The Italian Government emergency decree D.L. n. 18 of March 17, 2020: the first extraordinary measures aimed at supporting businesses, families and individuals in the pandemic situation.
FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO BUSINESSES
Art. 49 Fondo centrale di garanzia PMI
For 9 months from March 17, 2020 some financial aids are provided for small and medium size businesses such as gratuitous guarantees for loans.
Art. 50-53 Other financial aids
Other facilitations of bank and other financing are specifically provided for.
Art. 56 Suspension of re-payments of loans and financial leases for small and medium size businesses PMI
The re-payment of loans and financial leases granted by banks and other financial institutions to PMI or micro-businesses is suspended up to September 30, 2020 The credit lines granted “until revocation” and the advance on receivables cannot be revoked until September 30, 2020.
In all cases it is required a self-certification that the business had a partial or total reduction of its activities due to the pandemic.
FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO AUTONOMOUS WORKERS WITH VAT NUMBER
Art. 54 Suspension of re-payment terms for first residence loans
Autonomous workers and professionals holding a VAT number are entitled ,upon request, to the postponement of the installments of their first residence loan due to a loss in their turnover in a quarter after February 21,2020 exceeding 33% with respect to the last quarter of 2019.
EXTENSION OF TERMS FOR TAX AND OTHER PAYMENTS AND TAX ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Besides a general extension of all payments to public agencies (Art. 60) including social security contributions, with terms expiring on March 16 up to March 20, 2020, the Decree provides for several specific extensions of terms for tax payments, aimed at supporting individuals, families and businesses in the economic crisis caused by the pandemic. Here are some:
Art. 62, par. 2, 3 e 7 Extension of payment terms for “small” tax- payers and tax-payer located in certain “red zones”
All tax payers with revenues not exceeding Euro 2,000,000.00 are entitled to an extension up to June 1, 2020 of the term of payments due between March 8 and March 31,2020 as to VAT, additional IRPEF, witholdings on employees’ income , INPS and INAIL contributions [at least those due by the employer]; said payments shall be made in one installment on June 1, 2020 or in five monthly installments from June 1, 2020.
Tax-payers having their registered or operating office in the Bergamo Cremona, Lodi and Piacenza provinces are entitled to the above VAT payment term extension, whichever their amount of revenues.
The revenues obtained from March 8 to March 31, 2020 by tax-payers with revenues not exceeding Euro 400,000 in calendar year 2019, are not subject to the withholding tax applicable to self employee revenues or to sale representative or intermediation commissions, provided that they did not incur in costs for employees or the like in the preceding month; the unpaid withholdings shall be paid directly by the tax-payer in one installment within May 31, 2020 or in 5 monthly installments from May 31,2020.
Art. 62 par. 1 General delay of tax accomplishments
All tax accomplishments (different from payments and from withholdings) such as, without limitation, Intrastat, annual VAT return, expiring from March 8,2020 3 to May 31, 2020 are delayed up to June 30, 2020. Certificazioni Uniche for employees are however due within March 31, 2020.
Art. 68 Extension of the terms for certain tax payments expiring between March 8, 2020 and May 31, 2020
Tax payments expiring between March 8, 2020 and May 31, 2020 relating to
– Cartelle di pagamento issued by collecting agents
– Avvisi di accertamento esecutivi issued by Agenzia delle Entrate (Tax agency)
– Avvisi di addebito issued by social security agnecies
– Atti di accertamento esecutivi issued by Agenzia delle Dogane e dei Monopoli;
shall be made within June 30, 2020.
Apparently no extension applies to avvisi bonari e or to payments in installments of cartelle esattoriali.
Art. 65 Tax credit for shop lease contracts
Those carrying out a business activity (with the exclusion of those activities allowed to continue pursuant to Prime Minister Decree of March 11, 2020-Attachment 1 and 2, i.e. supermarkets, groceries stores, pharmacies) are entitled to a tax credit equal to 60% of the March 2020 lease fees paid for leased shops. Apparently, the tax credit does not apply to the leases of ongoing business.
(please refer to your tax advisor for a more detailed and complete information)
All employers, except for those carrying out essential activities, had already been invited by previous decrees to promote smart working to the maximum extent possible as well as to grant holiday leaves to their employees to limit people’s movement throughout the national territory.
Employers continuing activities on premises are required to adapt the working conditions to the pandemic situation; in particular, pursuant to Legislative Decree 81/2008 (Italian general and basic provisions in the matter of work safety and health) the employer must:
– immediately evaluate the risk of Covid-19 contagion
– timely adopt the measures fit to minimize the contagion risk
– inform and train the employees about said risk, the preventive measures and the rules of conduct to be applied
– operate an active heath surveillance
– put in place the instruments apt to verify the actual performance of the above measures
– provide for emergency plans fit to deal any case of contagion
– make available the financial means adequate for the above
The government signed with the employees unions on March 14, 2020 a Protocol establishing more in details the measure to be taken (see attached).
