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In this page: Accounting Rules | Tax Rates | Intellectual Property | Legal Framework | Standards | Business Practices


Accounting Rules

Tax Year
The tax year begins on 1 January and finishes on 31 December of the same year.
Accounting Standards
Since November 2001, the organization in charge of the harmonization and control of accounting standards has been the Italian Accounting Organization (Organismo Italiano di Contabilità - OIC). The OIC replaces the "Commissione Paritetica per la Statuizione dei Principi Contabili", a commission controlled by the Italian competent accounting body and which has published 30 accounting standards. Italian accounting standards do not have force of law.
Accounting Regulation Bodies
Accounting Reports
Italian companies must draw up the following documents in their financial statements:
- the balance sheet;
- the profit and loss accounts;
- the notes to the accounts;
- the annual report.
Publication Requirements
The annual report, the audit report, the financial statements and a copy of the minutes of the AGM must be filed with the company register 30 days after the AGM.
Unlimited liability companies are not obliged to publish their accounts.
Companies listed on the Stock Exchange must draw up quarterly financial statements.
Unlimited liability companies (SNC, SAS) only have to draw up a balance sheet and a profit and loss account, with no obligatory form.
Small companies are authorized to draw up financial statements in a shorter form.
Professional Accountancy Bodies
CNDCEC , National Council of Professional Accountants
INRC , National Institute of Auditors
Certification and Auditing
The Civil Code obliges limited liability companies whose capital is more than 120,000 EUR to appoint, at the AGM (Assemblea dei soci) an audit committee (collegio sindicale) of three to five members who give an account of their audit in an annual report included in the financial statements of the company. This committee is appointed for three years and may be prolonged indefinitely. Since 2004, a "collegio sindicale" must contain at least one revisore contabile. The law does not impose any particular model of presentation of the audit report.
Companies listed on the Stock Exchange must have their accounts audited by external independent auditors (società di revisione).


The National Committee for companies and the Stock Exchange is an independent administrative authority whose role is to protect investors.

Accounting News
OIC news, Italian tax agency publications

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Tax Rates

Consumption Taxes

Nature of the Tax
IVA (Imposta sul Valore Aggiunto)
Tax Rate
Reduced Tax Rate
There are reduced rates of VAT of 4% and 10% on basic products.
A rate of 10% is applied to some foodstuffs, live animals, some fuel supplies, catering, transport and housing.
A rate of 4% is applied to some foodstuffs, imports of agricultural products, medical supplies, books, e-books and magazines.
Other Consumption Taxes
Other taxes are determined at the national or local level such as taxes on tobacco, petrol, alcohol, oil, etc.

Learn more about Service Providers in Italy on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Corporate Taxes

Company Tax
The calculation is different for banks, insurance companies and other financial intermediaries.
Tax Rate For Foreign Companies
Resident companies are taxed on the basis of their global revenue. Non-resident companies are taxed on the basis of their income earned in Italy.
Capital Gains Taxation
Capital gains are generally treated as ordinary income and taxed at the 27.5% corporate income tax rate.
Main Allowable Deductions and Tax Credits
Research expenses. Royalties on intellectual property such as patents and trademarks. Expenses for advertising and entertainments. For additional information, consult the Italy's Tax System on the National Agency for Investment's website.
Other Corporate Taxes
The Municipal Tax is levied on real estate property.
Other Domestic Resources
Consult Doing Business Website, to obtain a summary of the taxes and mandatory contributions.

Country Comparison For Corporate Taxation

  Italy OECD United States Germany
Number of Payments of Taxes per Year 15.0 12.0 11.0 9.0
Time Taken For Administrative Formalities (Hours) 269.0 176.0 175.0 207.0
Total Share of Taxes (% of Profit) 68.3 42.7 46.7 46.8

Source: Doing Business - Last Available Data.

