The Sostegni bis Decree is a law: a summary of the main benefits for businesses

The  Sostegni-bis decree  (Legislative Decree no.73/2021), containing urgent measures related to the emergency from COVID-19, for businesses, work, young people, health and local services, was  converted into Law  106/2021  (Official Gazette no. . 176 of 24 July 2021).

The coordinated text of the Legislative Decree with the aforementioned law 106/2021 was also published in the same GU, which passes from 77 to 152 articles, following the  changes introduced  during the conversion process in Parliament.

But let's analyze the news and the main measures of interest for companies.

Title I - Support for businesses, the economy and reduction of fixed costs

  • Extension and extension of tax credit for non-residential property rentals and business leases (Art. 4)

A credit is granted to subjects carrying out business activities, art or profession, with revenues or remuneration not exceeding 15 million euros in the second tax period prior to the one in which this decree comes into force, as well as non-commercial entities. tax between 60% and 30% of the monthly amount of the rents for non-residential properties and business leases paid with reference to each of the months from January 2021 to May 2021.

During the conversion process, paragraph 2-bis was added which broadens the range of beneficiaries also to companies engaged in retail trade, with revenues exceeding 15 million euros . In this case, the tax credit on the rents for non-residential properties paid from January to May 2021 is equal to 40%, while for company rents it drops to 20%.

  • Support measures for the installation of technologies to enhance the selection and start of recycling of small and light aluminum (Article 6-ter)

Established a fund with an endowment of 3 billion euros for each of the years 2021 and 2022 , to support the waste recycling plant management companies which, in the last year of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, have continued to operate with difficulty despite the crisis in the system generated by the drop in demand for recycled material.

  • Urgent measures to support the tourism sector and hotel bonuses (Article 7)

The article in question was not subject to substantial changes during the conversion process.

For the tax credit for the redevelopment and improvement of tourist-hotel accommodation facilities in paragraph 5 of article 7 the measure was extended by one year, providing for an allocation of 100 million for the year 2022.

  • Urgent measures for the textile and fashion sector (Article 8)

The extension of the final inventory tax credit in the textile, fashion and accessories sector introduced by the Relaunch Decree (art. 48 bis) has been confirmed without changes. Sostegni Bis increases the financial endowment of the measure by 50 million for 2021 (passing from 45 to 95 million) and by 150 million for 2022.

We remind you that the tax credit is equal to 30% of the value of the final inventories exceeding the average of the three years prior to the one attributable to the benefit and is applicable, upon notification to the Inland Revenue and until the resources made available by the State, both in relation to the tax period 2020 and 2021.

  • Tanning industry fund (Article 8 2 bis 2 septies)

In article 8 from 2 bis to 2 septies, a Fund was established with an endowment of 10 million for 2021, to support the tanning industry , seriously damaged by the COVID-19 emergency, and to protect supply chains and programming of design, experimentation, research and development activities in the tanning sector . The resources of the Fund will be allocated to the districts of the tanning sector present in the national territory recognized by specific regional regulations, with the exception of subjects already beneficiaries of the contribution in favor of the textile sector provided for by the 2021 budget law.

Within 60 days from the entry into force of the conversion decree, the implementation procedures will be arranged with a decree of the MiSE.

Tax credit for capital goods in the earthquake area (Article 9, paragraph 1-bis)

During the conversion, paragraph 1-bis was introduced in article 9 regarding the facilities for the municipalities of central Italy affected by the earthquake. The tax credit envisaged by the measure was extended to 31 December 2021 to the extent:

  • 25% for large companies,
  • 35% for medium-sized enterprises
  • 45% for small businesses,

 recognized in the municipalities of the Lazio, Umbria, Marche and Abruzzo regions affected by the successive seismic events since 24 August 2016.

  • Support measures for the sports sector (Article 10)

With article 10 , the tax credit for sponsorships referred to in article 81 of the decree-law of 14 August 2020 , n . 104.

The measure provides for the granting of a contribution, in the form of a tax credit, equal to 50% relating to advertising investments made from 1 January to 31 December 201.

Urgent measures to support internationalization (Article 11)

To meet the need to support the penetration of foreign markets by Italian companies, the implementation of the financial endowment of funds 394/81 (for 1.2 billion) and the Integrated Promotion Fund ( 400 million ).

With regard to the latter, it should be noted that the capitalization operations will be excluded from the non-repayable co-financing.

For all the other instruments drawn from the 394/81 fund, the non-repayable component remains, albeit to a lesser extent:

  • Up to the limit of 25% by December 2021, under the Temporary Framework;
  • Up to the 10% limit from January 2022
  • Simplification and refinancing of the "Nuova Sabatini" (Art. 11-ter)

With the aim of accelerating the processes of disbursement of contributions to productive investments of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises envisaged by the so-called Nuova Sabatini, the Ministry of Economic Development, with reference to the subsidy applications submitted prior to 1 January 2021 for which at least the first portion of the contribution has already been paid to the beneficiary companies, proceeds, according to chronological criteria, to disburse the subsequent shares of the contribution due in a single solution, even if not expressly requested by the beneficiary companies, subject to the positive outcome of the administrative checks preliminary to payment.

Title II - Measures for access to credit and company liquidity

  • Guarantee Fund for SMEs large portfolios of medium-long term loans for research and development projects and investment programs (Article 12)

The Sostegni bis decree within the SME Guarantee Fund has introduced a public guarantee instrument to support small and medium-sized enterprises and Small Mid Cap. The aim is to offer companies alternative forms of financing to traditional ones, with particular emphasis on reference to medium / long-term loans (from 6 to 15 years), mainly with the aim of carrying out investment programs and research and development projects. 

