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Italian Patent Box: updates on the new discipline
2019-08-29

Important simplification introduced by the "Growth Decree" and the consequent provision of the Revenue Agency: the new procedure for determining the eligible income for the Patent Box as an alternative to the ordinary procedure (so-called ruling)

Following the recent provision of the Italian Revenue Agency — in implementation of the discipline referred to in Article 4 of Decree Law No. 34 of 30 April 2019 — the new rules for the direct determination of income eligible for the Patent Box have been defined.

This measure allows all corporate income holders — regardless of their legal nature, size and production sector — to partially tax-deduct the proceeds deriving from the exploitation of the aforementioned intangible assets.

Before the "Growth Decree", the only way to facilitate the direct use of intangible assets was to initiate a procedure of prior agreement (so-called ruling) with the Revenue Agency to reach the signing of an agreement that authorized the use of a calculation method agreed between the parties.

Now, instead, an alternative has been made effective that allows taxpayers to directly determine their own eligible income. This option must be communicated in the income tax return for the tax period to which the Patent Box facility refers, has an annual duration, is irrevocable and is renewable.

The measure also specifies that the appropriate documentation is that consisting of a document, divided into two sections, A and B, containing the data, information and elements listed. It is also clarified that the option for the direct determination of the eligible income can be exercised by all taxpayers who meet the conditions for the Patent Box regime (as provided for by letter K of the measure itself) including those who have reached an agreement following the Patent Box procedure, as an alternative to the renewal thereof.

In addition to these important clarifications, specific indications are provided in relation to the use of the possible calculation methods used, the particular rules applicable to SMEs and Microenterprises and the terms and methods of delivery of the documentation itself, which must be carried out within and no later than 20 days from the request (any further information requested by the Financial Administration must be provided within 7 days of the request).

In conclusion, the new method to access this benefit reduces compliance costs for both taxpayers and the Financial Administration offering the opportunity to take advantage of the facility directly in the tax return and benefit from it over a period of 3 years.

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