On the 22nd of September 2015 the Council of Ministers has definitively approved the legislative decree on the reformation of the tax offences sanctions.

The recent decree, issued as implementation of Section 8, paragraph 1 of the Law no. 23/2014 (so-called “delega fiscale”), introduces a few considerable amendments on the tax offences sanctions scheme as provided for by the Legislative Decree 10th of March 2000, no. 74

The most relevant amendments are the following:

  • increase of the threshold of liability for the offences of false or omitted statement of income, omitted payment of the withholding tax or of VAT (Sections 4, 5, 10 bis and 10 ter, of the Legislative Decree no. 74/2000);
  • harsher sentences for the offences of omitted statement, hiding or removal of accounting documents, illicit clearance (in the specific case of false credits usage) (Sections 5, 10, and 10 quater, of the Legislative Decree no. 74/2000);
  • introduction of the new offence of omitted statement of withholding agent (Section 5, paragraph 1 bis, of the Legislative Decree no. 74/2000);
  • inapplicability of sanctions and cancellation of the offence in case of payment of taxes, sanctions and interest in relation to omitted payment of the withholding tax or VAT (Sections 10 bis and 10 ter of the Legislative Decree no. 74/2000), as well as for illicit clearance (Section 10 quater of the Legislative Decree no. 74/2000); even the offences of false or omitted tax return (Sections 4 and 5 of the Legislative Decree no. 74/2000) are free of sanctions in case the tax debit is paid before the deadline for tax return of the following tax-year and in case the taxpayer’s voluntary disclosure occurs before any audit is carried out (Section 13 of the Legislative Decree no. 74/2000);
  • reduction of sanction up to 50% in case the tax debit is paid before the beginning of trial (Section 12 of the Legislative Decree no. 74/2000);
  • non-applicability of criminal sanctions for the offence of false statement of income concerning the non-deductible but actually borne costs and mistakes on inherence and competence (Section 4, paragraph 1 bis, of the Legislative Decree no. 74/2000);
  • introduction of a specific provision concerning confiscation (Section 12 bis, Legislative Decree no. 74/2000), so far broaden to tax offences in virtue of the application of a rule falling out of the regulations as provided for by the Legislative Decree no. 74/2000 (i.e. Section 1, paragraph 143, of the Law no. 244/2007).