I should carry out the renovation of my single-family villa and, to this end, I have long presented the related projects in the Municipality. Due to a series of delays, I have not yet been able to start work and therefore will not be able to meet the 30% barrier as of 30 September 2022.
On the advice of my technician, I am considering splitting the building, to obtain two functionally independent real estate units and to extend the time horizon of the Superbonus to 31 December 2023.
Being aware of the responsibilities I face, I would like to understand if the splitting can be carried out after submitting the project and in any case before the “start of construction work “. Even more in particular, I would need to understand what is meant by the term “start of construction work “.
The expert’s answer
The subject of real estate splits and mergers was recently dealt with by the Tax Authority in Circular no. 28/2022, in which it is specified that “In the case of building renovation interventions that involve the unification of several residential units or the subdivision of a single residential unit into several properties, the real estate units registered in the Land Registry at the beginning of construction works and not those resulting at the end of the works “.
Unfortunately, the Revenue Agency uses the term “start of construction work” in a “non-technical” way, causing shared doubts about the date to be considered. As rightly observed by the kind reader, it is not clear whether reference should be made to the number of existing units before the start of the authorization procedures, or before the request or release of the DP, or even before the start date of the works.
To shed light on this point, the only way, as usual, is to make an analysis of the decisions of the Revenue Agency that have occurred over time on this specific topic.
The count of real estate units for the Revenue Agency
The Revenue Agency is clear in saying that the real estate units to which refer are those “registered in the Land Registry at the beginning of the building interventions “.
On the basis of the analysis of some answers to questions, it would seem that with this last term it is necessary to refer to what, from the construction point of view, is the date of “start of work”.
Let’s start from the answer to question n.90 / 2021 which states: “For the purposes of interest here, the circumstance that the constitution of the aforementioned condominium took place after the presentation of the project to the Public Works Department (former Civil Engineering Department) and before the filing of the building permit to the competent Municipality is irrelevant, given that, as specified,
reference must be made to the beginning of the work.
As regards the question posed by the Applicant regarding the spending limit admitted to the Superbonus, it should be noted that, in application of the principle set out above, according to which the situation existing at the beginning of the works must be valued, in the aforementioned circular no. 30 / E of 2020, it has been clarified that if a demolition and reconstruction intervention is facilitated, for the calculation of the expenditure limit admissible to the Superbonus the number of real estate units existing before the start of the works is considered;“
In line with the previous one, also the answer to question n.250 / 2021, which reads: “ Again from an objective point of view, with reference to the deductions due for the expenses incurred for interventions for the recovery of the building heritage and for interventions aimed at energy saving, … for the identification of the spending limit, the real estate units registered in the Cadastre must be considered at the beginning of the building interventions …“
Again, in the circular n.23 / 2022 we read: “For the purposes of applying the Superbonus, it is necessary to refer to the number of existing buildings at the beginning of the works. In the absence of an express regulatory provision in this regard, it is possible to benefit from the Superbonus even in the event that, before the work begins, the taxpayer divides a single housing unit into several properties. For example, the sole owner of a building can, before the work begins, divide it into several distinctly stacked real estate units in order to benefit from a higher spending limit. Any concrete verification of a distorted use of the facility in question remains unaffected. “
But there are contradictions.
In the reply to question n.256 / 2020 it is stated that “the company can identify the spending limit for the” bonus earthquake “facility, on individual real estate units, to the extent that
the land registry census of these units is pre-existing to the authorization procedures and to the beginning of the building interventions
which give the right to the bonus earthquake relief. “
Therefore in the latter case the territorially competent office of the Revenue Agency has prescribed to refer to the real estate units registered in the land registry before the authorization procedures (and obviously before the start of the works).
However, the latter is considered to be a minority orientation, compared to the more general one that is obtained from reading the answers set out above, as well as from Circular 23/2022.
Answer to the question
The question posed by the kind reader refers to a case in which, to maximize the tax benefits, it is intended to divide a property before the start date of the works and after having concluded the project approval process. It is believed that the orientation that can be inferred from the practice is favorable to admitting this possibility and therefore, without prejudice to the renovation project, it is necessary to proceed – before the start date of the works – by presenting a specific building practice for dividing the property followed by the cadastral division .
But be careful, because the Revenue Agency, while admitting this procedure, specified that “The possible ascertainment, in concrete, of a distorted use of the facility in question remains unaffected “.
edited by Cristian Angeli
engineer expert in tax deductions applied to construction
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