The Tax Credit Marketplace powered by Workinvoice is born

Workinvoice, fintech of our ecosystem, by welcoming the new legislation has been able to create a new market in partnership with CRIF and PWC. We asked CEO Matteo Tarroni to tell us what it is all about.

The first platform to sell and buy tax credits is created. How does it work? Is it the first in Italy or in Europe?

The creation of a secondary market for entirely digital transferable tax credits and realized through a marketplace is certainly a novelty for Italy. We analyzed a couple of platforms in the USA, which have increased the liquidity of the State and Federal Tax Credits.

What is your role in the initiative?

Workinvoice creates digital infrastructures and designs the related processes that allow counterparties to buy and sell credits on a marketplace. In the case of the trade receivables market (operational from 2014), these are companies wanting to sell their invoices to specialized investment funds in order to anticipate their collection. In the case of this new platform, these are companies and banks wanting to sell their tax credits to other companies that want to reduce their tax burden.
A simple concept indeed, but one that requires an infrastructure that designs processes and implements them digitally and efficiently to provide marketplace members with the best user experience while containing operating costs and ultimately the sustainability of the marketplace itself, which must break even quicker. This is what Workinvoice does.

When was the collaboration with Crif born? And how did you work together?

We have been working together with the CRIF Group since 2018, with both its “souls”: the corporate (Cribis) and the financial institutions (CRIF). Since 2018 the Group has also entered the capital of Workinvoice developing the first real industrial partnership in fintech in Italy.
Together with them we developed this new idea, very focused on time-to-market as up to 4 months ago the Superecobonus did not even exist. For fiscal know-how we involved PWC as technical advisor.

With this platform a new market opens up, how do you expect it to evolve in the future?

The short-term objective is to give liquidity to the bonus provided by the Relaunch Decree. The possibility to monetize it quickly becomes a kind of “incentive to the incentive“. Afterwards we may see a financialisation of the marketplace when asset managers and financial institutions enter the marketplace, also keeping in mind the role of market makers. This is only the first asset that can be exchanged on the marketplace: others will follow. A new freely investable asset class will be created, as we have already done for trade receivables represented by invoices.

What are the benefits of this initiative for the end user?

On the marketplace operate companies and banks that have an interest in monetizing the credits on one side and on the other side companies that want to acquire the credits to offset the tax burden on all taxes paid through the F24 form (including withholding taxes on employee income).
For both sides of the market these are the main advantages and differences compared to off-market transactions:

  • Continuous availability of tax credits: Users of the platform will be able to assess the possibility of buying and/or selling tax credits at any time.
  • Advanced exchange mechanism: Thanks to its experience in the field of trade receivables, Workinvoice has an in-depth knowledge of transaction management mechanisms.
  • Process compliance and certainty of credit: If the assignee of the credit has contributed to the violation of tax regulations, he is jointly and severally liable for the tax and sanctions shall be applied against him. It is therefore essential to demonstrate good faith, a circumstance that is difficult to decline in an absolutely new context such as that of the Superbonus. Thanks to the participation of PwC in the project for the creation of the platform, a set of procedures and documents to be kept to meet the need to demonstrate good faith has been prepared.
  • Economic efficiency: The platform is based on a matching mechanism between supply and demand that eliminates potential market inefficiencies and lowers the commission level of the service (also thanks to the digitization of the end to end process).
  • Speed: The entire process of buying and selling and online compliance checks guarantees shorter timescales compared to the most common offline processes. This will allow the assignees to also cover also the portion of taxes that cannot be estimated at the beginning of the year and for which the time window between the identification of the tax debt and the date of payment is narrower.

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FD Marketplace. Interview with Linklaters

