On Tuesday the 29th of October 2019 the representatives of the project partners of the XBORDER-WORK project (Autonomous Region Friuli Venezia Giulia - Central Directorate for Work, Training, Family; Employment Agency of the Republic of Slovenia -ZRSZ, Slovenian Regional Economic Union -SDGZ-URES) publicly presented its results in two press conferences held in Trieste and Koper for Italian and Slovenian media.
Project activities were presented by Alessandra Miani (A.R. FVG) , Jana Krušič (ZRSZ), Matteo Feruglio (SDGZ-URES) and the lawyer. Boštjan Starc, who participated in the project as an external consultant.
The project idea was conceived after noticing the difficulties encountered by cross-border workers ( Slovenian and Italian workers who are tax residents in one country but who are employed in another) in declaring the income received abroad.
As the lawyer Starc explained during the conefrences, the problems arise mainly due to lack of knowledge, incomplete information and partly due to differences in the tax return procedures in the two countries. In Italy, the tax payer makes the tax return on its own, declaring all the income he generated in the previous year, while in Slovenia it is the revenue agency that calculates due taxes based on information received from the employers. It then ends an informative calculation of personal income taxto the tax payer.
Sometimes cross-border workers are not aware of the practical implications of these procedures or may have difficulties due to insufficient knowledge of Italian or Slovenian.
The project was implemented in several phases. In the first phase, the lawyer Starc, together with other consultants, conducted an analysis of the Italian and Slovenian tax legislation in order to identify similarities and differences between the two systems.
In the second phase, the lawyer has drafted a bilingual form according to which the employer can provide the employee with all the necessary information he might need to present the tax return in Italy or to challenge the information calculation of the income in Slovenia). In the third phase, the partners involved 35 Slovenian and Italian companies that employ cross-border workers to "test" the module. This ws meant to verify its suitability and comprehensibility. Taking into account the opinions of entrepreneurs, the Starc has developed various iterations of the module. The goal was to create a module that is not too complicated, but at the same time provides all the necessary information that can be used by the worker or his tax advisor to declare the income correctly.
At the end of the test phase, the project partners summarized the results of the pilot project in a report that will be presented to the Working Community of European Regions that funded the project through the B-Solutions call.
During the implementation of the project, the project partners also contacted the Italian and Slovenian tax authorities. unfortunately it was not possible to organize a presentation meeting with the Italian Revenue Agency, while the partners were able to present the purpose of the project to the representatives of the Koper Finance Office, who verified the initial analysis of the project and suggested some corrections.
Starc pointed out that the module is not likely to be adopted by Slovenian or Italian tax administrations in the near future, but tax consultants and accountants will be already able to use it in 2020 for tax returns realted to the year 2019.
Project coordinator Matteo Feruglio also assured that the final version of the module would be freely available for anyone who would like to use it to use it. Before the end of the year, the form will be available on the SDGZ website: www.sdgz.it.
The long-term purpose of the project partners is in any case the formal adoption of the form or a similar module, which will facilitate the declaration of income of cross-border workers. Finally, as pointed out by lawyer Starc, the establishment of bilingual information desks at the local offices of the Italian and Slovenian revenue agencies would help frontier workers considerably.