Italy: New procedure for the Patentbox Regulation


published on 30 August 2019

by Hans Röll, Rödl & Partner und Luca Schröder


The Italian Patentbox Regime originally started in 2015 and allowed Italian companies that earn excess profits due to (self-developed) specific intellectual property (from this point onwards also “IP”), explicitly listed by the Italian authorities (for instance, trademarks are no longer included), to tax only part of the excess profit.

To be allowed to apply the Patentbox, companies had to submit a ruling request to the Italian tax authority (i.e. “Agenzia delle Entrate”, from this point onwards also “AdE”). The advantage of this procedure, i.e. tax certainty, was counterbalanced by the extremely long time that it takes to get to an agreement with the AdE (many companies that applied for a Patentbox in 2015 are still waiting for an agreement).

In order to avoid these long lasting rulings, the Italian government has introduced a new optional procedure. If certain administrative requirements are fulfilled, this new procedure allows the taxpayer to benefit from the tax advantages immediately, without having to wait for the end of the time-consuming ruling procedures.

To be allowed to apply the Patentbox immediately, the taxpayer has to fulfill specific administrative requirements, amongst others:
  • Informing the AdE about the intention to apply the Patentbox Regime through a specific indication in the tax return for the year when the Patentbox is applied;
  • Preparing a (quite extensive) Patentbox Documentation which entails all the information requested by the AdE (explained in their latest publications). However, certain aspects of the regular Transfer Pricing Documentation can be reproduced in the Patentbox Documentation.


In order to keep this option active, the AdE has to be informed and a Patentbox Documentation has to be prepared every year.



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