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Tax incentives for investments in startups and innovative SMEs
The implementing decree governing access to tax incentives for investments in startups and innovative SMEs, made by both individuals and companies, was published in the Official Journal.
The provision, on the one hand, enhances the tax incentives for investments in risk capital in innovative startups (a single rate of 30% is passed, eliminating those previously in force, which ranged from a minimum of 19 to 27%), from the another extends incentives to all innovative SMEs.
The innovative SMEs are joint-stock companies with less than 250 employees and an annual turnover of less than 50 million euros, as established by the European definition, and which meet at least two of the following requirements:
- incurred expenses in research and development for a share equal to at least 3% of the greater value between cost and value of production;
- the workforce is constituted for at least 1/3 by holders of master's degree or by at least 1/5 by research doctors, doctoral students or researchers;
- they are holders of an industrial patent or registered software.
The tax incentives for investments in startups and innovative SMEs consist of:
- for natural persons, in a deduction from income tax (personal income tax) equal to 30% of the amount invested, for a maximum contribution of 1 million euros;
- for corporations in a deduction from the taxable amount for IRES purposes equal to 30% of the investment, with a threshold set at 1.8 million euros.
The investments made starting January 1, 2017, aimed at start-ups and innovative SMEs, duly registered in the relevant special section of the Business Register, are therefore eligible.
To ensure full compliance with European legislation on state aid, the methods of using the incentive for innovative SMEs foresee some differences with respect to what is envisaged for startups, in particular for companies active on the market for more than seven and ten years.