Social cooperative: legislation

Social cooperative: legislation

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Social cooperative: legislation, what the law on registration in the register and on the tax charges of shareholders says. Taxes to pay and social security (INPS).

There social cooperative it is a particular legal form that can be used by social enterprises that aim to pursue non-profit purposes. Based on the l. 381/1991 and Legislative Decree 460/1997, which govern the life of social cooperatives, these organizations have the purpose of pursuing the general interest of the community in promotion and tosocial integration of citizens, through the management of socio-health and educational services and through it carrying out different activities, which are aimed at favoring the work placement of disadvantaged people (such as physically disabled or drug addicts).


By law, social cooperatives can operate in one of the two activities (service management or different activities), but not in both. The evidence that the two activities are functionally linked is an exception: in this case, however, the legislator requires the social cooperatives to rigidly separate the two managements, considering that various facilitations are foreseen.

Social cooperative: registration in the register

Social cooperative societies are registered in the eighth section of the National Register in the prefectural register, in Social cooperation section. From the date of this registration, they will be able to benefit from specific tax and other benefits.


Within the team of social cooperatives it is possible to distinguish different types of shareholders.

  • Workers, who contribute their work in exchange for a salary;
  • Users, who use the services offered by the cooperative directly or indirectly;
  • Lenders, who are not interested in the mutual benefits of the social cooperative, but only in the possibility of being able to make a cash investment in them;
  • Volunteers, the number of which cannot exceed half of the total number of members, who lend their business free of charge for solidarity purposes (therefore, they are not remunerated).

In type b) social cooperatives, i.e. those that carry out different activities, it is then possible to distinguish ordinary working members is working partners disadvantaged people: in any case, the latter cannot exceed 30% of the total number of workers.

The pension

Among the main advantages of the social cooperation, there is the fact that while ordinary working members are equated with subordinate workers, disadvantaged workers can take advantage of a reduction in compulsory contributions on the wages paid.

Tax concessions for social cooperatives

In addition to social security benefits, the social cooperatives can benefit from important tax breaks. However, it is necessary that, beyond the criterion of prevailing mutuality, cooperatives introduce in their statute, and respect:

  • the ban on distributing dividends in excess of the maximum interest of postal savings bonds, increased by 2.5 points compared to the capital that is actually paid;
  • it is forbidden to remunerate the financial instruments offered for subscription to cooperative members in excess of 2 points with respect to the limit set for dividends;
  • the prohibition of distribution of reserves among cooperative members;
  • the obligation to donate (in the event of dissolution of the company) the entire corporate assets, net of share capital and accrued dividends, to mutual funds for the promotion and development of cooperation.

With regard to IRES, the income of social cooperatives is exempt if the amount of the salaries that have been paid to the members who work continuously are not less than 50% of the total value of all the others. costs, except for raw and ancillary materials. The exemption is instead reduced to 50% if the amount of these salaries is less than 50%, but at least equal to 25%.

Social cooperative: legislation

In addition to this, production and labor cooperatives can take advantage of the deductibility from business income of the sums paid to working members as a supplement to wages (rebates) up to the limit of wages increased by 20%.

Among the additional advantages, social cooperatives that carry out different activities aimed at the job placement of disadvantaged people in the field of IRAP, it is possible to deduct the labor costs of such people from the tax base. If, on the other hand, cooperatives carry out management activities of socio-health and educational services, on a regional basis it is possible to obtain the recognition of a reduced IRAP rate compared to what is established by the legislator in the ordinary way or, in some cases, the right to the exemption from the tax itself.

Video: CitiCoop transforms the microfinance service into a cooperative (May 2022).