International Tax Consultancy

ITAXA is a law firm specialized in International Tax Consultancy. Its team consists of lawyers and accountants who, employing their knowledge of legal and economic matters, can provide clients with integrated services and effective solutions.

ITAXA offers national and international tax consultancy services to Italian and foreign clients. Our services can meet the requirements of ordinary or “pathological” relations between tax authorities and taxpayers.

International Tax Advice for Businesses

  • Advising
  • Fiscal planning 
  • Residence for tax purpose analysis
  • “Exit Tax” enforceability verification
  • Relocation abroad Check-Up
  • “Hidden” permanent establishment Check-Up
  • Examination of Black List and White List CFC Establishment
  • Black List Cost Analysis
  •  Transfer Pricing compliance
  • Interrogation filing
  • International Ruling Agreements
  • Prevention of Evasion, Avoidance, and Abuse of the Law
  • Analysis of the Advantage Related to Double Tax Treaties
  • Examination of VAT and other indirect taxes

International Tax Advice for Individuals

  • Advising
  • Tax planning and optimization
  • Taxation analysis of foreign incomes
  • Fiscal assistance to cross-border people
  • Analysis of residence for tax purposes in Italy and abroad
  • Assistance concerning the so-called “Fiscal Monitoring”
  • Assistance in the enforcement of “IVIE” and “IVAFE” taxes
  • Assistance for the “Voluntary Disclosure” procedure
  • Prevention of Evasion, Avoidance, and Abuse of the Law
  • Property protection (Trusts, Property funds, Trustees, etc.)


Tax Assessments

  • Assistance during access, inspections and verifications
  • Definition of financial Administration’s assessments
  • Drafting of defence briefs
  • Filing of self-defence and relief application
  • Filing of application regarding the suspension of tax collection

Tax Litigation

  • Defence before Provincial and Regional Tax Commissions
  • Filing of appeals to the taxpayer’s Guarantor
  • Defence before the Court of Cassation

Tax Crimes

Defense during criminal proceedings for crimes concerning:

  • fraudulent tax return
  • unfaithful tax return  
  • omitted to file a tax return
  • issuance of documents for non-existent operations
  • concealment or disappearance of documents
  • omitted payment of certified withholding taxes;
  • omitted payment of VAT
  • undue compensation  
  • fraudulent avoidance of payment of taxes

The Scope of International Tax Advisory Services

The globalization of the economy manifested through the intensification of international trade in goods and services, the growth of direct investment abroad, cross-border capital transfers, and labor mobility between different countries places particular importance on international tax advisory services. States in the international community are increasingly driven to collaborate more actively to coordinate their respective taxing powers and protect their tax revenues from international tax evasion practices.

In this new scenario, international tax advisory services provide taxpayers, businesses, and individuals with the tools to assess their tax positions with several objectives carefully:

  • Optimize the tax burden by adopting precise measures that guarantee legitimate tax savings;
  • Eliminate the double taxation of income at the international level (avoiding its full double taxation both in the State of the source of income and in the State of the taxpayer’s residence);
  • Minimize the risk of disputes for tax violations, both tax and criminal, by the States in which they operate, arising from practices of international tax evasion or avoidance.

The achievement of these objectives forms the subject of the international tax analysis of the taxpayer’s specific position.

The Framework of International Tax Advisory Services

The aforementioned objectives can only be achieved through international tax advisory services, which start by precisely considering all the details of the specific case under examination.

In fact, considering the complexity and fragmentation of international tax law, as well as the need to coordinate the national, supranational, and international regulatory system, any generalization, merely abstract evaluation, or even the failure to consider even a single detail of the specific hypothesis, can determine the complete unreliability of the international tax advisory service performed.

It also follows that although some cases may appear, at first glance, to be similar, in most cases, the difference of even a single detail can lead to completely different outcomes for the international tax advisory service.

On the other hand, any error made in examining the case details within the international tax advisory service can lead to erroneous solutions and seriously damage the taxpayer, either in terms of a lack of legitimate tax savings or, even worse, disputes with the tax authorities.

