With the Circular No. 35 of 4 November 2022, the Inland Revenue provided some useful clarifications for employers who intend to provide their employees with sums or reimbursements aimed at limiting the cost of electricity, water and gas, in accordance with the provisions of Article 12 of Decree-Law No. 115/2022 (the so-called Aiuti bis Decree).
- Raising the maximum exemption limit to 600 euros
First of all, it should be noted that Article 12 of Decree-Law No. 115/2022 raised to 600 euros – instead of the ordinary 258.23 euros and in the tax year of 2022- the limit in which employees may be granted goods and services exempt from taxation.
Among the types of benefits included in this limit, there are also the disbursed or reimbursed sums by employers to their employees for the payment of household utilities.
On this point, the Inland Revenue has clarified that, in the event that the value of the benefits paid to employees during the year 2022 exceeds the maximum limit of 600 euros, these amounts will be included in the employee’s income for the entire amount and not only for the portion exceeding the aforementioned limit.
- Household utilities included in the provision of Article 12 of Decree-Law No. 115/2022 and self-declaration of affidavit
In the Circular in question, the Revenue Agency also points out that the household utilities covered by the provisions of Article 12 of Decree-Law No. 115/2022 are those relating to real estate for residential use owned or held by the employee, his spouse or family members, pursuant to the provisions of Article 12 of the Consolidated Income Tax Act, provided that such persons are those who actually bear the maintenance expenses.
In addition, for the purposes of the application of Article 12 of Decree-Law No. 115/2022, the following must also be considered household utilities:
- registered in the name of the condominium that are shared among the condominiums, with reference to the share to be borne by the individual worker/shareholder
- registered in the name of the owner of the property in the event of rental, provided that they are charged in analytical form and not as a lump sum to the employee/tenant or to his spouse or family members, in accordance with the provisions of Article 12 of the Consolidated Income Tax Act, ensuring that those persons actually bear the relevant costs.
In this regard, it should be noted that it is necessary for the employer to acquire:
- documentation proving the expenses incurred by the employee in relation to electricity, gas and water bills, such as paid invoices;
- alternatively, a self-declaration of affidavit, in which the worker must declare that he/she is in possession of the documents relating to the payment of the domestic utility bills, as well as indicating the necessary elements to identify the bills (such as, for example, the number and holder of the bill, the type of utility, the amount, the date and method of payment).
Moreover, in order to prevent the employee from claiming the benefit more than once for the same expenses, the employer is also required to obtain a declaration in lieu of affidavit certifying that the employee has not already claimed the reimbursement, in whole or in part, from the employers or others.
- Relationship between household bonus and petrol bonus
Lastly, Agenzia delle Entrate clarifies that the household bonus and the petrol bonus are two entirely autonomous and separate measures.
Therefore, for the purposes of exemption from taxation, the goods and services provided in the 2022 tax period by the employer may:
- reach the value of 200 euros for one or more petrol bonuses;
- reach the value of 600 euros for all other goods and services, including additional petrol vouchers and for disbursed or reimbursed sums for the payment of domestic water, electricity and gas bills.
The LDP team is available to provide assistance and advice to its clients on this issue.