Legislative Decree 231/01



The increasing importance of tax governance

A virtuous tax governance represents an increasingly important element in a wider business strategy. Domestic and international legislators are considerably extending transparency requirements for companies (such as OECD BEPS action plan, country-by-country reporting, etc.).

Therefore, tax functions are called to respond efficiently and effectively to tax risks, strengthening their control systems.

In Italy, article 39 of Law Decree no. 124 dated 26 October 2019, concerning “urgent measures for tax needs” establishes a substantial tightening of penal sanctions for tax crimes. 

Some of the tax crimes listed in Decree no. 124 fall within the scope of crimes under Legislative Decree no. 231/2001 - “Regulation of the administration liability of legal persons, companies and associations without a legal personality”.

As a consequence, besides the direct criminal liability of the person who commits the crime, the Decree provides an administration liability of the legal person obtaining an interest or advantage from such crime.

The crimes listed in abovementioned Legislative Decree 231/2001, consistently with Law no. 157/2019, now also include tax crimes and soon, in line with EU directive no. 2017/1371, VAT frauds will be also included.

The impact of these new law regulations will be considerable – not only for Italian legal persons, but also for foreign entities carrying out business in Italy – considering that, from now on, they will need to implement an organizational structure which identifies and analyses all tax risks related to their activities, in order to ensure a proper management system.

The above is meant regardless of the fact that the foreign company has a permanent establishment in Italy or not.

Therefore, we warmly suggest companies to update their compliance system, implementing a 231 organizational model or – if already implemented – updating it basing on the above new provisions.

Our firm has a team of tax advisors and lawyers specifically dedicated to these services. Contact us for any information and clarifications needed on this issue.