Art. 19 Admission to CIGO and “assegno ordinario”
Employers suspending or reducing their activity in connection with the pandemic COVID 19 are admitted to apply to Cassa Integrazione Guadagni Ordinaria -CIGO ( Ordinary Wages Supplement Fund) or to “assegno ordinario” ( another wages supplement fund “for COVID-19 emergency”, for periods in 2020 of maximum 9 weeks altogether, starting from 23 February 2020.Urgent application and information /consultation procedures are provided for; CIGO and “assegno ordinario” periods connected to COVID 19 do not account for the limits of duration of the granting of the mentioned funds; other special and favorable provisions apply.
Art. 20 CIG for employers being already in CIGS
Employers who on February 23, 2020 are already admitted to CIGS (Extraordinary Wages Supplement Fund) are admitted to apply to CIG (Wages Supplement Fund) for a period not exceeding 9 weeks, to replace CIGS also for the same employees. Urgent application and information /consultation procedures are provided for, as well as other exceptions.
Art. 22 Admission to special CIG ( CIG “in deroga”)
Employers (except for housework) which would not normally be admitted to any wage supplement fund may apply to a special wages supplement fund for their employees (employed of February 23,2020) for a period not exceeding 9 weeks. Applications should be addressed to the Regional (or Autonomous Province) offices. A previous agreement with the employees organizations is required (also by telematics means), except by employers of up to 5 employees. Payments are made by INPS (Social Security Agency) directly. Applications are granted on a first to apply first to be allowed basis.
Art. 23 Special Children Leave for subordinate employees (with allowance)
From 5 March 2020, all private sector employees parents are entitled, for a period not exceeding 15 days, to benefit from a special leave for their children -up to the age of 12 (or without age limit in case of disabled children)-with an allowance of 50% of the salary. Either parent is entitled, provided that both are employed and no one of them is the beneficiary of other support allowances.
Art. 23 Special Children Leave for self- employed individuals registered in the special section of INPS (gestione separata INPS) or registered with INPS (with allowance)
From 5 March 2020, self employed parents registered with “gestione separata INPS” or with INPS– e.g. not professionals such as lawyers, CPS’s etc –are entitled, for a period not exceeding 15 days, to benefit from a special leave for their children up to the age of 12 (or without age limit in case of disabled children), with a daily allowance of 50% of 1/365 of their income (as calculated for the purpose of the maternity leave allowance or as calculated in accordance with criteria established by the law, depending on the case). Either parent is entitled, provided that both are employed and no one of them is the beneficiary of other support allowances.
Art. 23 Special Children Leave (without allowance)
From 5 March 2020, all employees parents of children between 12 and 16 are entitled to a leave of absence, for the duration of the closing of schools, without allowance; employment remains guaranteed and termination is forbidden meanwhile. Either parent is entitled, provided that both are employed and no one of them is the beneficiary of support allowances.
Art. 23 Baby sitting bonus
From March 17, as an alternative to the special children leave, employees parents (including self-employed parents not registered with INPS-i.e. including professionals ) are entitled to an allowance of Maximum Euro 600.00 for babysitting services. Applications are ruled by INPS.
Art. 26 Quarantine period as sick leave
The quarantine or fiduciary quarantine period, as certified by the competent medical doctor (“medico curante “), is treated as sick leave to economic purposes but is not accounted for the maximum sick leave period (“periodo di comporto”).
Art. 26 Absence as sick leave
Up to April 30 disabled employee or with certified medical risks are entitled to a leave of absence considered as hospitalization.
Art. 27 Special allowance for VAT professionals and CO.CO.CO
Professional with a VAT number and Co.Co.Co. (self- employed individuals on a continuous cooperation basis), who are not retired or not enrolled with other mandatory pension funds, who are active as of February 23,2020, are entitled to a Euro 600.00 allowance for the month of March, paid by INPS upon application.
Art. 33 Extension of the terms for application for unemployment indemnities
The term for applying for unemployment indemnity is extended from 68 to 128 days for termination events occurred in 2020.
Art. 44 Fondo per il Reddito di Ultima Istanza
A special fund has been established in favor of subordinate employees and self-employed individuals who, as a consequence of the COVID 19 emergency reduced, stopped or suspended their work. The Ultimate Income Fund amounts to Euro 300 million for the year 2020. The criteria of allocation of said fund among applicants will be determined within 30 days by a Ministry Decree.
Art. 46 No Employment Termination
For 60 days from March 17, 2020:
– no collective dismissal procedure can be commenced and those commenced after February 23 are suspended
– employers, of any size, cannot terminate any employment due to economic or organizational reasons (terminations on object justified grounds).
Art. 47 No employment termination for parents of disabled individuals
Up to April 30, the employment of the parent of a disabled individual, living in the same house, cannot be terminated on the ground of absence from work, provided that such justified absence due to the closing of the centers for disabled people, be previously notified to the employer.
