Glossario Termini Fiscali, Glossary of Tax Terminology
A practical Dictionary of Tax Terminology




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SALDO D’IMPOSTA - TAX BALANCE

Residual tax owed relating to the year the tax return refers to by. As regards Irpef, its amount is equal to the tax owed net of deductions, credits and down payments already paid.

Usually, the credit balance can be compensated by other taxes or contributions. (see Compensation).

SANZIONE PECUNIARIA - MONETARY SANCTIONS

Payment of a sum of money with no interest, imposed on a person who has broken the law alone or together with other people.

SANZIONI AMMINISTRATIVE - ADMINISTRATIVE SANCTIONS

Sanctions given for the breach of tax norms, implying the payment of a sum of money (either a fixed sum or a percentage), or also forbidding certain activities (for example: disqualification from posts of company administrator or auditor, ban from taking part in bids for public contracts or service supplies, disqualification or suspension of licenses, concessions or authorizations for running businesses or self-employed activities).

SANZIONI PENALI - PENAL SANCTIONS

Sanctions imposed by the judiciary authority, upon reports by the financial administration, when the violation of tax obligations constitutes a crime.

The system of tax penal sanctions has recently been modified according to the law on decriminalization of minor infractions.

SCAGLIONI IRPEF - IRPEF BRACKETS

Income brackets for which a different Irpef rate has been established. As of 2008, there are five brackets.

SCONTRINO FISCALE - RECEIPT

Tax document that must be given by certain categories of traders when providing goods or services.

Amongst others, a receipt must be given (when an invoice is not required) in case of businesses involving the selling of goods in public premises or in closed markets, or providing food and beverages in public bars and restaurants.

SCRITTURE CONTABILI - BOOK-KEEPING ENTRIES

Compulsory registers provided by tax laws and the Italian Civil Code.

They must be kept until the deadlines for the verifications relating to the corresponding tax period have expired, even after the deadline established by art. 2220 Italian Civil Code (i. e. 10 years after the last entry) or other tax laws.

SGRAVI FISCALI - TAX RELIEF

Exemptions or reductions that certain categories of taxpayers can benefit from.

They are an indirect form of state intervention in aid of the economy, as they boost new investments, employment and the consumption of certain goods.

SGRAVIO (da autotutela) - ALLOWANCE (SELF-DEFENCE)

Deed through which the fiscal administration recognizes that the sum officially listed and requested with a notice of payment is not due, totally or partially.

In the case the taxpayer has already paid, he has the right to a refund of the sum wrongfully paid by means of the same agent.

SGRAVIO (a seguito di decisione di commissione tributaria) - ALLOWANCE (FOLLOWING A DECISION BY THE TAX COMMISSION)

The annulment of a notice of payment by the Revenue Agency in case it has been declared unlawful by a Tax Commission. This has to be completed within 90 days from the notification of the decision.

Along with the allowance, the office has to arrange the refund of the sums officially listed and paid by the taxpayer before the decision. The taxpayer obtains the refund through the collection agent.

The same rules apply for the refund of sums paid for taxes and indirect taxes following a settlement notice (in this case, of course, the refund will be arranged by the office that received the unnecessary payment).

If the competent office does not promptly arrange the refund, the taxpayer can start the so-called compliance judgement.

SOGGETTO PASSIVO - TAXABLE PERSON

Physical or juridical person obliged to pay taxes.

SOLIDARIETÀ TRIBUTARIA - FISCAL SOLIDARITY

A situation where a number of subjects are jointly and severally liable for the payment of a levy.

The tax authority can require the payment of the entire sum to any of the liable subjects, although the subject who has paid retains the right to appeal in the civil court against the other co-debtors.

(see also Joint and several liability).

SOPRAVVENIENZE ATTIVE - CONTINGENT ASSETS

Positive entries of a company’s income consisting in a profit or in the extinction of a liability deriving from unexpected and exceptional events. C.A. are essentially a positive capital variation of operations carried out in previous financial years. By law, C. A. are:
  • profits or other proceeds achieved against costs, losses or deducted expenses or liabilities registered in the balance sheet in previous financial years
  • profits or other proceeds higher than the amount of income in previous financial years
deducted costs or liabilities registered in the balance sheet in previous financial years that no longer exist.

SOPRAVVENIENZE PASSIVE - CONTINGENT LIABILITIES

Negative entries of a company’s income deriving from the failure to make profits or other proceeds which contributed to form the income in previous financial years, or from other events such as the non-existence of assets registered in previous financial years, or expenses, losses and charges incurred against other proceeds that contributed to form the income in previous financial years.

SOSPENSIONE AMMINISTRATIVA E GIUDIZIALE DELLA RISCOSSIONE ADMINISTRATIVE AND JUDICIAL SUSPENSION OF THE TAX COLLECTION

A request for the deferment of payment submitted to the tax office (Administrative Suspension) or to the Tax Commission to which an appeal has been submitted (Judiciary Suspension.).

For the former, the taxpayer needs to prove he will suffer serious damage if he has to make the payment before the Tax Commission issues its ruling.

For the latter, the so-called fumus boni juris (when the charge is apparently unlawful) and the risk of serious damage for the taxpayer were he to make the payment, are necessary.

The taxpayer can submit his/her request for suspension separately both to the Commission and to the Revenue Agency office.

See also: Collection(Suspension).

SOSTITUITO - SUBSTITUTED

The person to whom the withholding agent makes the deduction at source on the received income.

