An article by our associate Dott. Gianni Mario Colombo, administrative and tax expert: Financial statements approval of non-profit entities.

Gianni Mario Colombo, Ratio Quotidiano; April 27, 2020

The deadlines for the application of the balance sheet of non-profit entities incorporated or constituted under the Book 1 of the Civil Code are generally established by the statutes and sometimes by special laws.

The Civil Code does not include a deadline for the approval of the financial statements of non corporate entities. In some cases though, they are regulated by the founding laws (e.g. Onlus, ODV, APS).

Usually, in these cases, the deadline for approval is set after four months from the end of the financial year. So that, even this year, the deadline for approval of the budget is approximated for such entities that have the social exercise coincident with the solar year, but in an extraordinary situation.

Onlus, ODV, APS enrolled in the respective registers, for wich the deadline for approval of the social budget goes from January 31thto July 31th 2020, can enjoy the terms of approval of the budgets carried out by art.35 Legislative Decree 17.03.2020, n. 18 and approve the budgets by October 31th 2020.

Some doubts arise for other non-profit entities (associations and foundations) that are not included in the above categories but are in the same emergency situation caused by the Coronavirus. Inexplicably, for such entities there is no specific provision in the decree to postpone the date of approval of the financial statements, maybe beacuse of a forgetfulness due to the rush.

The problem has been solved in the conversion law (L. 24.04.2020, n. 27) by which the paragraph 3-ter was added to art. 35 Legislative Decree 17.03.2020 n. 18. It considers the extention of the derogation even to those entities referred to in Chapters II and III of Title II of Book One of the Civil Code and the entities referred to in art. 73, c. 1, letter C, of the Tuir (D.P.R. 917/1986).

With the latest changes upon conversion, the derogation therefore also applies to recognised and not recognised associations, foundations, committees and other non-profit entities lacking in the above qualifications, as Onlus, ODV e APS.

A topic emerges with regard to the budgetary content and it deserves to be considered. This topic is the financial reporting, in relation to the emergency situation that has arisen. There is no doubt that in the first months of 2020 (hence before the date of approval of the financial statements) extraordinary events have happened. Even if they will not impact on the 2019 accounts, it will be appropriate (for companies is mandatory pursuant to art. 2427 of the Civil Code) to present in the accounts notes, a detailed statement about the impact of the event on the entity financial, wealth, economic and social situation.

These informations are going to be coordinate with the analysis provided by the management report (for non-profit entities in the mission report) with regard to the evolution of management in the first months of 2020.

In certain circumstances, where the impact is greater, it will be important to evaluate the potential impact of the health emergency on business continuity.