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Inpatriate tax regime in case of employment with companies of the same group

Impatriate tax regime applicable also for taxpayers holding administrative positions in companies controlled by their previous employer.

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In its reply to ruling no. 524 of 2 October 2022, the Italian Revenue Agency ruled on the case of a company manager who requested the application of the benefit for impatriate workers after having returned to Italy and having held an administrative position in an Italian subsidiary within the group of which he was previously CEO.

The case under ruling no. 524

In the case examined by the Italian Revenue Agency, the applicant is an Italian citizen, resident abroad since 1998, where he works for an English company at the head of a group of the same name. The petitioner has held the role of CEO of the company since 2015, in addition to positions as director of two English subsidiaries and of the Italian subsidiary.

Following his dismissal from the parent company, the executive is about to return to Italy in order to take up a new position at the Italian subsidiary of which he is still a director.

The request addressed to the Agenzia delle Entrate concerns the possibility for him to benefit from the impatriate regime and in particular whether the following do not constitute obstacles:

  • the maintenance of the administrative positions held during the previous employment relationship with the previous English employer, including that of CEO;
  • the circumstance that prior to his return to Italy, he had also held the position of director of the Italian company, his new employer, during his employment relationship with his previous foreign employer, since these roles were “ancillary and in any case secondary to the office of CEO and carried out remotely at his usual place of work abroad except for occasional trips to Italy”.

The reply of the Italian Revenue Agency

In its answer no. 524 of October 2, 2022, the Italian Revenue Agency went over the discipline of the impatriate tax regime, provided for by Article 16 of Legislative Decree No. 147/2015 in favour of workers who:

  • transfer their residence in the territory of the State and remain there for at least two years;
  • have not been resident in Italy in the previous two tax periods;
  • who work mainly in Italy.

The relief in question is available to taxpayers for five years starting from the tax period in which they transfer their tax residence to Italy and for the following four tax periods.

The Agency, also in the light of the practice, considers that in the case at hand the petitioner may benefit from the impatriate regime even if he maintains the administrative office held with the London parent company and if, prior to the transfer to Italy, he held the office of director of the subsidiary. What matters for the purposes of the relief is that the petitioner acquires tax residence in Italy and works there, conditions in line with the favourable regime that aims to reward the return of workers to our country. Moreover, in the case at hand, the petitioner was not posted abroad, so it is not even necessary to verify the absence of continuity with the previous employment position in Italy.

The Agency has therefore given a positive reply to the request in question, confirming that, in the presence of all the requirements required by the regulations, the petitioner will be able to benefit from the impatriate regime starting from the tax period in which he moves to Italy.

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Regulatory Framework

Article 16 of Legislative Decree No. 147/2015

Reference (Italian only)

Reply no. 524 of 2nd October 2022

Reference (Italian only)

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