Cura Italia – EUR 25 billion to treat ailing Italy


A new legislative effort now aims to bring help to those affected: Cura Italia, or Therapy for Italy, is the name given to Decree-Law No. 18, which was published in the Official Gazette on 17 March 2020 and immediately entered into force.

Over five sections and a total of 127 articles, and with a price tag of EUR 25 billion, the Decree-Law establishes a series of measures that are designed to buttress the national healthcare system and provide economic and financial support to families, workers, and companies in order to give a boost to ailing Italy.

Here is a brief overview of the most important measures:

1. Tax-related measures

The measures distinguish between the type of entrepreneurial activity, the turnover generated in the 2019 tax year, and whether the taxpayer is located in certain hard-hit zones.

All taxpayers based in Italy (whether from a legal, tax, or operational standpoint) are relieved of all tax obligations for the period from 8 March to 31 May 2020. In particular, this relates to the obligation to file a value-added tax return for 2019 and INTRASTAT reports for the months of February to April 2020. The obligations must be satisfied by 30 June 2020. Taxpayers are still expressly required to remit taxes deducted at source as well as regional and municipal tax withholdings.

Lodging and hospitality companies, tour operators and travel agencies, and other enumerated, particularly hard-hit sectors (cinemas, theatres, trade show organisers, museums, childcare, etc.) that are based in Italy (whether from a legal, tax, or operational standpoint) have additionally been granted the following relief:

  • remittance obligations that become due in the period from 2 March to 30 April 2020 in respect of tax withholdings and social insurance contributions that are related to employment relationships are suspended;
  • remittance obligations that become due in March in respect of value-added tax (particularly annual value-added tax for 2019 and value-added tax for February 2020) are suspended.

The payments must be remitted by 31 May 2020, and no interest or penalties will be imposed. The taxpayers concerned have the option to settle the amount owed in five monthly instalments from May 2020.

Taxpayers based in Italy (whether from a legal, tax, or operational standpoint) that carry out a business, trade, or profession and had turnover in the 2019 tax year of less than 2.000.000 EUR are relieved of the following remittance obligations that become due in the period from 8 March to 31 March 2020:

  • in respect of tax withholdings and social insurance contributions that are related to employment relationships;
  • in respect of value-added tax.

The payments must be remitted by 31 May 2020, and no interest or penalties will be imposed. The taxpayers concerned have the option to settle the amount owed in five monthly instalments from May 2020.

Taxpayers based in the hard-hit regions of Bergamo, Cremona, Lodi, and Piacenza that carry out a business, trade, or profession are relieved of the obligation to remit value-added tax irrespective of the turnover generated in the 2019 tax year. The payments must be remitted by 31 May 2020, and no interest or penalties will be imposed. The taxpayers concerned have the option to settle the amount owed in five monthly instalments from May 2020.

All taxpayers based in the municipalities that were first affected by the coronavirus in the so-called “red zone” in Lombardy and the Veneto (Bertonico, Casalpusterlengo, Castelgerundo, Castiglione d’Adda, Codogno, etc.) are relieved of all tax and fiscal obligations, including remittance obligations, for the period from 21 February to 31 March 2020. The payments must be remitted by 31 May 2020, and no interest or penalties will be imposed. The taxpayers concerned have the option to settle the amount owed in five monthly instalments from May 2020.

The foregoing measures are accompanied by the following provisions:

  • in the period from 8 March to 31 May 2020, tax investigation and enforcement measures are suspended;
  • in the period from 8 March to 31 May 2020, obligations to pay assessed taxes are suspended, with the payments to be made within one month of the end of the suspension;
  • taxpayers carrying out a business are granted a tax credit equal to 60% of the commercial rent paid for the month of March for shops and stores;
  • taxpayers carrying out a business, trade, or profession are granted a tax credit equal to 50% of the amounts spent for sanitising workspaces and work tools.

2. Measures to support workers

  • amendments to the Short-time Working Act (“Cassa integrazione”): simplified procedures for utilisation, expansion of the scope to all companies, maximum duration of utilisation: nine weeks;
  • one-time payment of 600 EUR for self-employed individuals, freelance employees, agricultural workers, and employees working in the entertainment industry;
  • maximum 15-day leave with continued payment of 50% of salary for employees with children under the age of 12; in the alternative, families can apply for a bonus in the amount of 600 EUR for childcare services (for health care workers, the bonus amounts to 1.000 EUR);
  • limitation of the right of employers to terminate (mass dismissals and dismissals for reasons of redundancy are prohibited for 60 days).

3. Measures to support companies

The Decree-Law establishes measures to support liquidity:

  • the “Central Guarantee Fund for SMEs” (Fondo centrale di garanzia PMI) is to guarantee loans of up to 5.000.000 EUR at no charge in order to make it easier for SMEs to obtain bank loans;
  • in addition, guarantees are to be provided for the purpose of debt renegotiation in order to avoid liquidity bottlenecks; also, micro-enterprises and SMEs can apply for protection against termination of their loans and lines of credit until 30 September 2020 and for suspension of their payment obligations under loans and leases; for their part, the banks affected by this are to receive security through a special loan guarantee fund;
  • special measures are also established to compensate airlines as well as companies in the entertainment and event industry.

4. Measures concerning the courts

In the period from 9 March to 15 April 2020, hearings in all civil and criminal proceedings are postponed ex officio. All time limits in civil and criminal proceedings are suspended; this also relates to time limits for appeals.

***

It is likely that Cura Italia will not be sufficient to cushion the dramatic economic fallout from the drastic measures that have been taken to stem the coronavirus. Therefore, the government has already announced that another decree-law will follow in April.

Dr. Sara Puglia Mueller, Dottore Commercialista e Revisore Contabile (Certified Public Accountant and Auditor, admitted in Italy)


Subscribe to newsletter

Our experts will be happy to provide you with information on legal and tax advice, restructuring and insolvency administration. Would you like to receive regular information on interesting legal and tax developments?

Subscription


Editors
Schultze & Braun GmbH & Co. KG
Eisenbahnstr. 19-23, 77855 Achern/Germany
Phone: +49 7841 708-0
Fax: +49 7841 708-301
www.schultze-braun.de/en/

Redaktion
Susanne Grefkes, Schultze & Braun GmbH & Co.KG,
Eisenbahnstr. 19-23, 77855 Achern/Germany
Phone: +49 7841 708-0
Fax: +49 7841 708-301
Email: SGrefkes@remove.this.schultze-braun.de

You can object at any time and in any form to storage and use of your data for marketing purposes.

Imprint   Data Protection   Disclaimer