The freeze on tax credits linked to renovation works is stopping tens of thousands of construction sites. And now homeowners, afraid of losing benefits, could sue companies. WATCH THE VIDEO
The blocking of tens of thousands of construction sites financed with the 110 percent superbonus risks leading to a wave of lawsuits between homeowners and building companies. This is the fear of trade associations.
The fault lies with the so-called non-performing loans. That is to say the tax rebates resulting from the renovations that no one wants to buy anymore. The most widespread mechanism of the superbonus, as well as of the other building bonuses, is in fact the discount on the invoice: the property owner does not pay the renovation costs, which instead advances the building company. Which will then either be able to retaliate on the State through a tax discount spread over several years or, more commonly, sell this credit against the tax authorities to another actor, mainly the banks, which, arming themselves with patience, will be able to pay less taxes every year until they recover expenditure (also obtaining a profit). Until November 2021 there was no limit on the exchange of these credits, in many cases also causing the possibility of defrauding the tax authorities. Since then, the legislation has severely restricted the transfer, first reducing the limit to just one and then reaching up to 4.
The crux of the matter, however, is that this secondary market for tax credits has essentially stalled. Leaving between 5 (according to the Cna) and 15 billion (according to Ance) euros of hole for companies in the sector. Which therefore could be forced to suspend the construction sites in progress due to the lack of the necessary liquidity.
Tens of thousands of construction sites in half
According to Sky TG24’s calculations on Enea data, around one in ten construction sites could now be at a standstill or – if completed – not be repaid by the state. We are talking about over 30,000 construction sites. The companies involved would also be thousands in this case, 25 thousand for Ance, and of these over 60 percent have difficulty finding a tax credit buyer according to Cna. A problem that is becoming gangrenous: over three out of four companies have had these tax discounts in their stomachs for over 5 months, while in spring 2022 this portion stopped at 35 percent.
The risks these companies face are bankruptcy (for 46.5 per cent), the suspension of construction sites which could lead to lawsuits (declared by 60.1 per cent), the risk of insolvency (71.4 per cent ) and the halt to new construction sites (86.3).
The State has attempted to overcome the difficulties through the guarantee of Sace, which can provide liquidity to businesses in order to complete the works. Meanwhile, the owners fear that they will have to pay the renovation costs themselves. In fact, if the Revenue Agency does not find an improvement in the energy class – a requirement for accessing the incentive – it will request the money back promised with the tax discount. And someone will have to put the money at that point.