With Ruling no. 956-343/2021 (not published) the Italian tax authorities (ITA) clarified that legally protected intangible assets, whose costs have not been capitalized in the balance sheet, can be stepped-up for Italian CIT purposes under Article 110 of Law Decree 104/2020 (August Decree) by paying a 3% substitute tax.


The uncertainty derived essentially from the wording of the rule, which provides for the inclusion in the 2019 financial statements of the assets that benefit of the step-up.


  • The Ruling makes explicit reference to the interpretative document no. 7 recently released by the Italian Accounting Board (OIC), which clarified that the step-up regime apply, for accounting purposes, also to legally protected intangible assets not booked in the balance sheet.
  • The OIC specified that this approach prevents a potential unjustified discrimination between companies that capitalised the costs of intangibles assets and the ones that did not.
  • In line with the OIC interpretation, the ITA clarified that the step-up executed for accounting purposes represents, per se, the condition for its recognition for CIT purposes, subject to the payment of the 3% substitutive tax.
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