The Legal Analysis Underlying International Tax Advisory Services

While international tax advisory services may appear, at first glance, to be an economic and accounting activity, this is only true in a few cases.

In general, the evaluations to be carried out with international tax advisory services, taking into account tax assumptions that are governed by different legal systems (in most cases, that of the State of residence of the taxpayer and that of the State of the source of income) involve, as an essential step, a legal study that, based on the national, supranational, and international law provisions, identifies the precise rules that govern the specific case.

In fact, the main objective of international tax advisory services is to ascertain how the legal systems of different countries interact with respect to the same income component, so the evaluations that result from this should be, first of all, legal in nature.

Therefore, it is not enough to be familiar with domestic tax law to correctly perform international tax advisory services; one must develop a precise specialization in international tax law.

The legal study of the case is important because if the law that governs the case is not first identified, it is impossible to understand the tax qualification of the case itself and, therefore, the provisions applicable to it.

Otherwise, one would end up applying legal rules that, perhaps, have nothing to do with the case at hand.

Because of the aforementioned fragmentation of international tax law, several provisions may appear applicable in a specific case, but only one must be applied.

This becomes even more true when, for example, a certain income is qualified in different ways by the State of residence of the taxpayer and the State of the source of income, where legal evaluations assume crucial importance.

As can be imagined, therefore, in most cases, only once the legal aspects of the case have been clarified preliminarily is it possible to proceed to deal with the economic and accounting aspects, such as, for example, those relating to the valuation or calculation of the positive or negative components of the taxable base or taxes.

On the other hand, it must be excluded that international tax issues involving the taxing power of the Italian State (e.g., on foreign income) can be resolved exclusively by foreign tax advisors (e.g., belonging to the State of the source) since these often have to be resolved based on Italian tax rules unknown to the tax systems of foreign countries.

Please note that, on the one hand, tax laws are constantly changing, and, on the other hand, specific cases can change over time, so international tax advisory services remain valid only on condition that these elements do not change over time.

Sources of International Tax Advisory Services

After clarifying that the first step for correct international tax advice is the study of the applicable legal provisions, it should be emphasized that this evaluation cannot be limited to considering national, supranational, and international provisions.

Often, the solution to a case may not be clear based on the application of the law alone, and it is necessary to refer to national, supranational, and foreign jurisprudential sources.

To this must be added the reference to the practice of the Revenue Agency (e.g., Circulars and Rulings), which, however, is not binding, being simply reproductive of the “opinion” of the Tax Authorities.

Procedural Tax Aspects

In some cases, moreover, international tax advice, in addition to examining the preliminary legal aspects of the case, must also deal with outlining to the taxpayer the possible effects of their actions in terms of:

  • the possibility for the Tax Administration to sanction the taxpayer’s behavior;
  • appeal before the Tax Court the tax assessments that may already have been notified by the Tax Authorities.

With respect to this last point, it should be noted that assessing whether or not it is convenient to appeal a tax assessment notified by the Tax Authorities does not derive solely from the study of the relevant legislation or the case law that has developed on the matter.

In particular, it is of fundamental importance to prefigure the procedural strategy that can be implemented in the specific case to establish whether or not the taxpayer has valid reasons.

This procedural strategy, however, cannot be deduced simply from the legal rules of substantive law but rather depends greatly on the in-depth knowledge of the tax trial and the relative tools through which the taxpayer can assert his or her rights, which derive from experience in tax litigation.

Again, international tax advice dealing with procedural tax profiles cannot overlook the fundamental fact that the appeal filed, in the first instance, before the Tax Court must consider the course that the process could also undergo in future judgment stages.

This means that the appeal must be conceived in the first instance in light of the possibility that the issue may eventually reach the Supreme Court of Cassation.

This is because, once the grounds of appeal in the first instance have been identified, no new grounds can be added in subsequent stages of judgment, so the exceptions raised in the first instance must already be conceived for the eventuality that the issues may reach the Supreme Court.