Art. 63 Extraordinary bonus for employees continuing working on premises
Each employee, having a salary not exceeding 40.000 Euro/year, working on premises is entitled to an extraordinary bonus up to euro 100 depending on how many days he/she worked in March 2020. The bonus is paid by the employer with the April 2020 salary and in any case within the term for the end of the year balance calculations.
Art. 64 Tax credit for workplace sanification costs
Anyone carrying out a business or profession is entitled to a tax credit up to Euro 20,000 equal to 50% of the evidenced costs incurred for the sanification of the workplaces and work instruments. The criteria for said tax credit will be determined within 30 days by a Ministry Decree.
(more information by our labor law specialists available upon request)
COMPANIES, ASSOCIATIONS AND FOUNDATIONS
Art. 106 Delay of the shareholders’ meetings for the approval of the yearly accounts-Telecommunication means and other simplifications
Notwithstanding any provision of the by-laws, all companies may approve their annual accounts within 180 days as of the end of their fiscal year, without need for specific reasons.
In joint stock companies(spa), limited liability companies (srl), società in accomandita per azioni (sapa) (partnerships limited by shares) and cooperative companies, shareholders may attend the meetings by telecommunications means, notwithstanding any different provision of the by-laws, with no need for the president, the secretary and the notary, if any , to be present in the same place. Moreover, limited liability company may enter quotaholders decisions by written exchange of consent even in cases where the Civile Code or the by-laws would not allow it ( e.g. to amendment to the by-laws, to resolve upon transactions substantially changing the corporate purpose).
Art. 73 Meetings by telecommunication means for associations and foundations
Until the end of the emergency the private associations (including those not even not formally recognized) and the foundations, notwithstanding the lack of provision in their articles of association, may hold their meetings in videoconferences, provided that attendees could be identified and transparency be guaranteed.
DELAY OF TERMS AND HEARINGS
ART. 83 Suspension of the judicial terms and postponement of hearings-Civil and tax proceedings
From March 9, 2020 up to April 15, 2020 included, all hearings in the civil proceedings are postponed to a date after April 15, 2020.
Any procedural term in civil proceedings is suspended between March 9 and April 15, 2020. Same suspension applies to the challenge of orders/resolution of the tax authorities before the tax commissions.
Exception is made for civil proceedings concerning the urgent protection of personal rights of individuals (e.g. in the matter of alimony, children of minor age etc), terms and hearings related to the withholding of enforceability of judgements and, in general, all proceedings where the delay might cause severe damages to the parties (in this case the urgency is declared by the Judge).
There are strict limitations to the activities of the judicial offices up to June 30, 2020.
Statute of limitation and expiry terms, where they need to be interrupted by a writ of summons or the like which is prevented by the above limitations, do not apply.
Art. 84 Suspension of the judicial terms and postponement of hearings-Administrative judicial proceedings
From March 8 to April 15 April, 2020 included, all the terms of the administrative judicial proceedings are suspended and all hearings postponed. Notwithstanding the above, decisions in urgent proceedings are taken. Oral discussions are limited up to June 30, 2020.
There are strict limitations of the activities of the judicial offices up to June 30, 2020.
Statute of limitation and expiry terms, where they need to be interrupted by a writ of summons or the likewhich is prevented by the above limitations, do not apply.
Art. 103 Suspension of the terms in administrative proceedings and authorizations
In administrative proceedings pending as of February 23, 2020, the period of time between February 23 and April 15 is not taken into account ( e.g. for the purposes of the so called silent acceptance or silent denial, etc).
The validity of certificates, authorizations and the like is extended up to June 15, 2020.
The enforcement of the release of real estate, including non residential, is withheld up to June 30, 2020.
ART. 83 Suspension of the judicial terms and postponement of hearings –Criminal Proceedings
A general suspension of terms and hearings from March 9, 2020 up to April 15, 2020 similar to that for civil proceedings and except for urgent is established also in criminal proceedings.
The delay includes, without limitation, also the phase of preliminary inquiries (indagini preliminari), the issuance of judicial decisions and motivations thereof.
During the mentioned period the statute of limitation terms and the preventive custody (custodia cautelare) and enforcement and disqualification measures (misure coercitive and interdittive) terms do not run.
Are exempted from the suspension, by way of example, the confirmations of custody (convalida di arresto e fermo) and the procedures where pre-emptive and security measures (misure cautelari o di sicurezza) are applied, as well as urgent proceedings or where it is necessary to take evidence with urgency.
The chiefs of the judicial offices may postpone all hearings up to June 30, 2020, except for urgent cases.
(more information available upon request by our criminal law department).
CONTRACTS WITH THE PUBLIC ADMINSITRATIONS
Art. 91 Contracts with Public Administrations
The compliance with the urgent measures provided for by DL n.6 of February 23, 2020 shall always be taken into account for the purpose of excluding the liability of the obliged party/debtor pursuant to sections 1218 and 1223 of the Civil Code and for the purpose of the expiry of rights or penalties connected to contractual delays or defaults.