It has finally arrived in Parliament, late on the roadmap, the expected report from the Ministry of Economy with the criteria for reforming the system of collection. The surprise is that to write the document, provided for by the Sostegni bis decree downstream of the amnesty of the old folders up to 5 thousand euros decided in a hurry in March, it was not the Treasury: the owner of via XX Settembre, Daniele Franco, adopted and sent to the Budget and Finance committees a text prepared by theRevenue Agency and by the collection agency itself. But let’s get to the point. To empty the warehouse of nearly 1 trillion of residual credits and avoid new traffic jams in the future, the entities led by Ernesto Maria Ruffini hypothesize – and the minister puts the stamp on it – the automatic cancellation of roles not collected after a certain number of years, with few exceptions. A move that, without a change that puts the turbo to the current procedures, would however risk leading to a permanent amnesty. It all depends, therefore, on how the expected reform will materialize. The document hopes, among other things, that the collection body (whose incorporation into the Revenue is requested) will be provided with more incisive tools, starting from the massive access to theRegister of current accounts necessary to verify which of the 18 million taxpayers indebted to the tax authorities have liquidity from foreclose.
“It is a defensive and ineffective text”, is the opinion of Vincenzo Visco, former Minister of Finance who created the tax agencies (in the 1990s). “The tax administration is obviously aiming at aa to secure agency management with respect to shortcomings of their past activities, protecting themselves from any disputes of the Court of Auditors. Emptying the warehouse is essential, of course. But one should be sure of do not overlook any possibility recovery, even in cases where, for example, companies use thefictitious interposition to result nullatenenti. The risk is that in the transition phase there is in fact another implicit amnesty“. In short, “many doubts remain”, even if the point of decline will be known only when the government translates the proposals into a rule of law. “We have to see if there is will“, Explains Visco, who is not optimistic. “In general, this country does not want to make taxes pay”. As shown, according to the former minister, also by the document of Rooms on the tax reform, in which “all delicate issues are ignored and only the will of reduce taxes on businesses and banks“.
The report written by the agencies and presented by Franco opens with the usual picture of break up collection, the most important phase of the tax “chain” because it is the one in which the State and the various creditors – on paper – should be able to collect the money due. Here, the mechanism does not work: there are 18 million taxpayers with a total of 225 million individual credits residuals to be collected for a value of 999 billion, 34% of which related to entrusted loads before 2010. These are for the vast majority (175 million) of tiny credits, under 1000 euros, while the very few which amount to more than 100 thousand euros (“Only” 875 thousand) are worth 64% of the large warehouse. That the Agency, as is well known, estimates that 40% is difficult to recover as it belongs to deceased, propertyless, discontinued companies, in composition with creditors or in extraordinary administration. Even if behind a “company with no property”, Visco warns, there is often another economic operator who aims to escape the tax authorities. On another 45%, executive or precautionary actions have already been attempted, without success.
How to get out of it, considering that the government amnesty has just scratched the mass of credits and every year they are entrusted to the Collection Agency 29 million new credits for a value of 80 billion, referable to more than 8 million taxpayers for the most part “highly repeat offenders“? As for the previous warehouse (2000-2020), the proposal is to return bad debt or charges with limited collection possibilities, estimated at 34% of the total, to the creditor. Compared to the remaining figure, the first hypothesis foresees the automatic cancellation as of December 31, 2025 with the exclusion of credits for which there are enforcement procedures in progress, agreements restructuring, transaction o deferral or partial collection following the initiation of forced expropriation procedures. Without prejudice to the forecast of a certain number of recovery attempts to be implemented between 2022 and 2025 for a number of debtors “adequate to the operational capacity” of the agency. Second hypothesis: automatic discharge as at 31 December 2023 for loans granted between 2000 and 2010, as of December 31st 2025 for those dating back to the period 2011-2015 and on December 31st 2026 for those entrusted between 2016 and 2020. With the same exclusions as in the previous case.
Done tabula rasa of the past, for the loads entrusted starting from this year it is assumed that an annual plan of activities to be carried out will be prepared “for a number of debtors and debt positions adequate for operational capacity”Of the collection agent: therefore, it seems to understand, part of the roles would necessarily remain outside. Then, al December 31 of the fifth following year to that of the assignment or of the last action with positive outcomes, the trap: automatic discharge of uncollected quotas, with the exclusion of those with ongoing procedures, restructuring agreements in place and the other hypotheses seen above. The lender could anyway reassign the sums to be collected in the event that it “identifies” on its own account income O riches attributable to the debtor. Then there is, in black and white, a point clearly very dear to the Agency, as underlined by Visco: “I judgments of administrative or accounting responsibility concerning the compulsory collection activity “, says the document,” could be started only in the presence of specific hypotheses of gross negligence, as well as in all cases of willful misconduct“.
As a corollary, the document warns that a greater exchange of data between the two agencies is needed and in perspective it is appropriate that the former Equitalia is incorporated in the Revenue Agency (of which today it is an instrumental body) to overcome the dual model which is unique in the European panorama and give the citizen a single interlocutor. In addition to finally fixing how direct target Revenue collection, which should be precisely the fundamental purpose of the tax administration. Among the other requests there is, sacrosanct, that of an update of the rules on foreclosures, which today largely fail to achieve any results because they hit empty accounts. The Agency therefore asks – Privacy Guarantor allowing – to be able to access massively and at least monthly all’Registry of financial reports to check in advance who has a large current account, which requires a modification of the current legislation according to which the data are transmitted only for tax control purposes and in any case only once a year. Access to the database of electronic invoices and procedural changes ranging from the duration of the effectiveness of the notification (today a new notice must be sent to the debtor) to the overcoming of the premium in favor of an annual allocation in the State budget, up to the revision of the installments preventing for example the readmission to the benefit for who has not paid at least 10 installments. These are news that seem to go in the right direction. While the automatic discharge raises many doubts.