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110% super eco-bonus: restoration and renovation through energy efficiency

29.06.2020

110% super eco-bonus:  there are many aspects currently of major interest in this area thanks to the recent provisions of Decreto Legge “Rilancio” (“Relaunch” Decree-Law) no. 34/2020, soon to become law, but also as a result of a number of very recent documents from the Italian Revenue Agency which opened the field to new applications for energy efficiency deductions in building restoration and seismic prevention.

 

Here is a brief summary of the situation to get a better understanding of what is happening in this area.

 

  1. Measures of “Relaunch” Decree-Law no. 34 dated May 19, 2020 (published in Official Journal no. 128 dated May 19, 2020), to be converted into law by July 18, 2020.

The “Relaunch” Decree-Law no. 34/2020 (“Urgent measures regarding health, support for jobs and the economy, as well as social policies related to the COVID-19 epidemiological emergency), in articles 119 and 121 introduced a series of measures that are very important and also quite detailed, aimed (if the specific conditions are met) at boosting economic incentive and accelerating the time frame in which to take advantage of existing fiscal deductions for buildings.

 

The goal of the above is to stimulate even more than before the creation of energy efficiency initiatives, seismic prevention, building restoration, maintenance and insulation of façades visible from the street, and installation of electric vehicle charging stations.

 

The aims to be pursued are numerous and of great interest, both for the community and individuals. Among the many are the urgent need to get the economy moving again, for companies and workers, provide new impetus to energy efficiency and savings, further promote positive individual behavior with the aim of pursuing goals to safeguard the environment, and continue the policy of securing buildings.

  1. “Relaunch” Decree-Law and 110% “super eco-bonus”

Within the context of the fiscal proposals mentioned above (which, we would note, can be combined as needed), the lion’s share unquestionably goes to energy efficiency because, compared with the other deductions mentioned, it is the “most super-charged” and “most complete”. In fact:

in theory, it is applicable to any type of building (both residential and non-residential) and entity (individuals, apartment buildings and condos, self-employed workers and businesses);

it benefits from the very highest rates since the “Relaunch” Decree-Law provided for (for a number of high-level energy efficiency projects, including a combination of projects) the possibility of benefiting from a “super-charged” deduction of 110% of the expenditure incurred, albeit within given limits and respecting a range of conditions and requisites (technical, fiscal and bureaucratic);

all work provided for in the past which does not meet the conditions for benefiting from the “super-charged” 110% rate have remained intact at a rate of 50% or 65%;

it offers the possibility of benefiting from a time period cut in half—five years instead of 10—for those cases eligible for the “super-charged” 110% rate.

  1. Multiple ways of taking advantage of the “eco-bonus”

For all energy efficiency work (both that at 110% and work “limited” to 50% or 65%), alongside the more traditional option of utilizing income tax deductions [personal income tax (IRPEF) and corporate income tax (IRES)] due on annual tax returns (730 or “Unico” forms), there is also the alternative option of

utilizing the credit corresponding to the deduction as compensation for the taxes and contributions paid using F24 form;

assigning the credit corresponding to the deduction to credit institutions, suppliers or other entities;

obtaining from the supplier who performs the energy efficiency work an invoiced discount corresponding to the deduction, in this case zeroing the disbursement for the work for which the client is responsible.

This series of options was also extended by the “Relaunch” Decree-Law to other deductions already mentioned and aimed at promoting building restoration, seismic prevention, maintenance and insulation of façades and installation of electric vehicle charging stations.

  1. The energy efficiency work eligible for the “110%” deduction

The energy efficiency work which, in compliance with the “Relaunch” Decree-Law, are eligible for the 110% deduction can be divided into two major types:

 

replacement of the central heating system with a heat or condensate pump system, or other type of system, including the option of a new system that not only heats but cools during the Summer and produces hot water;

creation of an Exterior Insulation and Finishing System (EIFS).

The “Relaunch” Decree-Law provides for a series of limitations both in terms of the types of buildings for which the said work can benefit from the 110% energy deduction (instead of 50% or 65%), as well as the entities that can claim this deduction rate. For this reason, the decree’s entering into law (which is set to occur by July 18, 2020) is awaited with much interest because it is expected that the application sphere for which the “super eco-bonus” can be applied will not only be clarified, but actually broadened and simplified. For example (but not only), by reducing from two levels to one the jump in the energy classification required and also extending the “super bonus” to “second single-family homes”.

Currently, therefore, without prejudice to any modifications that could be made with the conversion into law, it is certain that the work which, starting July 1, 2020, can benefit from the 110% “super eco-bonus” (EIFS and replacement of the heating system) are those relating to the common areas of buildings (apartment buildings and condominiums, but not only) and “single-family homes” that are the main residence.

  1. “Spin-off” effect of the 110% deduction on other efficiency work

A further, very appealing, aspect is that those who undertake energy efficiency work eligible for the 110% deduction (as mentioned, EIFS and/or replacement of the heating system) will also benefit from a “driver effect” on an extended series of other types of work which, if carried out at the same time as the first, can also take advantage of the 110% deduction (rather than 50% or 65%).

Included in this list are, for example:

all “minor” energy efficiency work, such as doors and windows (including shutters and rolling shutters), sun shades, solar panels for hot water production, domotics for energy control, etc.;

installation of photovoltaic panels and their storage batteries;

creation of electric vehicle charging stations.

renewable energy, photovoltaic panels, energy efficiency, green home

energia rinnovabile, pannelli fotovoltaici, efficientamento energetico, casa green

  1. 110% deduction also for seismic prevention

In the “Relaunch” Decree-Law the 110% deduction is also applicable to seismic prevention work and, in this case, irrespective of whether it is a “spin-off” of the replacement of the heating system or EIFS work.

 

  1. Energy deduction for company buildings not directly used

Resolution no. 34/E dated June 26, 2020 finally recognized that the eco-bonus and seismic-bonus also apply to work on any type of building owned by businesses and companies, not just those used directly (“direct utilization”), but also those that are rented or traded.

 

Since 2008, this possibility had always been excluded by the Italian Revenue Agency and this turnaround was the result of an extended series of court sentences at all judicial levels in favor of taxpayers.

 

Thanks to this, the energy deduction can now also be used without problem for this vast array of entities and buildings, subject to any specific and express limitations provided for by law.

 

  1. Deductions also with the acquisition of development rights

With another very recent document (Response to Question no. 194 dated June 26, 2020), the Italian Revenue Agency also included in the seismic-bonus, as an “atypical” form of renovation (for rebuilding construction), the acquisition of development rights to be used in building a new structure following the demolition of a pre-existing obsolete building on another site.  A possibility which, clearly, opens new and interesting options for building redevelopment.

Conclusions: renewable sources, attractive opportunities for real estate

This brief survey indicates the level of ferment in this sector which is extremely interesting for a country such as Italy which is notoriously characterized by the possibility—and, for many reasons, necessity—of exploiting to the maximum renewable energy resources (first-and-foremost, solar) and intervening for restoration, modernization and rendering more efficient and secure its vast (but largely obsolete) real estate assets.

Updates to follow

This area is also a complex one and requires diversified and high-level professionalism due to its multi-sector nature which cannot be approached in an impromptu manner.

 

We will continue to monitor the evolution under way and provide here updates on the developments expected shortly, for those who are interested.

 

Stefano Baruzzi

Chartered accountant and legal auditor, real estate tax expert,

Head of Real Estate Contracts, Tax & Fiscal for Morning Capital Srl

 

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