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Patent box

The Italian Government is committed to making Italy a competitive place for innovation and growth. The aim of the Patent Box plan is to promote Italy as a hub of intellectual assets currently located abroad by supporting investments in R&D.
Development contracts


Any company


Optional Tax Regime. The regime is an elective tax regime granting 50% exemption from Corporate Tax (IRES) and Local Tax (IRAP) on income derived from the licensing or the direct exploitation of qualifying intellectual property (IP). The exemption will be 30% for 2015, 40% for 2016 and 50% starting 2017 onwards


Qualifying income is determined for each intellectual property (IP) on the basis of the ratio between the costs sustained for the development, maintenance and improvement of the IP and the overall costs of its production


Capital gains arising from the disposal of IP are exempt from taxation provided that at least the 90% of the consideration is reinvested before the end of the second tax year following the disposal in R&D activities

A foreign business can access the plan only if it has business income through a permanent establishment in Italy and is located in a state that has a double tax agreement with Italy and undertakes an effective exchange of information

Performs R&D activities either directly or in cooperation with universities



The optional tax plan must be itemized in the annual income declaration and last for five fiscal years. It cannot be revoked and is renewable.

Applications can be made online according to the procedures and through forms available on the Italian Tax Agency website.