Art. 16 of Law Decree no. 119/2018 introduced significant updates to the regulation on the digital tax litigation procedure.
Mandatory digital tax litigation procedure
Starting from 1 July 2019, the parties in a tax controversy will make use exclusively of the digital procedure, as regulated by the decree of the Minister of economy and finance no. 163/2013. Digital procedures remain optional in case of disputes involving taxpayers being not assisted by a defence counsel (i.e. disputes up to 3 thousand Euros). The regulation specifies that the digital procedure is mandatory for the tax litigations pending before the Courts of first or second instance, for which the appeal has been notified starting from 1 July 2019.
The regulation allows using the digital procedures even though the first instance litigation procedure was carried out through the paper procedure. The new provisions confirm that the parties can freely use digital procedures to notify and file documents both at first and at second grade of judgment, regardless of the option chosen by the counterparty.
Upon request of one of the parties, the discussion can occur via a video connection between the courtroom, where the judges are gathered, and the domicile indicated by the party. This request must be presented immediately, in the appeal or in the first pleading. The connection must ensure that the people participating from both places are able to see and hear each other. The technical and operating rules will be established through an order by the minister of finance, after consulting the executive board of tax courts and the Italian Agency for digital development.
The mandatory digital tax litigation procedure will lead to a saving of more than 5 million Euros per year. 330 thousand paper bundles will be saved each year, corresponding to 47 km of paper, and saving costs for 4.7 million Euros. Moreover, physical space for archives will be reduced. Digital hearings will then allow a saving of 600 thousand Euros per year starting from 2021.