Patent Box: a competitive advantage for many but not for all

13 July 2020

The Legge di Stabilità 2015 introduced the box patent regime in order to partially exclude from taxation the income deriving from some types of intangible assets. This scheme is based on the OECD’s Nexus approach.

The Patent Box is applicable to holders of business income who carry out research and development (R&D) activities aimed at the maintenance, growth and development of intellectual property.

The decree establishing the tax advantage explicitly refers to the need to implement an accounting tracking system to monitor the link between research and development and intangible assets as well as to verify the link between subsidized income and intangible assets. The purpose is to allow the audit of the fairness of the calculations made and the benefit due.

The approach to a regulation so articulated is the prerogative of companies that have developed an intangible protectable and which can rely on an organizational structure capable of coordinating the system as a whole and of preparing appropriate documentation to support the tax advantage.

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