


The chapter of taxsuddenly it seems to have jumped to the top of the government’s agenda. The theme is not only that of reform fiscal, but also the return to normal after the suspension of payments decided for the months of lockdown. The March decree, and then the subsequent liquidity decree, postponed the payment of a series of corporate taxes: the withholding taxes on employees’ earnings, the deductions relating to the regional and municipal surcharge, VAT. According to the provisions of the emergency decrees, the balance of taxes suspended for the months of March, April and May, should be made on 16 September in a single solution, or the 4 installments (one per month until December). All without penalties and interests. The problem is that economic activity is struggling to restart. The fear is that in September businesses will not be in a position to pay the three months overdue plus ordinary payments. In the next July decree, therefore, as the Minister of Economy Roberto Gualtieri has already announced, the possibility of a longer installment will be introduced. Payment of tax arrears of March, April and May, therefore, will continue also in 2021. How many installments will have not yet been established and is also subject to comparison with the Revenue Agency. But as payments will scale 2020, they will have to be covered by the government by resorting to a larger deficit. There is also the possibility that for the sectors most affected by the crisis, such as tourism, a part of the taxes not paid during the lockdown could be canceled. A sort of state-funded intervention by the state to support the activities.

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Yesterday, answering some questions in the Senate during the “question time”, Gualtieri also confirmed the government’s intention to proceed with a “cleaning” of the role warehouse (see Il Messaggero of 29 May last). The “overall” tax reform, explained the minister, “must also benefit from greater transparency and a framework for simplifying compliance. There is the theme, “he said,” of the efficiency of the collection and we must put our hand to the system of bad debt in order to eliminate from the warehouse the collection of credit items for billions of euros which are only nominal and have no possibility of recovery “.

The idea would be that of a new mega excerpt of the tax collection records after what, in recent years, has led to the cancellation of debts of less than one thousand euros against the older and older Equitalia (from 2000 to 2010). But this time the project would be more ambitious. The size of the problem was well explained by the director of the Revenue Agency, Ernesto Ruffini, in his last hearing in Parliament. In the “warehouse” roles of the Agency, there are 954 billion euros of taxes still to be collected. 40% of these, therefore around 400 billion, are now considered to be no longer cashable. There are 153 billion owed by bankruptcy subjects, almost 119 billion that would be asked of deceased persons, 109 billion of receivables from nullateers. For the agency, keeping these bad debts comes at a cost. Also high. In other words, it would be better to cancel them and clean up the public budget of these waste. A cleaning operation that should also be accompanied by a new reform of the old Equitalia, what is now called the Revenue Agency – Collection. In the months of the lockdown the tax collectors remained locked. The Collection Agency is financed with the rate applied on the taxpayers’ debts towards the tax authorities. In short, the “turnover” of the collection is practically zeroed at the moment. The opportunity could be taken by the government to complete the reform of the old Equitalia, already transformed by a company into a public body, completely eliminating the rate and taxing the operating costs. This too would actually be a little help (the rate weighs 3% on the taxpayer), given that from next August 31, except for new extensions, the blocking of the folders will also end and the collection activity will resume.

During the question time, Gualtieri also spoke of the revision of the “tax expenditures”, the deductions and tax deductions, the revision of which, explained the minister, could free billions of euros for the reduction of tax rates. Gualtieri reiterated his intention to reduce the burden of the tax on work, both from the workers ‘side (as happened with the 100 euro bonus that will start in days), and from the companies’ side.

Last updated: 00:19


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