  • Measures to support the liquidity of companies (Art. 13-bis)

The duration of the loans covered by the extraordinary SACE guarantee in favor of the companies affected by the pandemic (so-called SACE Italy Guarantee) extended from 6 to 10 years , in accordance with the provisions of the so-called Liquidity Decree

  • Taxation of capital gains for innovative start-ups (Art. 14)

The capital gains realized by natural persons deriving from the sale of shareholdings in the capital of innovative start-up companies and innovative SMEs, as well as capital gains reinvested in start-ups and innovative SMEs, are temporarily exempted from tax, under specific conditions linked to the time of subscription of the shares and to the maintenance of the investment over time.

  • Amendments to the tax credit regulations for new capital goods (Article 20)

The art. 20 not modified upon conversion into law, also allows subjects with a volume of revenues or remuneration of not less than 5 million euros to take advantage of the tax credit for investments in a single annual installment (instead of three annual installments) . new capital goods . The conditions for accessing this new possibility are:

  • whether it is investments in material capital goods other than material goods functional to the technological and digital transformation of companies according to the Industry 4.0 model
  • that the investments are made from November 16, 2020 until December 31, 2021.
  • Extension of the annual limit of offsettable or repayable credits to tax account holders for the year 2021 (Article 22)

With an allocation of 1.6 billion, the annual limit of offsettable or repayable tax credits for the year 2021, using the F24 form , is increased to 2 million euros , to facilitate the release of tax and social security credits. The article was not changed during the conversion.

Title III - Measures for the protection of health

  • Provisions on research and development of vaccines and drugs (Article 31)

Companies that carry out R&D activities for innovative drugs, including vaccines , are entitled to a tax credit in the amount of 20% of the costs incurred from 1 June 2021 to 31 December 2030, up to a maximum amount of € 20 million per year for each beneficiary. A budget of 787.3 million euros is dedicated to the benefit, which constitutes State Aid under exemption .

All costs incurred for fundamental research, industrial research , experimental development and feasibility studies necessary for the project are considered eligible, as indicated in Article 25 of Regulation (EU) no. 651/2014 of the Commission, excluding costs relating to buildings and land.

  • Tax credit for biomedical research (Article 31-bis)

Added at the time of conversion, a tax credit equal to 17% of the expenses incurred for reagents and equipment for scientific research, in favor of private non-profit research organizations for the year 2021 within the overall spending limit of 11 millions

  • Tax credit for the sanitation and purchase of protective devices (Article 32)

The art. 32, not modified at the time of conversion, provides for a tax credit equal to 30% of the expenses incurred in the months of June, July and August 2021 for the sanitation of the environments and tools used and for the purchase of individual protection and other devices designed to ensure the health of workers and users, including the cost of administering tampons for Covid-19.

The tax credit in question is up to a maximum of 60,000 euros for each beneficiary, up to a total limit of 200 million euros for the year 2021. The concession is recognized to persons carrying out business activities, arts and professions, to non-commercial entities, including third sector entities and civilly recognized religious entities. Non-hotel accommodation facilities of a non-business nature are also allowed provided that they are in possession of the identification code referred to in art. 13-quater, paragraph 4, of Legislative Decree 34/2019 (Growth decree), as a bed and breakfast.

Title IV - Provisions on labor and social policies

  • Tax credit on costs incurred by companies for the high-level professional training of their employees (Article 48 bis)

To art. 48-bis, a tax credit is provided for companies (regardless of the legal form, company size and economic sector in which they operate) which, in the tax period following the one in progress at 31 December 2020 (2021, for subjects with a tax period coinciding with the calendar year) incur expenses for high-level professional training activities. The tax credit is equal to 25% of the expenses incurred , up to the maximum amount of  30,000 euros for each beneficiary company, relating to the company cost of the employee for the period in which he is employed in training activities through specialization and improvement courses related to the development of new technologies and the deepening of knowledge of technologies relating to Industry 4.0.

Title VII - Culture

  • Urgent measures to support the print chain and advertising investments (Article 67)

Paragraphs 10-13 of article 67 deal with the measure of the " advertising bonus ", providing for an increase in the resources allocated for the tax credit in favor of businesses, self-employed workers and non-commercial entities that carry out campaigns for the two-year period 2021-2022 advertising in the daily and periodical press, including online, and on analogue or digital television and radio broadcasters not owned by the State. The financial endowment rises to 90 million euros for each of the two years, of which 65 are intended for investments in newspapers and 25 for those on television and radio stations . The tax credit will be recognized in the single measure of 50%for all advertising investments made. 

It is also established that, for 2021, the electronic communication to access the benefit will be presented between 1st and 30th September (instead of between 1st and 31st March, as expected when fully operational); In any case, any communications sent in March remain valid.

Title VIII - Agriculture and transport

  • Measures for the development and support of innovations in agriculture (Article 68 bis)

Article 68-bis increases by 500 thousand euros, for 2021 alone, the allocation of one million euros foreseen by the 2020 budget law for the development of agricultural supply chains through experiments, innovative projects and the use of  technological solutions for agricultural production , with the aim of reducing the costs and expenses incurred by agricultural producers, increasing their resilience in the face of the constraints of the pandemic emergency, containing the environmental impact and mitigating climate change. The resources are granted to agricultural and agri-food businesses in the form of a non-repayable grant, up to a maximum of 100,000 euros and to cover 80% of eligible expenses, for the financing of initiatives aimed at the development of  innovative production processes and precision agriculture or the traceability of products with  blockchain technologies.