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Individual Taxes

Tax Rate

The income tax rate Progressive up to 43%
EUR 0 - 15,000 23%
EUR 15,001 - 28,000 27%
EUR 28,001 - 55,000 38%
EUR 55,001 - 75,000 41%
EUR 75,001 and over 43%
Solidarity Surtax 3% on all income exceeding EUR 300,000 (applies until 2014).
Allowable Deductions and Tax Credits
Maintenance allowance; university expenses; medical expenses (if they are over 129 EUR); dependent elderly or disabled persons; etc.
Special Expatriate Tax Regime
Expatriates living in Italy will be classified as a Resident or Non-Resident. Non-residents are only taxed on income and gains arising in Italy, compared to worldwide income and gains for residents. Individuals are considered residents if:
- for a period of 183 days they are registered with the registry office of the Population Registry (Anagrafe);
- for a period of 183 days has their principal place of business or residence in Italy;
- for a period of 183 days has his centre of vital interest (i.e. his family) in Italy.

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Double Taxation Treaties

Countries With Whom a Double Taxation Treaty Have Been Signed
See the list of the signed fiscal treaties
Withholding Taxes
Dividends: 27%; Interest: 12.5%/27%; Royalties: 15% if resident and 22.5%/30% if non-resident.

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Sources of Fiscal Information

Tax Authorities
Italian tax agency
Other Domestic Resources

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Learn more about Taxes and Accounting in Italy on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

Intellectual Property

National Organizations
Italian Bureau for Patents and Trademarks (the official agency for the protection of intellectual property in Italy).
Copyright SIAE (Società Italiana degli Autori ed Editori : Italian Society for Authors and Editors).
Regional Organizations
For the protection of patents: the European Patent Office
Governing trademarks, designs and models: the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market.
International Membership
Member of the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization)
Signatory to the Paris Convention For the Protection of Intellectual Property
Membership to the TRIPS agreement - Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)

National Regulation and International Agreements

Type of property and law Validity International Agreements Signed
1939 law on patents
period of validity: 20 years
Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)
1939 law on models
period of validity: 10 years Trademark Law Treaty
Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks
Law on designs
initial period of validity: 15 years  
2000 copyright law
Berne convention For the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against Unauthorized Duplication of Their Phonograms
Rome ConventionFor the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations
WIPO Copyright Treaty
WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty
Industrial Models

1939 law on industrial designs
initial period of validity: 15 years  

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Legal Framework

Independence of Justice
Equal Treatment of Nationals and Foreigners
In the legal texts, there is no discrimination against foreigners. In practice, however, there is a degree discrimination.
The Language of Justice
Sources of the Law and Legal Similarities
The Italian Civil Code was created on the basis of Roman law modified by the Napoleonic Code. It is also modeled on German law. The highest law is the Constitution.
Checking National Laws Online
The constitution in 5 languages
Codes in Italian

Learn more about Lawyers and Legal in Italy on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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National Standards Organizations
Italian Standardization Organization (Ente Nazionale Italiano di Unificazione, UNI)
Italian Electrotechnical Committee (CEI)
Integration in the International Standards Network
International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)
International Telecommunications Union (ITU)
European Committee for Standardization (CEN)
European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC)
Classification of Standards
Italian standards are called UNI. Those of the electrotechnical sector are called CEI.
Online Consultation of Standards
The UNI catalog
The CEI catalog
The ISO catalog
Certification Organizations
Italian accreditation federation (SINCERT-FIDEA)
Association of independent test and certification laboratories (ALPI)
National system for laboratory accreditation (SINAL)
Calibration Service (SIT)

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Business Practices

General Information
Doing Business in Italy
Italian culture and customs
Opening Hours and Days
Saturday and Sunday closed, or only Sunday and Monday morning for trade.

Public Holidays

New Year's Day 1 January
Epiphany 6 January
Easter Sunday and Monday First Sunday after the first full moon of spring
Liberation Day (National holiday) 25 April
Workers' day 1 May
Funding of the Republic 2 June
Assumption 15 August
All Saints 1 November
Immaculate Conception 8 December
Christmas and St Stephen's Day 25 and 26 December
Summer holidays Second and third week of August
Holiday Compensation
When a public holiday falls on a Sunday, some shops are closed the Monday after.

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Last Updates: November 2014