Watch out for cash. In order not to lose the tax bonus on health expenses, you have to choose the payment method carefully. Already today. Indeed, as early as 1 January, when the manoeuvre came into force. That requires you to pay with ATMs and other means traceable deductible expenses at 19 percent.

Fifteen facilities are involved in the strait. But the most significant effect is felt on the bonus for medical expenses – drugs, visits, examinations and so on – used in the Irpef declaration by 18.6 million Italians. Nearly two-thirds of those with the 730 and the Income model. Also because, precisely for health care charges, a double lane is outlined by the Budget Act (Article 1, commi 679 and 680 of Law 160/2019): cash can still be used for medicines, medical devices and health services rendered by public or private facilities accredited to the National Health Service;

  1. For all other deductible medical expenses, you must pay by traceable means (bancomats, credit cards, prepaid cards, wire transfers, bank and circular checks or other systems).

The novelty has gone a little unnoticed among the families, but it has already started to make the insiders argue. For example, a specialist visit to a freelancer can no longer be paid in cash. While buying an orthopedic pillow with Ce marking – as a medical device – still admits cash.

Those who do not notice risk discovering only in more than a year that they are not entitled to the tax discount. That is when, in 2021, it will declare income and expenditure incurred this year. But not only that. It will also be necessary to understand how the payment method will be documented, given that doctors, pharmacies and other operators already communicate to the Health Card System (Sts) many types of medical expenses. Which then feeds into the pre-populated tax return. Among other things, from 1 January the disclosure of expenses to Sts also includes the indication of the payment instrument (cash or traceable means).

The Instructions from the Internal Revenue Service will be critical. For other tax discounts that do not allow cash – from mobile bonuses to liberal disbursements – the taxpayer is asked to keep the receipts of the transfers, the receipts of the transaction for card payments, the documentation of debit on the current account. In addition, of course, to the voucher of the expense (receipt, receipt or invoice). When you pay by check, then, the circular 13/E/2019 requires that the payment method also be included from the receipt. This, however, has been the case for some time in the case of the "talking" receipt with the tax code.

To avoid having to hunt for bank statements in a year's time, it is advisable to keep proof of payment. At least until the picture is fully clarified.

It is not risky to expect that this squeeze will produce an extra incentive to accept the pre-compiled declaration as it is, for those taxpayers who do not have major changes to enforce. But there is also another easy prediction, which is also contained in the same technical report to the manoeuvre: many Italians will lose their bonuses on the street.

The Erario estimates to save 496 million euros, including the other deductions at 19 percent. This is far from far-fetched, considering that the bonus on medical expenses – before the deductible of 129.11 euros – ranges from 728 euros (for those who declare an income of less than 15 thousand euros per year) to 1,825 euros (for those over 75,000 euros).

Source: The Sun 24 Hours