Dogmi e principi: riflessioni alla luce della recente pronuncia della consulta sulla responsabilità tributaria in materia di scissione.

Di Fabrizio Pacchiarotti, Stefano Guarino -
Il tema dei limiti della responsabilità tributaria nella scissione costituisce un argomento a lungo dibattuto, sul quale le annose argomentazioni degli interpreti parrebbero aver trovato risposta nella recente sentenza della Corte Costituzionale n. 80 del 26-04-2018. La sentenza ha avuto l’indubbio merito di aver posto un punto fermo ai dubbi di legittimità che la differente estensione della responsabilità tributaria e civilistica aveva creato negli operatori; in ciò è senza dubbio da accogliere con favore, essendo la certezza del diritto un valore giuridico fondante di ogni stato di diritto. Cionondimeno, la pronuncia presterebbe il fianco ad alcune osservazioni, di seguito esaminate.
The extent of the tax liability arising from demerger has been a long standing issue. Pursuant to the Italian Civil Code (Article 2506-bis, paragraph 3 and Article 2506-quater, paragraph 3), as a result of a demerger, beneficiary companies are liable up to the net assets value received from the merging company, as a result of the demerger. The underlying reason must be found in the principles underpinning the succession of individuals and legal entities, whereby the extent of the liability is usually narrowed down to the value of the assets received (i.e., intra vires), hence ensuring a fair relationship between assets received and liabilities to be incurred. However, when it comes to deal with tax liabilities arising from a demerger, tax rules (Articles 173, paragraph 12 and 13, Presidential Decree 22 October 1986, No. 917) do not identify any threshold for the exposure of beneficiary companies. Those considerations have given rise to a debate on whether or not the limitation provided by the Code Civil also applyies to tax liabilities arising from a demerger; it has also been also noted that, in the absence of sounding justifications, the existence of different set of rules for tax liabilities and other kind of liabilities could breach the principle of equality, hence triggering constitutional issues. A recent judgment, handed down by the Constitutional Court (judgment No. 80 of 26 April 2018), has deeply dealt with those issues, expecially the constitutional ones. While appreciating the judgement – since it is a remarkable attempt to increase the certainty of law – we identify some room for criticism, as shown in the following analysis.