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Failure to pay withholding taxes and lack of joint and several liability of the withholding agent

Dong & Partners international law firm has recently obtained total relief from a tax notice issued following a formal check, carried out pursuant to art. 36 ter of Italian Presidential Decree no. 600/1973, for the sum of € 2,481.67 relating to the 2015 fiscal year.

The tax notice referred to the failure to pay the withholding taxes made on some invoices issued by the professional to Italian companies. The related withholding taxes had also been declared in the professional's financial statement 2016 related to fiscal year 2015.

In this regard, iaccording to the Italian Supreme Court "In the event that the withholding agent fails to pay the sums, for which he has made the withholding taxes, the withholding agent is not held jointly and severally liable in the tax collection, given that the joint and several liability provided for by the art. 35 d.p.r. n. 602/1973 is expressly conditional on the fact that no withholdings have been made"(Italian Civil Section of Supreme Court, Sent., April 12, 2019, n. 10378).

On the basis of this principle of law, the Italian Tax Agency, once it received the relative appeal with a complaint-mediation application from the Dong & Partners International Law Firm, proceeded in self-defense to grant total relief from the payment note.

Please note that in Italy the withholding tax is applied to invoices issued between holders of VAT numbers under the ordinary regime.

Avv. Lifang Dong and Avv. Chiara Civitelli

The content of this article does not constitute legal advice, but has an informative function. For tailor made legal advice, contact the firm by e-mail to: or by phone +39 06 916505710. © Dong & Partners International Law Firm, All rights reserved

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