Grants and incentives program updates: March 2016
Global developments benefiting business
This monthly publication provides a summary and updates on the latest global developments in research and development (R&D) credits, grants, and other inventive arrangements. More than 50 countries offer specific incentives and this newsletter focuses on identifying and outlining what could be the right incentives for your organization.
High New Technology Enterprises (HNTEs)
New rules issued for recognition of HNTE status
Companies that are eligible for HNTE status are subject to a 15 percent enterprise income tax rate, rather than the standard 25 percent rate. The rules governing HNTEs, originally issued in 2008, have been considered somewhat out of step with the global economy, so new measures have been introduced to:
- Lower certain thresholds for a company to be recognized as an HNTE
- Streamline the application process
- Update the list of state-encouraged high-new technologies
- Enhance the post-recognition audit process, which determines whether a company continues to qualify as an HNTE
More companies (SMEs, in particular) likely will be able to obtain HNTE status and enjoy the tax benefits. However, companies still need to consider whether to apply for HNTE status, since HNTE status results in various ongoing compliance obligations and the company must ensure that the associated IP arrangement is aligned with the group strategy. It is expected that post-recognition scrutiny and audits will be enhanced following the issuance of the new rules.
Framework program "Microelectronics—Technologies for the future"
The scheme focuses on the improvement of microelectronics in the following fields:
- Improving the quality of rail services by increasing reliability and punctuality by as much as 50 percent
- Electronic systems with various functions (e.g. innovative integration technologies on a wafer and substrate level)
- Power electronics for the efficient use of energy (e.g. innovative circuit technology solutions based on new power semiconductor materials)
- Innovative tools for chip and system design (e.g. testing and verification methods for mixed analogue-digital systems and 3-D integrated systems)
View the full list of eligible fields.
Battery, manufacturing, materials, all industries
Battery 2020—Battery materials for future electric cars and stationary applications
The scheme focuses on innovative material-based solutions for new battery systems that aim to improve qualities, such as energy and power density. Topics include:
- Material and process technology for battery systems (e.g. new and cost-efficient synthesis routes; new binding systems for micro electrodes and nanostructures)
- Material for secondary high-energy and high-performance battery systems (e.g. development of new active materials, such as water-based material systems, 3-D structured electrodes and multi-layer systems)
- Future battery systems (e.g. further development and exploitation of the potential of metal ions, metal sulphur, and metal oxygen batteries)
Strengthening tourism SMEs through modernization and service improvements
The main objective of this action is to support the investment projects of existing micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises in the tourism sector. The projects should aim to modernize the enterprise’s infrastructure and operation, improve services, and upgrade any products. The enterprise should aim to improve its position in the domestic and international tourism markets.
Patent box regime: Forms, instructions, and clarifications
Italy’s new patent box regime, which is based on the OECD “nexus approach,” grants a partial exemption from corporate income tax and the local tax on productive activities for
income derived from certain intangible assets. A range of IP falls within the scope of the patent box regime, including trademarks and know-how.
After publishing the form and instructions for electing into the regime on 1 December 2015, the Italian tax authorities have published their first clarifications, which include instructions for filing a ruling request (which is mandatory where the IP is used directly) and require that the request include basic information, with more detailed data required within 120 days from filing (simplified rules apply to SMEs).
Energy Investment Tax Credit (EIA)
The EIA is a program that allows companies that invest energy-saving processes, equipment, and sustainable energy to deduct an additional 58 percent of investment costs (increased from 41.5 percent in 2015) incurred in 2016 from their taxable profits, which results in a net tax benefit of 14.5 percent of the investment.
Investments must be related to specific described techniques (such as cooling and lighting), but there also is an open category where the relationship between energy savings and the level of investment is used to determine whether the investment will qualify.
For more information
For more information on any of the programs listed above, please contact the in-country representative or your usual contact.
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