From the conversion of the Sostegni Decree into law, a lot of help comes to corporate welfare: also for 2021, the limit for tax breaks colloquially bonus smart working and of 516,49 euro as in 2020, a figure doubled compared to the previous ceiling of 258.23 euros. The smart working bonus is a measure to facilitate employees with income from employment, the benefits must be paid in the form of goods and services, not money: the employer can choose what to buy and assign fringe benefits to the employee.
Smart working bonus 516 euros, what is it
The consolidated text of income taxes provides a form of facilitation for holders of income from employment, for which the “liberal” payments in cash or in kind made by employers in favor of employees they are not taxed by the recipient if they do not exceed the annual amount of € 258.23. The aforementioned limit is not a deductible, but a condition of usability of the benefit, so if the donation were 259 euros the benefit would not even be partially due.
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The art. 112 of Legislative Decree 104/2020 had provided for the raising of the aforementioned limit only for the year 2020 a 516,46 euro. During the conversion of Legislative Decree 41/2021, by the Law of 21 May 2021, n. 69, art. 6-quinquies also extended the amount of the fringe benefit to 2021 which can be attributed to employees without being subject to taxation.
How the smart working bonus works
The employer is free to choose the way in which to provide the benefit: the only limit that is set by the law is that it must be goods and services and not money. The political reason for this measure is to be identified in the intention of the legislator to achieve with a single move an increase in consumption and a benefit for the category of employees with income from employment, an effect that would not be realized if the disbursements in cash were also facilitated, which could well be destined by the beneficiaries for savings and not for consumption.
The employer can then choose what to buy and assign fringe benefits to the employee, or give them legitimacy or purchase titles, so that the employee can self-determine in the choice of the good / service to be purchased. There legitimacy to purchase it can also be attributed by securities represented by vouchers, to be spent at merchants with which the entrepreneur can agree to enjoy discounts or concessions that, on individual purchases, would be more difficult to obtain.
The amount corresponding to the fringe benefit must be included in the pay slip but, as mentioned above, it is not taxable either for income tax purposes or for contributory purposes. The Revenue Agency dealt with the issue of fringe benefits, answering some questions.
Smart working bonus, to whom it belongs
The Facilitation is for holders of income from employment and similar as defined by articles 49 and 50 of Presidential Decree 917/1986, namely:
- those that derive from relationships having as their object the performance of work, with any qualifications, employed by and under the direction of others, including home work when it is considered to be an employee under the rules of labor legislation;
- the pensions of all kinds and checks equivalent to them;
- the sums referred to in article 429, last paragraph, of the code of civil procedure (i.e. the sum corresponding to the greater damage paid by the Judge in cases involving work credits).
and the “similar” income indicated in article 50 of Presidential Decree 917/1986.
The other benefits
It should be borne in mind that there are also other facilities for the use of the works and services, identified in paragraph 2, letter f) of article 51 of Presidential Decree 917/1986, but that they do not contribute to forming the income only if offered to all employees or to categories of employees and family members.
It should be noted that companies that intend to allocate the use of assets or services relating to business activities employees can also do it directly, through the stipulation of specific contracts, and in this case, if the inherence of the goods / services granted in use is demonstrated with respect to the activity carried out, the costs are deductible and the VAT is deductible.
How to request it
The choice of whether or not to make use of the smart working bonus facilitation is an entrepreneurial choice, and is part of those measures that may prove appropriate both because they could be used to provide employees with greater means and resources, which can also be used at home, with important relapses in terms of yield, both because they contribute to creating a climate of greater trust between entrepreneur and employee, who sees himself “empowered” to manage his work performance in a freer and often more profitable way. The companies that have used it often have in fact encountered significant increases in productivity, as well as in welfare for workers.
There are no specific procedures for the request, since the facilitation is a right that belongs to the occurrence of the conditions provided by the law.
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