Cassation: “Yes to taxes on tips, they are income from work”

Green light of the Supreme Court to pay taxes on tips. A decisive change of pace, compared to the past, that the Supreme Court justifies laws in hand. The current article 51 of the Consolidated Income Tax Act, in the post-IRPEF reform of 2004, provides, in fact, an all-encompassing notion of employee income, no longer limited to the salary received by the employer. The definition in force therefore includes all sums and values ​​in general, for whatever reason received during the tax period, also in the form of donations, connected to the employment relationship. And therefore also tips which, even when they are not received directly by the employer, originate from the subordinate relationship and constitute an income “on the perception of which the employee – writes the Court – can make, from his common experience, reasonable, if certainly not trust ».

The story

Starting from this principle, the judges of legitimacy, with sentence 26512 filed yesterday, welcome the appeal of the Inland Revenue involved in a dispute with the head of a luxury 5-star hotel on the Costa Smeralda. According to the tax authorities, the generous tips of the vacationers had brought about 84 thousand euros into the pockets of the hotel employee in a single year. Money, given in exchange for the kind welcome, which the Revenue Agency had cataloged as undeclared employee income.


The taxpayer turned to the judges against the tax evasion charge, stressing that the Administration could not count on any norms to support his thesis.

The Regional Tax Commission had found an agreement with the worker. According to the tax judges, Tuir in hand, the gifts could not be considered taxable because they were not included in the income from employment.

The interpretation of the Supreme Court

A conclusion motivated by the random nature of the tips and by the fact that the donations came directly from the customer, without any relationship with the employer. Yesterday, however, the cold shower from the Supreme Court arrived for the concierge. Tips not “shared” with the tax authorities fall within the regulatory framework that dictates a single line for employee income, both for tax and social security purposes. The judges of legitimacy therefore warn that “in terms of income from employment, the donations received by the employee, in relation to their work, including the so-called tips, fall within the scope of the all-inclusive notion of income established by article 51, first paragraph, of Presidential Decree 917/1986, and are therefore subject to taxation ».

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