Italy: Latest Updates on Incentives, Employment and Taxation

On July 14th, the new Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers entered into force (henceforth referred to as DPCM 14/07) introducing “Urgent measures to contain the contagion on the whole national territory”. The adoption of the aforementioned DPCM, in reality, has become necessary in order to extend the expiry of the rules introduced in the DPCM 11/06, from the 14th of July. As also reported to the Chamber by Minister Speranza, the COVID-19 health emergency is moving in the right direction but is not at all “archived”. In spite of a general improvement and a constantly decreasing number of cases, the Government has decided to keep in force all of the rules of social distancing and prevention; not only that, many Regions continue to maintain more restrictive measures than others due to more problematic health situations.

The main changes included in the new Prime Ministerial Decree 14/07 are found in the Attachments (I and II in particular), therefore concerning the guidelines for carrying out commercial and professional activities and for the containment of the epidemic within public transport.As far as work is concerned, all extraordinary provisions (contained in DPCM 11/06) relating to agile work (so-called smartworking), the sanitation of common areas and the use of personal protective equipment have been substantially confirmed, which remains mandatory in closed places and, more generally, when it is not possible to maintain the social distancing of at least one meter. In this regard, workers of the Public Administration whose duties are compatible with working from home will be able to continue with agile work until December 31st.

Another important factor, which represents a fundamental junction in the management of the health emergency, is the conversion into law of the Decree-Law of the 19th of May 2020, n. 34, containing urgent health measures, support for work and the economy (the so-called Relaunch Decree) which took place on the 16th of  July.

Compared to what has been seen previously, the text has undergone some significant changes, especially in the fields of work and taxation.

In fact, it is possible for employers who have already benefited from the redundancy fund for their employees to benefit from an additional four weeks of wage supplementation by the end of the year. The extension, initially scheduled for autumn, will in fact be immediately expendable. The annual total is therefore increased from fourteen to eighteen weeks.

A further measure concerns fixed-term contracts and apprenticeship contracts. An extension of the term of fixed-term contracts and expiring apprenticeships has been provided for to the extent equivalent to the suspension period suffered on the occasion of the COVID-19 emergency.

New tax breaks are also considered, starting with the reduction of the IMU. The law that has just been approved provides for the possibility for municipalities to approve the 20% reduction in property tax for those who will pay by direct debit from their bank account.

Finally, the law provides for further concessions such as the extension of the Ecobonus for seismic adjustment, energy improvement to second homes and the increase in the amounts of bonuses useful for the purchase of more environmentally friendly cars.