Therefore, it is fundamental to be familiar with drafting defensive acts in proceedings before the Supreme Court.

Criminal Tax Law Aspects

An often overlooked element in international tax consulting, but one of crucial importance, is the criminal relevance of the taxpayer’s conduct.

The importance of studying the criminal profiles of the specific case is linked to the fact that sometimes the taxpayer’s actions, in addition to having purely tax implications, configure real tax crimes, provided for and punished by Legislative Decree No. 74/2000, which can be punished even with imprisonment.

Therefore, only with a further analysis of the criminal profiles of the case can the taxpayer have a clear picture of all the tax risks associated with his or her conduct.

Also, in this regard, experience in defending against criminal proceedings for tax crimes guarantees good international tax advice on criminal tax aspects.

The Correct Approach to International Tax Issues

To benefit from tax advantages and not incur tax violations, the taxpayer should, first of all, turn to a consultant specializing in international taxation and, secondly, avoid making technical or arbitrary conclusions on their own in a matter that requires precise and considered evaluations in light of an exhaustive knowledge of the entire tax system.

a. International tax assistance for the specific case

In practice, international tax law is full of exceptions and derogations that must be applied depending on the details of the specific case under consideration and which, therefore, cannot be underestimated.

International taxation is a matter of details. It often happens that even a single detail of the specific case, apparently irrelevant, requires a solution to the problem completely different from what was considered adequate at first glance.

Furthermore, an in-depth analysis of the specific situation often excludes irregularities that the taxpayer thought he had committed and, instead, brings to light problems that the taxpayer did not even think he had.

This can happen if the taxpayer examines his position from the point of view of a single rule considered “a priori” applicable when, instead, the case must be framed through the necessary analysis conducted in light of the entire tax system under the profile of a different rule.

Therefore, international tax analysis is necessary to frame all the substantial details of the case under examination and avoid assessment errors that could lead to tax violations that would result in the recovery of evaded taxes and the application of sanctions by the Revenue Agency, such as to erode the income produced by the taxpayer and cause him serious economic damage.

On the other hand, the defense against a notice of assessment from the Revenue Agency can never be as effective as the prevention of tax violations implemented with a preventive analysis strategy.

Therefore, the verification by a professional specialized in international taxation of the problems of the specific case is an essential step.

ITAXA has extensive experience in analyzing international tax issues.

b. Tax defense by a Tax Law Firm

In the event that the taxpayer has received a notice of assessment from the Tax Administration, in light of the fact that tax litigation is becoming increasingly “random” and the consequences of losing are particularly onerous for the taxpayer, it is necessary to re-evaluate the dialogue and confrontation with the Tax Authorities and, first of all, with the Revenue Agency.

Especially in international tax matters, which are particularly complex and full of evaluative assessments, establishing a dialectical relationship with the Revenue Agency – especially in the pre-litigation adversarial phase – can avoid the prolongation of disputes in litigation, where the Tax Courts may not have the same “sensitivity” as a brilliant tax official on matters such as “transfer pricing,” “Controlled Foreign Companies,” “permanent establishment” and “foreign tax credits.”

In these cases, it is better to leave tax litigation as a “last chance,” provided prerequisites exist. Otherwise, the “ax” of the conviction to pay the trial expenses will fall.

In these choices, a fundamental step is to turn to a Tax Law Firm to evaluate carefully:

  • the most suitable strategy to defend against the notice of assessment;
  • the presence of defects that may justify the filing of an appeal with the first-instance Tax Court;
  • the possibility that the appeal may be upheld in the first-instance Tax Court.

Therefore, this is an extremely technical and meticulous assessment, which the taxpayer cannot carry out without adequate competence and experience in tax litigation.

