R&D, Innovation and Design tax credit: issued the decree to obtain the preventive certification of eligible projects

Edited by Vitalba Passarelli, Giovanni Marra and Francesca Fraioli

On 14 September was issued, and it is in course of registration at the Court of Auditors, the Prime Ministerial Decree which implements the regulations introduced by the art. 23 of the legislative decree 21 June 2022, n. 73, to encourage the application in conditions of operational certainty of the tax credits provided for by article 1, paragraphs 198 et seq., law 160/2019.

Companies will be able to request a specific certification certifying the qualification of research and development, technological innovation and design, referred to, respectively, in paragraphs 200, 201 and 202 of law no. 27 December 2019. 160, for the purposes of recognition of the tax credit in the measures provided for in paragraphs 203 to 203-quater of the same law, as well as the qualification of the research and development activities pursuant to article 3 of the legislative decree of 23 December 2013, n. 145, converted, with amendments, by law 21 February 2014, n. 9, as well as the qualification of technological innovation activities aimed at achieving digital innovation 4.0 and ecological transition objectives, for the purposes of recognizing the increased tax credit for technological innovation activities provided for in the fourth period of paragraph 203 and from the subsequent paragraphs 203-quinquies and 203-sexies of the same article 1 of the aforementioned law no. 160 of 2019.

Register of certifiers pursuant to art. 2

The decree establishes the Register of certifiers authorized to issue certifications held at the General Directorate for industrial policy, innovation and SMEs of the Ministry of Enterprise and Made in Italy (Mimit) which, within 90 days of the entry into force of the decree itself, will establish the procedures and deadlines for submitting registration applications.

In general, under the conditions specifically detailed in the Decree, it is expected that the following can submit the registration application:

  • natural persons in possession of a degree suitable for the subject of the certification;
  • companies professionally carrying out consultancy services relating to research, development and innovation projects;
  • technology transfer centers in the Industry 4.0 area;
  • highly specialized competence centers pursuant to the directorial decree of the Ministry of Economic Development of 29 January 2018;
  • the European digital innovation hubs;
  • state universities, legally recognized non-state universities and public research bodies.

Procedure and content of the certification pursuant to art. 3

Certification may be requested by subjects who have made or intend to make investments in activities eligible for the recognition of tax credits provided that the violations relating to the use of the aforementioned tax credits have not already been ascertained in a bill or contested with tax deed.

The company that intends to make use of the certification procedure must request it from the Mimit, using the appropriate form and according to the procedures as defined by the directorial decree.

The technical analysis carried out by the certifier must take into account the “Guidelines” being developed by Mimit which will be published by 31 December 2023. With the same “Guidelines” certification schemes can be adopted referring to the different types of investments and activities and to the different economic sectors.

Supervision of certification activities pursuant to art. 4

Mimit exercises supervision and control over the activities carried out by the certifiers, verifying the formal correctness of the certifications issued and proceeding, on the basis of suitable control plans, to verify the compliance of their content with the facilitative provisions and the “Guidelines”. The certifying bodies are required, by notifying the company, to send a copy of the certification to Mimit within 15 days from the date of issue to the company.

To examine the certifications, Mimit may request the certifying body, giving notice to the company, no later than 90 days from the date of receipt of the certification. The certifying body is required to send the documentation within the following 15 days, which can be extended in extraordinary situations by a further 15 days following a reasoned request.

Mimit completes the control activity within 60 days of sending the supplementary documentation. If the required supplementary documentation is not sent, the certification does not produce effects. The certification, once the terms have expired, has binding effects on the Tax Administration, in relation only to the qualification of the activities, except in the case in which, on the basis of an incorrect representation of the facts, the certification was issued for a activity different from the one actually carried out.

The parties requesting certification are required to pay the secretarial fees to the State budget established in the sum of 252 euros per certification.

For a deeper discussion, please contact:

Vitalba Passarelli

PwC TLS Avvocati e Commercialisti


Giovanni Marra

PwC TLS Avvocati e Commercialisti