Italy: Legal Interest Rate – Increased To 2,5% From 2012 – Tax And Pension Contribution Effects

Last Updated: 25 January 2012
Article by Batini Colombo Saottinis' Tax Team


With the Ministry Decree dated 12.12.2011, published on the Official Gazette no. 291 dated 15.12.2011, the legal interest rate, stated by article 1284 of the Italian Civil Code, has been increased from 1,5% to 2,5% on a yearly basis.

The increase has effects with relation to some tax and contribution laws.


The new interest rate is applicable starting from January 1st 2012.


The increase has effects with relation to some tax measures.


The increase of the legal interest rate implies the increase of amounts due under the self regularization institute set by article 13 of the Legislative Decree no. 472 dated December 18th 1997.

In order to regularize insufficient or delayed payments of taxes through the self regularization, the amount due has to be increased by the reduced penalty and legal interests calculated at the legal rate maturing day by day starting from the day following the date when the fulfilment expired up to the date of effective payment.

The legal rate to be applied is the one if force in every single period under a pro - rata temporis criterion and therefore:

  • 1,5%, until 31.12.2011;
  • 2,5%, from 1.1.2012 up to the payment date. In example, the self regularization of the missed payment of the second instalment of the corporate income tax (IRES) expired on November 30th 2011, paid on February 10th 2012, implies the application of the legal rate as follows:
  • 1,5%, for the period 1.12.2011 - 31.12.2011;
  • 2,5%, for the period 1.1.2012 - 10.2.2012.


The increase of the legal interest rate to 2,5% operates even in case the tax payer has opted for a payment into instalments of amounts due under alternative tax litigation's measures:

  • acceptance of invitations to cross-questionnaires, under article 5 of the Legislative Decree no. 218 dated 19.6.97; on instalments following the first one, interests are calculated starting from the day following the payment of the first instalment;
  • acceptance of tax audits' reports, under article 5-bis of the Legislative Decree no. 218 dated 19.6.97; on instalments following the first one, interests are calculated starting from the day following the notification date of the partial assessment report;
  • accepted assessment, under article 8 of the Legislative Decree no. 218 dated 19.6.97; on instalments following the first one, interests are calculated starting from the date of acceptance of the assessment;
  • acquiescence of the assessment, under article 15 of the Legislative Decree no. 218 dated 19.6.97; on instalments following the first one, interests are calculated starting from the day following the payment of the first instalment;
  • judicial appeasement, under article 48 of the Legislative Decree no. 546 dated 31.12.92; in instalments following the first one, legal interests are calculated starting from the date of appeasement's agreement.

"Crystallization" of the legal interest rate

With relation to the accepted assessment the Circular Message of the Tax Agency no. 28 dated 21.6.2011 (§ 2.16) has clarified that the legal interest rate to be applied is the one referred to the year of its perfecting, remaining the same even if the payment of the instalments will be made in the following years.

The same principle is applied to all the other measures mentioned above.


The new 2,5% legal interest rate is applied to interests' calculation not agreed in writings, with relation to:

  • mortgages (art. 45 paragraph 2 of the Italian General Tax Law - TUIR);
  • to interests concurring to form the corporate income (art. 89 paragraph 5 of the Italian General Tax Law - TUIR).


The increase of the legal interest rate to 2,5% can't be applied, instead, to the alternative/substitutive tax due for the re-calculation of participations' purchase cost or lands, under article 5 and 7 of the Law no. 448 dated 28.12.2001 n. 448 (Financial Law 2002) and subsequent amendments and integrations.

In that case interests due for payments by instalments is fixed at 3%, since its amount is not connected to the legal interest rate.


With a further Ministry Decree coefficients related to the calculation of register, mortgage, cadastral, inheritance and donation taxes, will be updated to the new legal interest rate, for the following tenancies and rents:

  • perpetual and undetermined tenancies;
  • undetermined time pensions;
  • lifetime pensions;
  • lifetime usufruct rights.

Effective date

The new coefficients will be applied to public and judicial instruments published or issued, to notarized and not notarized private agreements submitted for their registration, and inheritances or donations opened or made, starting from 1.1.2012.


The modification of the legal interest rate affects also civil penalties foreseen for the missed or delayed payment of social security of pension contributions, under article 116 paragraph 15 of the Law no. 388 dated 23.12.2000 n. 388 (Financial Law 2001).

In case of missed or delayed payment of these contributions, in fact, penalties are reduced to 2,5% starting from 1.1.2012, in case of:

  • objective uncertainties due to conflicting jurisprudential orientations or administrative determinations on the existence of the contribution obligation;
  • fraudulent activity by third parties, reported to the judicial authority;
  • turn-down, corporate reorganization having a particular social and economic relevance, relating the contingent and local employment situation and productive situation of the sector.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Batini Colombo Saottinis' Tax Team
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.