With its answer to interpello no. 444 of 6 September 2022, the Italian Revenue Agency expressly admitted the possibility, also for instrumental properties, to take advantage of the bonus relating to the removal of architectural barriers.
As a reminder, the removal of architectural barriers includes any intervention facilitating internal mobility through the use of communication, robotics and any other advanced technological means, including the automation of building systems and individual property units.
How did the Agency come to this conclusion?
Let us look at it together.
THE AGENCY'S ANSWER
In the question submitted to the Italian Revenue Agency, the taxpayer, the owner of three rented buildings, turned to the Agency in response to a request for authorisation by certain tenants to carry out the necessary work to remove architectural barriers, thereby facilitating access to the premises by customers.
The taxpayer invoked, to this end, the literal tenor of Article 119 ter, paragraph 1, of the Relaunch Decree (Law Decree 34/2020), which states the possibility of resorting to interventions for the removal of architectural barriers is granted to "already existing buildings", provided that the interventions comply with the requirements provided for by Ministerial Decree 236/89.
Since there was no limitation in the rule indicated, unless the building was already existing, the taxpayer believed the bonus was also applicable to instrumental buildings.
The Agency, agreeing with the normative interpretation offered by the taxpayer, answered in favour of the taxpayer.
What exactly does the expression 'instrumental real estate’ mean?
We talked about it some time ago, discussing its tax regime.
According to the Consolidated Income Tax Law (Presidential Decree 917/1986), 'instrumental' property is the one used exclusively for the exercise of a profession or business activity.
A distinction is made between instrumental property by destination and instrumental property by nature.
The former is subject to a given regulatory regime by law, regardless of the nature and intrinsic characteristics of the property: only the functional link to the (professional or entrepreneurial) activity exercised is relevant.
On the other hand, instrumental property by nature includes property uneuseful to a different use without a radical transformation or the intervention of an administrative measure modifying its destination.
Therefore, instrumental real property by nature are the one belonging to specific cadastral categories (e.g. offices, A/10).
THE AMOUNT OF THE DEDUCTION
The Agency's decision does not affect the deductions associated with the bonus established by law.
The allowable deduction remains, therefore, equal to 75% of the expenditure incurred for the elimination of architectural barriers.
The ceiling on which the deduction changes according to the property’s typology:
• € 50,000, for single-family buildings or similar;
• € 40,000, multiplied by the number of building units for buildings consisting of 2 to 8 building units;
• € 30,000, multiplied by the number of properties for buildings consisting of more than 8 real estate units.
Thanks to the amendments introduced by Article 1, paragraph 365 of Law 197/2022 (Finance Act 2023), the benefit is allowed for expenses incurred until 31 December 2025 (previously the timeline was 31 December 2022).
Resolutions of the condominium assembly relating to works for the removal of architectural barriers require a majority of the participants in the assembly representing at least one third (and no longer half) of the millesimal value of the building. The expenditure may be deducted over five years in equal annual instalments.
What is the practical impact of the Italian revenue Agency's guidance?
Admitting to the bonus for the elimination of architectural barriers also instrumental buildings considerably expands the number of buildings that can be upgraded, reducing the difficulties of disabled users.
It’s an important step to promote inclusiveness towards disadvantaged people.