The new tax credits of the “Ukraine Decree” (Decree Law 21 of March 21, 2022)
With Decree-Law no. 21.3.2022, published in the Official Gazette no. 67 of 21.3.2022, urgent provisions were issued to counter the economic effects of the conflict in Ukraine and the energy crisis.
Decree-Law No. 21/2022 entered into force on 22 March 2022, but specific starting dates are envisaged for certain provisions. Decree-Law no. 21/2022 is currently being converted into law and its provisions are therefore subject to amendments and additions.
Tax credit for the purchase of electricity
Article 3 of DL 21/2022 grants a tax credit for the purchase of electricity to companies with electricity meters of available power equal to or greater than 16.5 kW (companies other than companies with high electricity consumption as defined by DM 21.12.2017.
The tax credit is equal to 12% of the costs incurred for the purchase of the energy component actually used in the second quarter of 2022, provided that the price of the energy component, calculated on the basis of the average referred to the first quarter of 2022 and net of taxes and any subsidies, has undergone an increase in the cost per kWh of more than 30% compared to the corresponding average price referred to the first quarter of 2019.
The tax credit can be used for offsetting taxes by 31 December 2022 by means of the F24 form, and the annual limits set out in Article 34, paragraph 1 of Law no. 388/2000 and Article 1, paragraph 53 of Law no. 244/2007 do not apply to such offsetting, which provide for offsetting up to 2 million euros per year and up to the amount of 250,000 euros for credits that pass through the RU framework of the income tax return.
Moreover, the credit can be assigned in full by the beneficiary companies to other entities, including banks and other financial intermediaries, without the right of subsequent assignment, without prejudice to the possibility of two further assignments only if made to supervised entities (banks and financial intermediaries). The transfer will be implemented by means of a Provision of the Revenue Agency to be issued within 30 days from the conversion into law of the Decree, and in order to implement it, it will be necessary the endorsement of compliance by a qualified professional.
Finally, it should be noted that the tax credit does not contribute to the formation of income and value of production for IRAP purposes, and can be combined with other benefits that relate to the same costs, up to the limit of the total cost incurred.
Crediti d’imposta per le imprese energivore e gasivore – modifiche al DL 17/2022
Articles 5 and 9 of Decree-Law 21/2022 make some interesting changes to the tax credits for energy-intensive businesses and gas-intensive businesses, which were already governed respectively by Articles 4 and 5 of Decree-Law 17/2022.
These tax credits are in fact recognised
- for energy-intensive companies, at a rate of 25% (instead of the previous 20%);
- for gas-guzzling companies, 20% (instead of the previous 15%).
These tax credits are calculated, respectively:
- for energy-intensive companies, on the actual purchase and consumption of electricity in the second quarter of 2022, if the comparison between the average of the first quarter of 2022, net of taxes and subsidies, and the average of the first quarter of 2019, is greater than 30%.
- for gas companies, on the expenditure incurred for natural gas in the second quarter of 2022, if the comparison of the reference price of natural gas, calculated as the average of the reference prices of the Mercato Infragiornaliero (MI-GAS) published by the Gestore del Mercato Energetici (GME) between the first quarter of 2022 and the first quarter of 2019, is greater than 30%.
The use of the tax credits determined above, the absence of the set-off limit and the possibility of assignment are the same as for the credits outlined in the previous paragraph, as well as their fiscal irrelevance for income tax and IRAP purposes.
The possibility of paying energy bills in installments
With the aim of ensuring the necessary liquidity for businesses and mitigating the effects of the increase in energy costs, one of the measures provided for in Decree-Law no. 21/2022 is the possibility of paying energy bills in instalments, a solution that was initially only envisaged for households, but is now extended to businesses.
In particular, companies based in Italy, as end-customers of electricity and natural gas, can request from their suppliers the possibility to pay in instalments, in up to 24 instalments, the amounts due for energy consumption for the months of May 2022 and June 2022.
In order to support the specific liquidity needs that may arise for electricity and natural gas suppliers as a result of the instalment plans, Sace will issue guarantees in favour of banks, national and international financial institutions and other creditworthy entities, up to a maximum commitment limit of € 9 billion. The financial system will therefore be able to intervene in support of the working capital requirements of energy and natural gas supply companies, enjoying – thanks to the Sace guarantee – a reduced impact in terms of capital absorption for the purposes of supervision and balance sheet valuations.
For the same purposes, Sace is authorised to guarantee 90% of the indemnities that credit insurance companies may have to pay to the aforementioned energy suppliers for end-customer defaults on payment obligations that have expired in the meantime (in particular, this refers to defaults on payments due by companies based in Italy with a turnover not exceeding €50 million on 31 December 2021, with reference to the debt resulting from invoices issued by 30 June 2023 relating to energy consumption up to 31 December 2022).
In substance, the Government intervenes to lighten the burden on insurance companies deriving from the indemnities paid to energy supply companies as a result of the default of the underlying client companies.
Sace’s obligations deriving from the guarantees issued are guaranteed by law by the State, which is explicit, unconditional, irrevocable, and extends to the repayment of the principal, the payment of interest, and any other accessory charges, net of the commissions received for the same guarantees.
Bonus carburante di 200 euro ai dipendenti
Article 2 of the Decree n.21/22 provides for the possibility for employers to grant their employees exempt fuel vouchers up to EUR 200.00 per year.
In particular, the fuel bonus may be granted to employees in the form of vouchers and other equivalent securities, and is provided for as a measure for the year 2022 only.
Particularly interesting is the provision of the rule according to which the value up to € 200 is not to be considered for the purpose of reaching the exemption limit for donations to employees (equal to € 258.23 per year), paid in the form of goods and services provided, pursuant to Article 51, paragraph 3, TUIR.
It should also be noted that the amount is also exempt from a social security point of view due to the harmonisation of tax bases established by Legislative Decree 314/1997.
Companies can therefore buy the petrol vouchers currently on the market and give them to their employees as gifts. It is worth to note that since the limit of €258.23 is a general one, it could already include, among the possible goods and services that can be distributed free of charge, also the petrol coupons themselves, so that this bonus can potentially reach a maximum total of €458.23 for 2022.
However, given the fact that the limit of €258.23, if exceeded, contributes to forming the employee’s income for the full amount, it is deemed appropriate to carefully monitor the above amounts, treating them separately in the payroll and using appropriate descriptive items (e.g. “petrol vouchers provided pursuant to Article 2 of Decree 21/2022” or “petrol vouchers provided pursuant to Article 51, paragraph 3, of the Income Tax Code”).
LDP remains at your disposal for any further clarifications.