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THE ASSIGNMENT OF CREDIT IN BUILDING BONUSES

  • 05/06/2022
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The Relaunch Decree (Article 121) grants the possibility of exercising the options of the invoice discount and the assignment of the credit to persons who in 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024 have incurred expenses for interventions that benefit from tax bonuses on buildings, with the exception of the furniture bonus and the green bonus.
For the interventions indicated in Article 119 of the Relaunch Decree (Superbonus), the options are also allowed for expenses incurred from 1 January 2022 to 31 December 2025.
In order not to lose the benefits, the options can also be exercised when the tax is incapable and it is not possible to benefit from the deduction in the tax return.
Let's see, in detail, how the transfer of credit works and what are the procedures to be observed.

TRANSFER OF THE CREDIT

With the transfer of the credit, the taxpayer who has incurred the expenses for the renovation work transfers to a third party (called "transferee") the tax credit, i.e. the right to take advantage of the deduction to the extent allowed by the chosen bonus.
The transfer is for valuable consideration, so the taxpayer must deduct from the credit transferred the amount of the credit purchase price (consideration) requested by the transferee.
The following may act as transferee:
* suppliers of the goods and services necessary to carry out the interventions
* natural persons, including those engaged in self-employment or business activities, companies or bodies
* financial intermediaries
* credit institutions
* insurance companies
* postal services

PURPOSE

While the discount on the invoice makes up for the lack of liquidity, with the assignment of the credit the taxpayer has the necessary liquidity but prefers to recover it immediately instead of waiting for the time required by law to recover the deduction.


INTERVENTIONS FOR WHICH THE OPTION IS ALLOWED

The transfer of credit is allowed for the following interventions (art. 121 relaunch decree):
. interventions eligible for Superbonus 110
. recovery of the building heritage
. energy efficiency
. anti-seismic measures
. recovery or restoration of the facade of existing buildings
. installation of photovoltaic systems
. installation of electric vehicle recharging stations
. overcoming and eliminating architectural barriers  


COMPLIANCE CERTIFICATE AND ASSEVERATION

When the taxpayer exercises the invoice discount option or the tax credit assignment, the 2022 Finance Act requires the production of the following documentation:
* compliance certificate of the expenses incurred by a qualified technician
* compliance visa (asseveration) by a professional (chartered accountants, bookkeepers, business experts and labour consultants, tax advice centres) 
By certifying the congruity of the expenses, the qualified technician shall asseverate their congruity with respect to certain parameters indicated in the MITE decree of 14 February 2022 (for the interventions indicated therein), the Regional price lists or the DEI price lists. The technician must attach to the certification the estimated metric calculation indicating the maximum specific costs for each type of intervention.
The professional's certificate of conformity certifies the existence of the conditions for the recognition of the deduction.
If these costs are higher than those eligible, the deduction is applied within the maximum limits.
The compliance certificate and the asseveration are not required in the following cases:

. individual income tax return submitted on the basis of the pre-filled form
. individual income tax return made through the withholding agent
. interventions for a total amount not exceeding € 10,000
. Sismabonus purchases and Bonus purchases of renovated buildings (in this case the deduction is applied to the sale price and not to the expenses incurred)

From 1 January 2022, the expenses incurred for the issuance of the above documentation are always tax deductible and enjoy the same rate associated with the bonus deduction.
The Italian Revenue Agency has clarified that the expenses incurred for certification and asseveration are also deductible in the period 12 November - 31 December 2021, (period of validity of the anti-fraud decree, repealed and merged into the Financial Law 2022).


DEADLINE

The “support decree ter" has extended the deadline for reporting the transfer of credit and the invoice discount to 29 April 2022.
The rule applies to the remaining instalments of the 2020 deductions and to expenses incurred in 2021.


THE NEW ANTI-FRAUD MEASURES

The chain credit transfers have led to the introduction of a real fiscal currency on the market, which is not controlled by the European Central Bank.
The need to intervene on the numerous frauds linked to building bonuses, led to the issuing of the Fraud decree.
The new measures apply to all building bonuses that include the options of credit transfer and invoice discount.
The green bonus and the furniture bonus, for which the benefits is only available through deduction, are excluded.
Here is a summary of the main changes introduced by the decree:

1. possibility of making up to three assignments of credit: the last two assignments must be made to banks, financial intermediaries and insurance companies
2. prohibition of partial assignments: the credit must be assigned in full
3. introduction of the unique identification code: as from 1 May 2022, the credit will be assigned a code, which must be communicated on the occasion of each assignment
4. tougher penalties for false declarations: penalties for false declarations or serious omissions range from 2 to 5 years' imprisonment and from a € 50,000 to € 100,000 fine
5. use of credits subject to criminal seizure: such credits may only be used after the criminal effects of the measure have ceased
6. amendment of Article 316 bis of the Criminal Code: embezzlement of public funds and not only that of the State is also punishable under criminal law; the offence of misappropriation of public funds also includes subsidies, which were previously excluded.


