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CROSS-BORDER WORKERS

Italy and France extend Covid tax breaks for cross-border workers

Italy and France have agreed to extend the relaxation of tax rules for cross-border workers until the end of the year.

The French side of the Italian - French border in the Alpine border town of Claviere.
The French side of the Italian - French border in the Alpine border town of Claviere. Photo: Marco Bertorello/AFP

The agreements between France and the governments of Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and Switzerland avoids double taxation issues for anyone travelling across the French border to or from those countries in order to work.

During the pandemic, tax rules were eased to allow French cross-border employees, like their counterparts in Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland and Italy, to work from home without having to change their tax status.

The deals, which were established at the beginning of the health crisis in March 2020, were due to end on September 30th – and would have plunged cross-border workers still working from home because of the health crisis into renewed uncertainty over their taxes.

The latest extension of these agreements means there’s no confusion over where a cross-border worker pays their taxes until December 31st – for example cross-border workers who work in Geneva but live in France, who normally pay their taxes and social security contributions in Switzerland. 

Under normal circumstances, anyone living in France who works in Switzerland can spend no more than 25 percent of their time working from home. If they exceed this time limit, they would have to pay these tax charges tin France rather than in Switzerland, which would be much higher.

The agreements between France and Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and Switzerland “provide that days worked at home because of the recommendations and health instructions related to the Covid-19 pandemic may … be considered as days worked in the state where [workers] usually carry out their activity and therefore remain taxable,” according to the statement from the French Employment Ministry.

In the case of Luxembourg, days worked from home because of the health crisis are not counted in usual the 29 day limit.

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TAXES

Italy to cut income tax for lower earners

Italy will drop its income tax bands from five to four and reduce tax rates for those on lower incomes under an agreement reached by key figures in the Italian government on Thursday.

Italy's finance minister Daniele Franco has reached an agreement with the government’s majority parties to cut income tax for lower earners.
Italy's finance minister Daniele Franco has reached an agreement with the government’s majority parties to cut income tax for lower earners. Andreas SOLARO / AFP

Going forward, personal earnings of between 28,000 and 50,000 euros will be taxed at 35 percent in Italy, down from the current rate of 38 percent.

Taxes on earnings between 15,000 and 28,0000 euros will be reduced from 27 percent to 25 percent.

The 41 percent tax band for earnings between 55,000 and 75,000 euros will be abolished altogether, with all income over 50,000 euros now set to be taxed at the top rate of 43 percent.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How Italy’s proposed new budget could affect you

Yearly incomes below 15,000 euros will continue to be taxed at 23 percent.

The agreement was reached as the result of negotiations between Italy’s Economy Minister Daniele Franco and representatives of the majority parties in the Italian government over how to distribute the 8 billion euro tax cut provided for in Italy’s 2022 Budget Law.

Under the terms of the agreement, approximately 7 billion euros will go towards overhauling Italy’s personal income tax, or ‘IRPEF’, though these reforms.

READ ALSO: The rules and deadlines for filing Italian taxes in 2021

The remaining one billion will be used to eliminate the regional production ‘IRAP’ tax on sole proprietors and the self-employed.

The so-called ‘Bonus Renzi’, introduced by former Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi in 2014, which initially awarded an 80 euro and later a 100 euro tax bonus to lower earners, will be scrapped altogether.

Tax experts estimate that the reforms are likely to translate to average yearly savings of 100 euros for those on a 20,000 euro annual salary; 300 euros for those earning 30,000 euros per year, and around 600 for those receiving 40,000 euros per year, according to the Italian news daily Corriere della Sera.

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