The Superbonus and the other incentives launched by the government in 2021 were elements of “tax distortion”. The judgment of the Court of Auditors is negative for building bonuses, also for the bonus system in general, but not only: in the report of the equalization judgment on the State report for 2021 there are observations on tax evasion and the delay in payments from the Public Administration, which add to a context already made difficult by the war in Ukraine and inflation. These measures have involved a substantial expenditure of money for the state, which has not always had a positive impact on the economy or on those most in need, as the judges of the Court of Auditors pointed out in the report.
The black hole of the Superbonus and other incentives
As every year, the Court of Auditors analyzes the state budget, but this report is also an opportunity to underline the “contradictions” of public finances, starting with the complex bonus system created to respond to the economic problems of the pandemic. The judges of the Court have targeted these “discounts” which, at times, although created to help the poorest families and businesses in difficulty, in many cases offer “unjustified benefits to specific groups of subjects”, resulting in “distributional effects not always desirable “, all resulting in” significant revenue losses “.
The building bonus system, defined as “complex”, produced the first sales of credits and discounts on invoices for 38.4 billion euros only in 2020-21. The bulk was done by the Superbonus, for which the banks are back in agitation over the checks in the assignment of credits. The spending for the state did not end here: the ENEA data updated as of May 31st say that the allocated funds have already run out and the measure will need to be refinanced to carry it out.
The Court of Auditors underlined the need to redesign the system of incentives and deductions which have become “an element of distortion of the levy”. All this while war and inflation can “potentially jeopardize any planning plan” and require accelerating to “create the structural conditions for the realization of the NRP”.
Superbonus, the blocking of credits risks favoring the rich
The delays of the Public Administration: the worst is the Interior Ministry
The State has set itself “challenging” economic growth objectives, spending tens of billions of euros to boost GDP, but, according to the Court of Auditors, it has only ended up penalizing “the same companies facilitated by national and euro-unitary interventions”, continuing to delaying the payments of commercial invoices, as explained by the Attorney General of the Court of Auditors Angelo Canale.
Bonus 200 euros, clarification on the times: to those who arrive first
To chase economic growth, public spending, both national and European, is at unprecedented levels. But in the same months in which the foundations of the NRP and of the anti-crisis decrees with refreshments for families and businesses were laid, the indicators of the payment times of the Public Administration towards supplier companies recorded discouraging numbers. In reality, the picture is far from homogeneous.
Among the ministries, the Interior Ministry stands out in negative terms, which in 2021 recorded an average delay of 67.1 days in payments, compared to 62.3 in 2020, and is followed in this race to the bottom by agricultural policies (42.3 days too many against 17.5 the year before). The situation also remains critical in health care and in local authorities, which multiply companies awaiting payments.
Taxes and electronic invoicing: fewer checks and disappointing results
While working on a tax reform and better tools to combat tax evasion, for the Court of Auditors “a scarce use of the registry of financial reports and synthetic assessments” is practiced, even in a 2021 in which “a reduction of controls “on the ground, added the chairman of coordination of the joint control sections Enrico Flaccadoro. A rethinking of the tax authorities is urgently needed to make it “fair, shared and geared towards growth”, the report reads.
The decrease in tax controls that began during the pandemic has been prolonged, and so has electronic invoicing, which together with Reverse Charge And Split Payment is the main driver in the increase in spontaneous adherence to VAT obligations, it has had “lower than expected” results.
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