The economic crisis measures enacted with Legislative Decree n. 185/2008 include special provisions for big taxpayers. Big taxpayers are defined as companies with annual revenue or receipts equal to or exceeding 300 million EUR, gradually phased down to 100 million EUR through December 31, 2011.
Big taxpayers are subject to automatic audit based on selective lists within one year from the filing of their tax return. The audit automatically extends also to the verification that taxpayers actually complied with the interpretative solutions and advice provided by the tax administration in rulings issued to those taxpayers.
Finally, all requests for a tax ruling will be filed and processed according to the same procedure that applies to the special tax avoidance ruling. The procedure requires that the ruling application be filed with the Regional Department and then passed on the Central Department, which must issue its reply within 120 days from the application. If the ruling is not issued within the 120-day deadline, the taxpayer can file a final reminder and the tax administration has additional 60 days to respond. If the tax administration fails to respond within the extended deadline the position taken by the taxpayer in the application for the ruling is deemed approved.
The procedure referred to above applies to all three types of rulings currently available under Italian law, namely the ordinary interpretative ruling, the tax-avoidance ruling and the ruling for the exemption from the application of tax-abuse provisions limiting the deductions of costs and expenses incurred in transactions with low-tax jurisdiction enterprises .