In the absence of the aforementioned assessments, which must be carried out with the assistance of a Tax Law Firm, the taxpayer could run the concrete risk:

  • underestimating the instruments for the “transactional” settlement of the notice of assessment and starting litigation that is lost from the start, which will see him forced to pay, in addition to the taxes and penalties due, also the trial expenses in favor of the Revenue Agency (perhaps even for several degrees of judgment);
  • or to pay the sums requested with the notice of assessment, even though this is affected by a serious defect which, if denounced with an appeal, would have induced the first-instance Tax Court to annul the entire tax assessment, with no tax or penalty due from the taxpayer.

ITAXA has extensive experience in tax litigation, assisting individuals and companies in evaluating the most suitable tools for the specific case to defend the taxpayer’s interests best.

These are carried out in 3 phases:

  • preliminary analysis of the existence of defects in the notice of assessment and the most suitable tool to assert them;
  • evaluations regarding the advisability of initiating tax litigation;
  • assistance to the taxpayer in filing an appeal before the first-instance Tax Court and in any subsequent degrees of judgment.

In light of the foregoing, it is clear that international tax advice must start with a legal study of the specific case. This study must necessarily be carried out based on national, international, and supranational provisions, case law on the matter, and any procedural and criminal profiles of the case.

Areas of International Tax Consultancy of ITAXA

Below are the topics that are the subject of the Online and Off-line International Tax Consultancy service.

International Tax Consultancy for Individuals

  • Analysis of Tax Residence in Italy or abroad
  • Examination of the applicability of the incentives relating to “Brain Return” and “Impatriati” workers
  • Taxation of Income from Employment and Self-Employment produced abroad by taxpayers fiscally resident in Italy
  • Taxation of Income from Employment and Self-Employment produced in Italy by taxpayers fiscally resident abroad
  • Taxation of Dividends, Interest and Royalties
  • Planning and Optimization of Taxation
  • Assistance with Tax Monitoring of Activities and Investments held abroad (Quadro RW)
  • Assistance with the application of IVIE and IVAFE taxes
  • Prevention of Tax Evasion, Tax Avoidance, and Abuse of Law
  • Analysis of the Effects of International Exchange of Information
  • Asset Protection (Trusts, Asset Protection Funds, Trusteeships, etc.)
  • Examination of VAT and other Indirect Taxes

International Tax Consultancy for Businesses

  • International Tax Planning
  • Analysis of Corporate Tax Residence
  • Exit Tax applicability verification
  • Foreignization Check-Up
  • Hidden Permanent Establishment Check-Up
  • Examination of the applicability of the Controlled Foreign Companies rules
  • Transfer Pricing Aspects
  • Taxation of Dividends, Interest and Royalties
  • Analysis of Patent Box Incentives
  • Opportunities for submitting Interpello requests
  • Prevention of Tax Evasion, Tax Avoidance, and Abuse of Law
  • Elimination of double taxation on income in the application of the Double Taxation Conventions stipulated by Italy
  • Examination of VAT and other Indirect Taxes

Tax Consultancy on Tax Audits and Assessments

  • Analysis of the results of Audits, Inspections, and Tax Verifications
  • Defensive strategies for tax assessments issued by the Tax Administration

Tax Consultancy on Tax Litigation and Tax Crimes

  • Evaluation of defensive strategies for appealing Tax Acts before the First Instance Tax Courts, the Second Instance Tax Courts, and the Supreme Court of Cassation;
  • Analysis of the criminal relevance of the client’s conduct in relation to the Tax Crimes of fraudulent declaration, false declaration, failure to file a declaration, issuance of documents for non-existent transactions, concealment or destruction of accounting documentation, failure to pay withholding taxes, failure to pay VAT, undue offsetting, and fraudulent evasion of tax payment.

To request assistance from ITAXA, email us at info@itaxa.it or fill out the following contact form.

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    The Advantages of Choosing Studio ITAXA for International Tax Consultancy

    1. Extensive Experience in International Tax Matters

    Studio ITAXA has extensive experience in international tax matters, both in international tax consulting and in defending taxpayers from tax assessments issued by the Italian Revenue Agency.