OPERATIONAL ASPECTS

Here is the procedure to be followed when the taxpayer intends to make use of the assignment of the credit:

1. Enter into a contract with the intermediary in which the taxpayer undertakes to transfer the tax credit to the institution and the express reference to the law (Article 121 of the Relaunch Decree)
The effectiveness of the assignment is conditional on the correct and complete fulfilment of the obligations provided for by the regulations
2. Signing a credit line with the intermediary (in case the taxpayer is not already a customer)
3. Deliver to the intermediary the required documentation (building file, date of start and end of works, identity documents, cadastral survey, contract, declaration of having paid the IMU, estimated metric calculation, invoice of expenses incurred, transfers made)
4. Notification of assignment to the Revenue Agency through the "assignment of credits" platform.
Within 5 days of the notification, the Agency may suspend the effects of the assignment for a period not exceeding 30 days, in respect of assignments presenting risk profiles
5. In case of acceptance of the assignment, the Agency sends a receipt to the taxpayer
6. The taxpayer sends the receipt to the intermediary
7. The Revenue Agency makes the credit available (generally by the 10th day of the month following the sending of the notice of assignment)
8. The intermediary accepts the credit definitively and disburses the amount on the taxpayer's current account (usually within 5 working days).

In order to recover the amounts due and not paid, as well as sanctions and interest, the Revenue Agency must notify the assessment notice by 31 December of the fifth year following the year in which the breach occurred
Disputes between the Revenue Agency and the taxpayer on the subject of credit assignments are governed by the rules on the tax process.


INTEREST RATES CHARGED

The choice of the intermediary to whom to assign the credit varies according to the most advantageous arrangement in terms of the share of the credit recognised in relation to the bonus to which the deduction is linked (110%, 85%, 75%, 60%, 50% etc.).
The money is paid by the intermediaries according to a timeline represented by the State of progress of the work (30% or 60% of the total work) or the end of the work.
By averaging the amounts paid by the main credit institutions (Unicredit, Intesa San Paolo, Carige, Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Banca Sella; Fineco, Mediolanum and Assicurazioni Generali), the following situation emerges:

. Purchase of tax credits from the Superbonus for individuals and condominiums: € 100/102 disbursed for every € 110 of credit purchased
. Purchase of tax credits from the Superbonus for businesses: € 100/101 disbursed for every € 110 of credit purchased
. Purchase of tax credits not related to the Superbonus: € 78/80 paid out for every € 100 of credit purchased

Poste Italiane's bonus offer has gradually aligned with that of other institutions, going from € 87 to 80 of credit disbursed for every € 100 of credit purchased.
The average disbursement time is around two and a half months from the signing of the transfer agreement, to which must be added the time taken by the Revenue agency to carry out preventive checks.



THE ENERGY DECREE


The Energy Decree (Decree-Law No. 17/2022) has made certain changes regarding the options of the invoice discount and the transfer of credit in building bonuses.

Firstly, corporate income tax (IRES) taxpayers and VAT holders who must file their income tax returns by 30 November 2022 have until 15 October 2022 to notify the Revenue Agency of their intention to take advantage of the invoice discount or credit transfer options.

The new provisions apply to notifications of the first assignment of the credit or invoice discount sent to the Revenue Agency with effect from 1 May 2022.


THE AID DECREE


In the event that the number of possible assignments of credit had been exhausted, the 'energy decree' (l.d. 17/2022) had already allowed a further assignment by the banks in favour of parties with whom they had entered into a current account agreement.

The "aid decree" (Article 14, paragraph 1, letters b and c, d.l. 50/2022) intervened in the matter by allowing the advance assignment of credit by credit institutions to private professional customers who had entered into a current account agreement with the bank itself or with the parent bank (without the option of further assignment).

In essence, the aid decree specified the nature of the credit assignees, through an explicit reference to Article 6, paragraph 2-quinques, of Legislative Decree No. 58/1998 (Consolidated Law on Financial Intermediation, pursuant to Articles 8 and 21 of Law No. 52 of 6 February 1996).

As specified by the Revenue Agency (Circular 19/E of 27 May 2022), 'professional' customers are defined as those who possess the experience, knowledge and expertise necessary to make informed investment decisions and are able to correctly assess the risks involved. 

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