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Italy / Court of Cassation / 3362

Two private citizens v the Public Revenue Agencies (Agenzia delle Entrate)

Policy area:
Taxation
Deciding Body type:
National Court/Tribunal
Deciding Body:
Court of Cassation
Type:
Decision
Decision date:
08/02/2017

Key facts of the case:

The two private citizens filed a complaint to the Court of Cassation against the decision of the Latium Regional Tax Commission to consider legitimate the  financial penalty imposed to the complainants by the Public Revenue Agency becuse they had benefitted of the financial contribution for the purchase of their home – aimed at supporting beneficiaries in having access to an essencial right such as the right to housing -  even though they didn’t have right to it since their home actually didn’t fit the requirements because it was to be considered a “luxury estate” according to the in-force legislation. One of the grounds of the penalty was that the complainants provided a mendacious declaration concerning the estate they wanted to purchase in order to benefit from the financial contribution.

Outcome of the case: 

The Court of Cassation considered that according to the current in-force legislation (Art. 10.1 of the Legislative Decree No. 23 of 14 March 2011) – which changed the criteria defining a “luxury estate” excluded from the financial contribution for the purchase of a dwelling – the financial penalty could still be considered applicable to the property of the two complainants. The result of this question is in the Court’s opinion negative since according to the current criteria their estate could not be considered a “luxury estate” anymore. For this reason, the complainants could not be confirmed a financial penalty that cannot be imposed according to the in-force legislation. For this reason, the complaint has to be accepted. Moreover, the mendacious declaration provided by the complainants – even representing an illegal practice – does not constitute an offence because according to the in-force legislation it does not represent the basis for the complainants to have access to the financial contribution, since the criteria ruling its concession have been reformed in the meanwhile.