    This extensive experience in international taxation is a unique advantage for taxpayers.

    In fact, taxpayers can rely on a vast case history of previous consultations, from which the long-term benefits have been identified, or they can be defended in a tax proceeding that has already been faced by other taxpayers in the past, using a defensive strategy that has already proven successful in other similar cases.

    2. Availability of Documentation of Practice and Rulings on Previous Cases

    Precisely because of its experience in resolving a vast caseload of international tax matters, ITAXA has several tax rulings from the Italian Revenue Agency, not published on the Revenue Agency’s websites, issued based on specific cases submitted to the attention of the tax authorities, and rulings from the first and second instance Tax Courts, not published on the usual databases.

    Therefore, the favorable opinions and decisions in the positive tax rulings and the rulings upholding the appeals of ITAXA’s clients can be used in favor of new clients to ensure that they receive non-discriminatory treatment compared to similar cases for which the tax authorities have already expressed an opinion or that have already been decided by the tax courts.

    This approach, therefore, on the one hand, in some cases makes it possible to avoid having to file a request for a ruling for cases where the tax authorities’ clear opinion has already been expressed in other similar cases and, on the other hand, can be used to invite the Italian Revenue Agency to reach a settlement of disputes on issues that have already found favor in previous tax precedents or to more effectively support a tax proceeding based on previous case law already obtained on the same issues.

    3. Training and Specialization Focused on International Taxation

    ITAXA has chosen a specific area of competence, international taxation, believing that the quality of the service offered is directly proportional to the training and specialization acquired in that field.

    In fact, adequate training in international taxation must consist of a course of study conducted in the Italian panorama and a deepening of international taxation at internationally renowned centers of excellence abroad.

    In addition, ITAXA guarantees international tax consultancy in English, both written and spoken. In particular, fluency in spoken English (even before reading and writing skills in English, which are much more common) is an essential and indispensable requirement for working on a daily basis with international tax colleagues from other countries and for providing their services to foreign clients as well.

    4. Correct Identification of the Problems of the Case and the Issues to be Resolved

    Considering that international taxation is a matter of detail, which means that the correct assessment of the factual elements of the case and the precise qualification of the case itself under the legal profile is of crucial importance, ITAXA increasingly finds that taxpayers generally encounter the following types of difficulties:

    • Identification of the relevant details of the case: this means that the taxpayer often finds himself giving value to some details of his case that are not to be considered problematic and, on the contrary, not giving weight to aspects of his case where the tax problems lie;
    • Formulation of the issue to be resolved: in this case, the taxpayer may have correctly identified the relevant details of the case but may have difficulty understanding under which specific rules his case raises uncertainties or tax problems. It often happens that the taxpayer considers his case problematic from a tax point of view when, instead, it should be examined in the light of tax provisions of a different nature. It is clear that, in this case, the correct solution to the case presupposes that the taxpayer asks himself the proper question. Without the right question, no correct answer can be given.

    Well, in these cases, the advantages of turning to ITAXA are as follows:

    • The professional does not settle for the framing of the case presented by the taxpayer but specifically guides the client to report all helpful information and to release the documentation deemed appropriate to identify the case and the relevant details helpful in solving the case;
    • Based on the correct framing of the details of the case, the professional proceeds to identify the precise issue that needs to be resolved in the light of the national and international tax regulatory framework (which often turns out to be different from the one initially considered relevant by the client); in other words, the professional helps the client to ask the right questions, from which, through international tax consultancy, it is possible to arrive at the correct answers.

    5. Appropriate Methodology for Addressing Each International Tax Issue

    Studio ITAXA has developed a precise methodology for dealing with international tax issues, drawing on its extensive experience in this field.

    Key to this methodology is the identification of precise standards and operational protocols for analyzing each case. This rigorous approach ensures reliable results and allows for reasonable forecasts regarding the taxpayer’s future tax situation.

