Significant novelty in the Italian panorama in relation to the registration system of third sector entities (private sector entities focused in different sectors, from assistance to people with disabilities to environmental protection, from health-assistance services to cultural animation, which not infrequently manage them in institutional contexts for the protection of the common good and the protection of denied rights), thanks to the institution from November 23, 2021 of the single national register of the third sector (RUNTS).

Through this tool, which represents not only but also a decision oriented towards a potential improvement and harmonization of requirements in the fiscal sphere in the European Union, the multiple existing registers are reorganized into a single one that is managed on a territorial basis (regional and provincial offices), through the national supervision of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policies whose task is to ensure the harmonization of data and to ensure that the rules of access are respected to ensure their permanence.

The RUNTS, moreover, can be consulted online by all interested parties and consists of seven sections (art 46 DLGS 117/2017):

  • Voluntary organizations;
  • Associations of social promotion;
  • Philanthropic entities;
  • Social enterprises, including social cooperatives;
  • Associative networks;
  • Mutual aid societies;
  • Other Third Sector entities.

For inclusion in RUNTS, a series of obligations and fulfillments are required that vary according to the characteristics of the entities and associations that were not required in the past, among which we list, by way of example

  • competencies of the assemblies;
  • the drafting of a balance sheet
  • compliance with the criteria for the admission of new members;
  • the establishment of a register of volunteers
  • the keeping of corporate books
  • the prohibition of profit distribution;
  • maintenance for ETS (third sector entities) of the status of non-commercial entity.

The transfer process is still in progress and could be affected in its full implementation both due to the review of some tax aspects still underway in the national sphere and particularly due to delays on the part of the Italian government in requesting authorization from the European Commission regarding the provisions in the tax sphere contained in Title X of the decree (DLGS 117/2017).

Relative to it in fact, in the ministerial decree of September 15, 2020 with its annexes, where the procedures for the registration of entities, the procedures for the filing of the acts, the rules for the holding the conservation and management of the RUNTS are defined, it is stated that the application is conditional on obtaining the favorable opinion of the European Commission and that until then the associations, entities, etc.. continue to apply the tax provisions contained in the previous legislative decree (DLGS. n. 460 of 1997) .

We can therefore imagine the scenarios arising from any further delays in the complete implementation of the decree. Among the most significant of these is the fact that all the ETS (Third Sector entities) not yet registered with RUNTS, will continue to benefit from the previous regulations which allow for significantly facilitated taxation.

This limbo also leads to uncertainty among the various associations which, to date, have not made a choice due to the postponement of decisions by the competent authorities.



  1. Legislative Decree 117/2017 :
  2. Decree establishing the RUNTS (DM 106 of 15/09/2020) :
  3. RUNTS – definition:
  4. Third sector reform:
  5. Single national register of the third sector:
  6. A statute for European cross-border associations and nonprofit organizations:
  7. Lazio Region – reform of the third sector:
  8. RUNTS – what changes for the third sector:
  9. Third sector building site:
  10. RUNTS – delays in EU authorization:
  11. Third sector reform stalemate: tax rules not sent to EU Commission:
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