SOSTITUTO D’IMPOSTA - WITHHOLDING AGENT

The subject (employer, pension fund, etc) that by law replaces the taxpayer (substituted), wholly or in part, in his relations with the Tax Administration, by withholding the taxes owed on the remuneration, salaries, pensions or other incomes paid, and subsequently paying them to the State.

Withholding agents are obliged to annually declare the amounts withheld by means of a special tax return (Form 770).

SOTTOSCRIZIONE DELLA DICHIARAZIONE - SIGNING OF THE INCOME TAX RETURN

The signature the assessing party must put on the income tax return form.

The tax return must always be signed, under penalty of invalidity, which can always be rectified by the taxpayer within 30 days of receiving the request from the competent Office of the Revenue Agency.

SPESE MEDICHE - MEDICAL EXPENSES

Medical expenses of any kind (general, specialist, surgical, pharmaceutical, etc) which give the right to a 19% tax deduction, after discounting the exemption of 129.11 euro.

The exemption does not apply if the expense concerns the means necessary for accompanying, lifting or moving of disabled persons, or the purchase of devices and software/hardware intended to improve their self-sufficiency and opportunities for integration.

On the contrary, other medical expenses incurred for disabled people are entirely tax deductible (Concessions for disabled people). Taxpayers who wish to declare medical expenses are required to keep the relative documentation duly receipted.

SPESE MEDICHE SOSTENUTE ALL’ESTERO - MEDICAL EXPENSES INCURRED ABROAD

Expenses subject to the same regime as those incurred in Italy.

For these expenses too, the declaring party shall keep the relative documentation, duly receipted, and, in case this is in its original language, it is necessary to attach a translation into Italian (unless the expense was incurred by a taxpayer resident in Valle d’Aosta or in Alto Adige, where a receipt in French and German, respectively, is accepted).

Expenses related to transfers and stays abroad, even if for health reasons, do not give the right to a detraction, as they are not considered medical expenses.

STABILE ORGANIZZAZIONE - PERMANENT ESTABLISHMENT

This is the permanent headquarters through which a foreign company exerts part of or all its activity throughout the territory of the State.

STATUTO DEL CONTRIBUENTE - TAXPAYERS’ STATUTE

The taxpayers’ charter introduced into the Italian system by law 212/2000.

The Statute (integrated by a number of executive regulations) recognizes the following rights:
  • to information
  • to know all deeds and to transparency
  • to the motivation of all deeds
  • to patrimonial integrity
  • to compensation
  • to good faith
  • to ruling
  • of the taxpayer under verification.
Law 212 also established the following principles that the legislator must respect when he intends to establish norms concerning taxation:
  • the use of interpretative norms in taxation matters is permitted only in exceptional cases and with an ordinary law
  • changes made to periodic levies are applied only starting from the taxation period following the period during which the relevant laws came into being. In any case, the norms cannot require taxpayers to pay earlier than 60 days of their promulgation
  • extending the limitation terms and deadlines for assessment is forbidden
  • new taxes cannot be established by means of a law-decree
  • laws (or assimilated acts) containing tax provisions must mention the object thereof in the title
  • laws that do not have a fiscal object cannot contain provisions concerning taxes, except for those strictly concerning the object of the same law.
The text of law 212, as all other provisions concerning tax matters and all relevant circulars, is available on the Revenue Agency’s website.

STUDI DI SETTORE - STATISTICS-BASED TAX ASSESSMENT

Special methods used to assess the capacity to produce profits or achieve remuneration of individual economic enterprises. 

Statistic-based tax assessments are carried out by systematically collecting data, not only of fiscal nature but also structural and of objective nature, that characterize the taxpayer’s business and the economic context in which it develops.

The assessments determine the amount of the profits or remuneration that, with the highest probability, can be attributed to the taxpayer, identifying not only the potential capacity to produce profits or remuneration, but also the elements within or outside the business which can limit the same capacity (working hours, market realities, etc).

By means of the statistics-based tax assessments taxpayers can know what criteria the Revenue Agency follows when carrying out assessments.

Knowing what the tax authorities looks for, a taxpayer can behave accordingly:
  • by adjusting his/her tax returns to the results of the statistics-based tax assessments
  • by not adjusting them in the light of valid reasons that justify the discrepancy.
The statistics-based tax assessment is applied using a special software called Gerico.

SUCCESSIONE E DONAZIONE (imposta) - SUCCESSION AND DONATION DUTY

A tax that affects free transfers and transfers due to death. The rates used to establish the tax vary according to the relationship between the donor and the beneficiary.

In particular, these are the rates applied:
  • 4%, on the excess part of 1,000,000, to each heir, for spouses and lineal relatives
  • 6% on the excess part of 100.000, to each heir, for brothers and sisters
  • 6%, to be calculated on the total value (ie without exemption), for other relatives to the fourth degree, lineal in-laws, as well as in-laws to the third degree
  • 8%, to be calculated on the total value (ie without exemption), for other people.
If the beneficiary is a disabled person recognized as severe according to law n. 104/1992, the tax is applied exclusively on the part of the value of the quota or legacy that exceeds the amount of 1,500,000 euro.


AVVERTENZE D'UTILIZZO: Il presente glossario contiene una definizione dei termini più utilizzati in ambito fiscale in Italia, tradotti e spiegati in inglese dall'Agenzia delle Entrate.
La spiegazione di ciascuno dei termini indicati in questo glossario è di carattere meramente orientativo e priva di valore legale; si raccomanda, quindi, di tenere conto del contesto e dell'evento in cui essi vanno applicati, in quanto il significato loro attribuito potrebbe differire rispetto a quello qui rappresentato.

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