Patent box: it is not always possible to find true “comparables”

Two major Italian companies (one operating in the production of artistic home furniture; the other one operating in the scientific and cultural publishing) have instructed us to analyse and value their intangible assets. Both companies intend to file with the Italian Revenue Service for application of tax benefits (s.c. “patent box” regulation) for the development and maintenance of their own intangible assets. As in these two cases, many Italian business rely on long established and almost unique intangible assets that make it very difficult if not impossible to find appropriate comparables. And when, as in our two cases, a profit split technique is applied, one may discover that income is generated by the intangibles only, while the other so called “routinary functions” do not yield much or show even losses. A situation that will be not easy to pass with Italian Revenue Service. Our clients are aware of this.