Supreme Court victory for the firm in a case concerning the sale of a going concern
A favourable verdict for the Firm’s client was delivered by the Supreme Court in a case defended by partners of the Firm, Mr. Giancarlo Zoppini and Mr. Giuseppe Pizzonia. The legal question at stake concerned the responsibility of the transferee for tax liabilities payable by the transferor of a going concern.
In particular, the Supreme Court affirmed the principle according to which the transferee may only be called upon to respond to tax disputes which, at the date of the transfer of the going concern, had already been challenged against the transferor.
This is also valid even if the transferee has not previously requested a “tax certificate”, which attests the existence of any tax disputes in progress at the date of the transfer of the going concern.
More specifically, the Supreme Court knowingly distanced itself from previous rulings to the contrary by clearly acknowledging that the request of such certificate constitutes a mere option available to the taxpayer. The failure to exercise this option cannot cause the extension of the taxpayer’s liability. Rather, it means that the taxpayer cannot benefit from an advance discharge of liabilities.