Italy to curb tax benefits to CSOs and restrict freedom of assembly
A newly drafted Law Decree on taxation measures would remove tax benefits for monetary donations to not-for-profit organizations in Italy. Proposed by the government and adopted in first reading by the Senate, the Decree is now pending before the Chamber of Deputies for its final reading.
The current Code of the Third Sector (Article 83) allows each individual to deduct 30% of their monetary or in-kind donations to not-for-profit entities from their gross taxable income (raised to 35% if the donations are for voluntary organisations), for a total amount not exceeding the value of 30,000 euros in each tax period. The proposed Decree (No. 119/2018), which is linked to the forthcoming Budget Law for 2019, includes an amendment which removes the benefit altogether for monetary donations, leaving it in place only for in-kind donations.
This is only the latest of a string of worrying developments affecting the civil society sector in Italy. The recently approved new government Decree on Security and Immigration has reintroduced the crime of “street obstruction”, punished with imprisonment from one to six years, also in cases of spontaneous gathering of people in public spaces. At the same time, a far right campaign has been calling on the government not to sign the UN Global Compact on Migration at the forthcoming Intergovernmental Conference on 10-11 December, arguing that “If the government signs it, it will condemn Italy to the invasion plan written by the UN, the NGOs and Soros.” As a result, the government has announced that it will not take part in the Conference to sign the agreement.