The Government's right crackdown against the Superbonus

Definitive stop to the transfer of credit, discounts on invoices and penalties of up to 10,000 euros for those who are cunning. Yesterday the Council of Ministers approved a law decree on the superbonus which provides for restrictive measures to secure the accounts. The intervention was also necessary in light of the latest data certified by Istat which led to the revision of the deficit for the year 2023 reaching the measure of 7.2%, an upward revision which follows that already occurred for the years 2021 and 2022. The decree therefore provides for the elimination, for all interventions that will be carried out after the new rules come into force, of the invoice discount and the transfer of credit. The government had in fact granted these two forms of relief for public housing, similar house providing bodies and for houses located in seismic areas. With the new decree the government definitively eliminates these last exceptions, leaving the deduction over 10 years as the only option.

Among the other innovations we also find the introduction of new control measures and sanctions. On the one hand the government wants to try to obtain more information relating to the implementation of interventions linked to the subsidy and on the other it wants to avoid incorrect behavior on the part of operators. Failure to transmit information relating to interventions already started will in fact lead to an administrative fine of 10,000 euros. In the case of new interventions, the penalty will instead be total forfeiture of the tax benefit. Again to combat incorrect behaviour, rules have also been introduced to prevent fraud regarding the transfer of Ace credits, reducing the possibility of transfer to one and extending the joint and several liability of the transferee to cases of complicity in the violation, as well as expanding preventive controls in matter of suspicious transactions. And finally, to prevent the construction bonuses from being requested also by those who have debts towards the tax authorities, it was decided to suspend the tax credits, until the debt with the treasury is paid, if the person requesting the benefits is be registered or have charges entrusted to collection agents for total amounts exceeding 10,000 euros.

The tax reform continues: it's up to customs

The new tax decree approved at first reading by the Council of Ministers provided for a revision of customs regulations by simplifying, on the one hand, and revising the penalties on the other. The main innovations, contained in the “legislative decree on the revision of customs regulations and the system of sanctions relating to excise duties and other indirect taxes on the production of consumption”, approved at first reading by the Council of Ministers, therefore concern administrative sanctions, the manufactured tobacco, smuggling and the simplification of some obligations.

For administrative sanctions, let's start by saying that the new regulation reduces their amount and also overcomes the “problem” of the double level of criminal and administrative sanctions. Aspect already included in the decree which revised the sanctioning system as a whole. In detail we are talking about sanctions that can range from a minimum of 80 to a maximum of 150%. Confiscation will also be eliminated. Smuggling regulation is simplified. In detail, the cases currently foreseen will be replaced by only two hypotheses: smuggling due to failure to declare and that relating to unfaithful declaration. For both, the sanctions have been reduced but the confiscation of the assets is foreseen or, if this is not possible, the sums of money or goods of equivalent value to those of the product will be seized. In the most serious cases, in addition to the fine, imprisonment of three to five years is also foreseen.

New sanctions for tobacco, energy goods and alcohol

Other new developments concern crimes that are connected to manufactured tobacco or energy products. In the first case, anyone who evades processed tobacco “by any means or method from the assessment or payment of the excise duty is punished with imprisonment from two to five years”, we read in the text of the decree. In detail it is provided that when fraud concern a quantity of processed tobacco up to 15 kilograms, an administrative fine of 5 euros for each gram will be applied. In any case the fine cannot be less than 5,000 euros. If the quantity of tobacco subtracted from the assessment or payment of the excise duty turns out to be no more than 200 grams, the sanction will be 500 euros, while if it is between 200 and 400 grams, the administrative sanction will be 1,000 euros. In the event that it is not possible to establish the quantity, the decree provides for a administrative sanction which will range from a minimum of 3,000 to a maximum of 30,000 euros. The penalties are then increased if the crimes “are committed using means of transport belonging to people unrelated to the crime, the penalty is increased”. It should be highlighted that “movable assets, including those registered in public registers, ships, boats, craft and aircraft seized during police operations to combat” the smuggling of manufactured tobacco “are entrusted to judicial custody by the competent authorities to police bodies that request them for use in police activities or may be entrusted to other state bodies or other non-economic public bodies, for purposes of justice, civil protection or environmental protection”. Furthermore, if If you have illegally processed tobacco products inside a shop, you risk not only a fine but also the closure of the shop or the suspension of your license for a period of no less than 5 days and no more than a month. the closure will be for one or two months and if the dispute occurs more than twice there will be the definitive closure of the business. In case of violation, then you will have to pay a fine of 10 to 50,000 euros.

Finally, for energy products the decree increases the threshold of energy products subtracted from excise duty from 2,000 to 10,000 kg, beyond which the expected penalty is imprisonment from one to five years, in addition to the fine. For energy products subtracted from the assessment or payment of excise duty of less than 1,000 kg, the administrative sanction of paying a sum of money from double to ten times the tax evaded will be applied. If the quantity of natural gas subtracted from the assessment or payment of the excise duty is less than 10,000 cubic meters (until now the threshold was 5 thousand cubic metres), the administrative sanction of paying a sum of money from double to ten times the amount is applied. tax evaded, in any case not less than 5,000 (today the threshold is 516 euros).