Fraud in building bonuses: how can municipalities make a difference?


Emma Potter

The recent debate on the 110% Superbonus and other tax breaks for building renovation has brought the proposal to center attention involve municipalities more actively in checks against fraud and irregularities.

The proposal, currently discussed in the Senate Finance Committee, aims to extend the checks to other bonuses, such as that for architectural barriers, revealing a growing concern for the correctness in the application of these incentives.

Such a solution aims to intensify the fight against fraudulent activities and optimize the use of public resources, but raises important questions about effectiveness and possible complications.

The role of the Municipalities and the new proposed measures

The proposed proposal provides for aintensification of controls with a strengthened role of the mayors, involving them directly in the fight against fraud linked to the undue receipt of tax deductions. In particular, the text of the amendment suggests that Municipalities not only monitor the use of the superbonus, but also other tax measures at risk, such as the architectural barrier bonus.

The idea is to exploit the proximity of local administrations to the territory for a more effective and widespread verification, directly addressing the violations that have so far put significant sums of public money at risk.

Furthermore, the plan includes potential technical insights into construction interventions, with the aim of identifying and sanctioning operations that do not comply with current regulations. This marks an important step towards tighter control and greater transparency in building renovation operations that benefit from state incentives.

Despite the positive intent, implementing the new control measures is not without challenges.

Local administrations, already under pressure due to obligations arising from the procurement of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR), may find it difficult to manage additional tasks. The limits of human and technical resources are significant, especially in small municipalities where the close ties between administrators and citizens could also influence the effectiveness of controls.

Furthermore, past experience shows that revenue sharing mechanisms have not always produced the desired results.

Despite the similar mechanism provided for housing benefits, reports of tax evasion remain relatively low, with some geographical areas almost completely absent from this practice. This raises questions about the realistic applicability of the new plan and its ability to ensure a concrete impact in the fight against fraud.