Gavana G., Guggiola G., Marenzi A. (2013).
Evolving Connections between Tax and Financial Reporting in Italy. Accounting In Europe, vol. 10, pp. 43-70
Italy after the mandatory introduction of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in 2005. Italy represents an interesting case study among European countries, with domestic generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) oriented towards creditor protection and characterized by a close connection of financial and tax accounting. Unusually, the adoption of IFRS is compulsory for the unconsolidated financial statements of listed companies, but the process of alignment of domestic GAAP to IFRS, that has affected some countries, has had little effect on Italy. Thus, two accounting systems, IFRS and Italian GAAP, are used for the preparation of unconsolidated financial statements by different categories of companies and, as a consequence, two different linkages between tax and financial reporting emerge. In order to assess the degree and the direction of the book-tax linkages we use the methodology developed by Lamb, Nobes and Roberts (1998. International variations in the connections between tax and financial reporting, Accounting and Business Research, 28(3), pp. 173–188). IFRS and tax reporting show a high degree of disconnection, while Italian GAAP, in line with the accounting tradition of most continental European countries, are closely related to tax rules. The analysis points out a rapidly evolving situation, with links between accounting systems and taxation becoming tighter, mainly because of the changes in tax law introduced during the last few years.