Among the measures contained in the draft of the budget law there is also the detaxation of tips for workers in restaurants and accommodation facilities. The “amounts donated by customers to workers”, reads the text, “constitute income from employment and, unless expressly renounced in writing by the employee” will be subject to a reduced tax rate of 5%, replacing Irpef and local income surtaxes. The reduced levy, which must be withheld by the employer, is applied for a quota not exceeding 25% of the annual income and for a maximum of 50 thousand euros.
Today tips are subject to the ordinary personal income tax rate. Article 51 of the Consolidated Income Tax Act (Tuir), in the post-Irpef reform text of 2004, in fact provides for an all-encompassing notion of income from employment, no longer limited to the salary received by the employer: “The income of employee work consists of all sums and values in general (meaning by this expression the quantification of goods and services) received for any reason in the tax period, also in the form of donations, in relation to the employment relationship” .
Precisely on this assumption the Cassation was based which in 2021 accepted the taxman’s appeal against a reception manager who had collected around 84 thousand euros in tips then paid to the bank without declaring them. In short, things are like this today: tips collected by waiters are subject to employment taxes like all income from work, even if they are not always (understatement) reported to the tax authorities.
The executive has decided to change everything by introducing a preferential rate of 5% inclusive of all taxes due. The rule should become effective once the budget maneuver becomes law, probably from January. Unless it is removed or amended by Parliament. According to the Minister of Tourism Daniela Santanchè it is “a small signal but it makes it clear that those who do their job well and with merit, this government wants to reward and help, certainly not punish”. According to her Santanchè the measure will help bring out the revenue, also because “more and more people pay by credit card”. In any case it is a measure that “goes in the spirit of merit, those who do their job well and a tip is a gratification for a job well done”.