LINKLATERSis a leading global firm combining legal expertise with a collaborative and innovative approach to help clients navigate constantly evolving markets and regulatory environments.We have chosen to include Linklaters in our marketplace to support the startups in our community from this point of view as well. Alessandro Tanno explains better how this will occur.
What are the main legal issues that a startup, especially fintech and tech, has to face from your point of view?
Fintech startups tend by definition to operate in very specific areas that are sometimes, unlike the typical business models of incumbents, either poorly regulated or subject to regulations that arenot studied beforehand,but adapted to that business and therefore sometimes also unclear. The greatest criticality, therefore, lies in moving within a regulatory context that is constantly evolving; trying to mitigate risks as much as possiblewithout the necessary legal framework affecting the sustainability and scalability of the business model. The structured external consultancy must therefore respond to these fundamental needs, providing a timely and rapid service that fully understands the needs of the business and the commercial and technological issues, making them available to the startup professionals vertical skills on specific sectors, but, at the same time, making themtransversal so as to effectively support the startup throughout its evolutionary phase.
What kind of services and support can you provide them?
Linklaters has always aimed to invest in its customers and establish lasting partnerships based on trust. The support provided by Linklaters is not merely legal support or individual advice. The same goes for Fintech, a strategic priority for us. That’s why, within the global network in each office, dedicated Fintech teams have beenformingthat dialogue with each other on a daily basis and that now constitutesa privileged observatory on international trends and best practices. This, combined with our consolidated relationships with regulators and financial institutions, allows us to position ourselves in the startup ecosystem as a solid legal partner.
Linklaters also relies heavily on collaborations with market enablers. In addition to being proud partners of the Fintech District, we are also exclusive legal partners of Crowdcube, FinTech50, TeckUK and Singapore Fintech Association. We believe that collaboration is the best tool to learn new market models and facilitate dialogue between the traditional banking channel and new fintech operators.
Have you launched any particular support/assistance initiatives for the covid19 emergency?
The Covid-19 Emergency required the Firm to remodel all activities. The objective has remained the same as ever: to invest in our clients. All the more so at a delicate time like this, demonstrating that we are at their side to support them in managing the crisis and rescheduling their activities was of paramount importance. Our activities have therefore intensified considerably, leaving room for new projects and different initiatives that have followed the evolution of interaction with customers. We had to oversee new channels of communication and increase the use of new technologies in order to help our customers quickly find their way in a market that had become deeply uncertain. In this way the client expects clear and rapid answers to ever new questions, so one of our first initiatives was to create a multidisciplinary guide to bring together the most diverse experiences of our professionals to support our clients’ big questions. We then created the “Covid-19 / Italian Legal Hub”, a specific section dedicated to Italy on our global website, a collection of insights and practical tips to help clients deal with this emergency while staying up to date with the latest regulatory news. The site also contains a section entirely dedicated to the impacts of the emergency on the ecosystem of Italian SMEs and startups. The continuous dialogue with customers has been crucial because it has allowed us to intercept needs and adapt our structure to change. From this continuous exchange You Matterwas born:an initiative aimed at providing a first free support on issues arising from the Covid-19 emergency, and in particular related to Employment issues.
All our events turned into webinars, we created a training menu to provide free training on legal issues, capitalizing on years of important investments in technology. Linklaters has also partnered with DocuSign, a world leader in e-signing, to enable its clients to affix qualified electronic signatures remotely to most of the documentation produced as part of an operation. This element will represent a “game changer”. A first step
towards the first deal managed in an entirely virtual way.
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FD Marketplace: interview with NoDoubt

NoDoubt is an Independent Consultancy Firm founded in 2015 and active in Human Resources & Organization. It is one of the professionals of the Fintech District network and we asked Elena Ghilardi, what was her vision of the sector and the activities carried out by the company that could be useful to the Italian startup ecosystem.

What are, in your point of view, the most important issues the fintech sector is facing, from the HR stand?

Beyond the ordinary HR needs, the contingent period is leading us to face a number of changes that will certainly affect the business of tomorrow. I read that 70% of FinTech do not agree with their banking partner either on a cultural or organizational level. It is important that traditional banks consider them as strategic partners with whom to work together to quickly face the changing expectations of consumers. From an organizational point of view, there could be a great need to work on the organizational culture shared between FinTech and its banking partner.

What kind of advice do you give to startups/scaleups in the tech/fintech sector?

NoDoubt, in addition to its Executive Search and HR Consultancy activity, NoDoubt proposes itself as HR Advisor for start-ups, possibly with different needs, according to their growth phase, offering flexible support plus a dedicated and highly customized HR team.
For start-ups in the launch phase, we propose activities of organization, construction of skills models, identity & brand reputation, privacy models and recruitment service focused mainly on entrepreneurial soft skills as well as technical ones.
For companies in the Warm Up phase, we generally suggest an activity focused on building up an organizational culture, development and training plans, as well as recruitment service and employer branding.
Finally, we support Scale Up realities mainly for Talent Acquisition, Performance Management, Leadership Consulting and Assessment/Development Center activities, in order to accompany them to the next phase in which they will be able to internalize an HR Manager who will lead, together with NoDoubt or autonomously, the construction of the internal Human Resources function.

Have you launched any initiatives related to the Covid19 emergency? What kind?

NoDoubt has not launched specific initiatives related to the Covid19 emergency, mainly because we have been faced with a workload that hasn’changed much from what we were used to before.
However, we have had the opportunity to discuss and reflect on what may be the main HR activities we can put forward in a delicate moment such as this: reorganization (which does not necessarily mean cutting down, but rather reorganizing its resources, to respond more efficiently to the new normality), capabilities assessment (facing a cultural and business change requires a new assessment of the capabilities of its resources, ensuring a quick and effective response to the market), climate survey (in a period of great change, how arethe resources operating in my organization living through it? This offers the possibility of designing possible ad hoc interventions able to restore security, determination and orientation to the new objective), leadership coaching (the context changes, the approaches change: hence the importance of a leader who is able to stay on track as far as the business is concerned but also to management his team). In addition to the fact that leadesrhip in start-ups is often strongly entrepreneurial and less managerial, it is important to have the right combination. Crises reveal leadership style for better or for worse and consequently the ability to maintain a balance between strategy and medium-long term vision versus an opportunistic decision making (that sees only the short term), training (new contexts, new objectives: all this means new skills) and employer branding (the market is uncertain, the perception of brands changes: how to remain attractive to resources on the market?).

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