INPS revises the calculation basis for artisans and merchants of SRL

News of great interest to many small and medium-sized enterprises: with Circular letter No. 84 of 2021, INPS revises the contribution calculation basis for determining the contributions of artisans and merchants.  The change follows the compliance of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies with sentence no. 23790/2019 of the Court of Cassation, which reiterated that capital income attributed to members of the above-mentioned sections, deriving from the mere participation in capital companies in which the person does not work directly, is to be excluded from the taxable contribution base.

The orientation defined by Circular no. 102 of 2003, in which INPS established that the taxable contribution base for SRL was to be determined by allocating the company’s business income pro rata to the shareholder, regardless of its actual distribution and regardless of the person’s participation in the activity work of the company, has therefore finally been superseded.

The Court of Cassation cites that Article 3-bis of Decree-Law No. 384 of 1992, which governs the social security taxable base for artisans and merchants, requires the “personal participation in the work of the company” to trigger the contribution obligation.

In addition, the same judgment underlined that the debt is raised by the taxpayer’s income that can be classified as business income as reported for IRPEF.

Purpose to the Article 44 of Presidential Decree 917/1986, under letter e), the “profits deriving from the participation in the capital or assets of companies and entities subject to IRES” were included on capital income. The Italian Revenue Agency, with the resolution no. 103/E of 4 December 2012, has clarified that this provision is to be understood as “not limited to the scope of application due to the objective qualification of the person receiving the profits”, but that “only the circumstance that the same person participates in the capital or assets of the company” should be noted.

Consequently, the income deriving from the mere participation in the share capital does not fall within the notion of business income but rather capital income and must therefore be excluded from the tax base.