    For instance, the analysis of double taxation treaties is conducted based on the methodology acquired by Avv. Antonio Merola during his specialized training at the International Tax Center of Leiden (Netherlands). This approach sets him apart from other professionals who have not followed this specific training path.

    6. Legal-Tax Analysis Approach in International Tax Consultancy

    Recognizing that tax matters are grounded in relevant legislation, ITAXA begins by evaluating tax phenomena primarily in the context of the legal provisions that govern them. This is followed by a thorough examination of their more strictly economic aspects.

    In international tax consultancy, for example, conducting a proper legal examination of the provisions is crucial, considering the firm’s experience in tax litigation on specific topics.

    7. Attention to Achieving Legal Tax Benefits While Avoiding Damages from Tax Violations

    ITAXA’s meticulous approach to analyzing international tax issues is evident in its unwavering commitment to:

    • Assisting taxpayers in obtaining the tax benefits provided by national and international tax law.
    • Preventing taxpayers from suffering harm as a result of violating tax laws.

    As previously mentioned, ITAXA’s experience in tax consultancy and litigation has provided valuable insights into the evolution of certain tax choices, both during tax audits conducted by the Italian Revenue Agency and in the defense of related tax proceedings before the first and second-instance tax courts.

    Avv. Antonio Merola – Managing Partner of ITAXA

    Professional profile

    Partner of ITAXA Law Firm (#1 Italian Tax Law Firm specializing in International Tax Legal Advice), Author of ITAXA BlogInternational Taxation in simple words (#1 Italian Blog on International Taxation), “Liquid Taxation” theorist, previously Tax Lawyer at Tinelli & Associati – Tax Law Firm and Of Counsel of various foreign professional firms, he practices the profession of lawyer in the field of Tax Law and Corporate Law, providing both national and international consultancy to the service of resident and non-resident individuals and companies residents.

    The lawyer Antonio Merola is a lecturer in the II Level University Master’s Degree in International Tax Planning at the University of Rome “La Sapienza,” holding lessons on the topic of abuse of international treaties, as well as having collaborated for several years with the University of Studies of Naples “Federico II” in relation to the subjects of Financial Science and Theory of Fiscal Federalism as well as with reference to the II Level Master in Public Finance, also carrying out research and publication activities.

    The professional specialized in International Taxation (“international tax law”) in the Netherlands at the International Tax Center (ITC Leiden) of Leiden University (Leiden University), obtaining a Full-time Advanced LL.M. (Master of Laws) in International Tax Law with a final thesis entitled “EU Most Favored Nation treatment v. Tax treaty shopping: re-evaluating the anti-abuse justification in the «rule of reason» doctrine“, published in the well-known magazine “International Tax Law Review” (Sapienza Università Editrice).

    Before that, the professional specialized in tax matters (“tax law”), obtaining the II Level Annual Master’s diploma in Tax Law from the University of Rome “Tor Vergata” and the II Level Annual Master’s diploma in International Tax Planning from the University of Rome “La Sapienza.”

    The aforementioned specializations were acquired after he graduated with a degree in Law from the University of Naples “Federico II.”

    The same is qualified to practice the legal profession, registered in the Register of Lawyers of the Rome Bar Association, and is a member of the National Association of Italian Tax Lawyers (ANTI).

    He founded the LinkedIn group “Imprenditori Italiani all’Estero” (Italian Entrepreneurs Abroad), which has over 2,000 members. The group aims to connect Italian entrepreneurs operating abroad, encourage the exchange of information and suggestions relating to strategies adopted to become competitive in new markets and encourage the development of new entrepreneurial synergies.


    To request our assistance, email us at info@itaxa.it or fill out the following Contact Form.

    Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.

      First Name *

      Last name *

      Telephone number

      CompanyPrivate individual

      City *

      Province (only italian provinces) *

      E-Mail *

      Your message *

      Once acquired the information referred to in Article 13 of Legislative Decree no. 30 June 2003, n. 196 (Privacy Act) pursuant to Article 23 of the Privacy Law, I authorize the treatment of my personal data as laid down in the report.