Italy

Goods

This guide is for e-commerce companies that sell online via web-stores or at marketplaces.

 

Web: Italy’s Tax Agency

 

VAT Standard rate
22%

 

VAT Reduced rate
10%
Certain products and services are eligible for the special reduced rate, including electric power supplies for listed uses and listed drugs.

4 %
Certain products and services are eligible for the special reduced rate, including food, drinks and agricultural products.

 

Deductible VAT
If goods or services were used to make taxable supplies in Italy, VAT in input invoices might be credited. Examples include:

  • VAT paid at custom clearance with your EORI number
  • VAT paid to Italian suppliers

 

Thresholds
€ 35,000 – distance sales threshold

When a company’s distant sales hit the threshold, the company must register for the VAT. A merchant may apply to be registered for VAT in Italy before they reach the threshold

€ 0

  • If a seller uses a local warehouse (for example Amazon FBA)
  • If a seller sells excise goods, such as tobacco or alcohol

Registration procedure

When a company has the obligation to register, the owners will be required to complete and submit a VAT registration form, along with supporting documentation:

  • Certificate of incorporation
  • Trade register extract
  • VAT certificate
  • Articles of Associations
  • If the company is appointing a local tax agent or Fiscal Representative, then a Letter of Authority or Power of Attorney.

The Intra-community VAT number should be received under separate application.

Tax representative

Taxable companies established outside the European Union are obliged to appoint fiscal representative in order to handle all formalities related to VAT registration and filling.

Keeping records

In Italy, there are strict rules on the layout and format of VAT records to be kept by companies or their tax agents. Records must be kept by the taxable person or by the keeper of its accounts reported to the competent Tax Agency. It is not possible to keep abroad paper invoices and other documents relevant for tax purposes that are paper archived (accounting registers included). In such case, the VAT books and the other relevant documents (i.e.: invoices and transport documents) have to be submitted upon request of the Tax Authorities. The retention period for the records is ten years.

VAT payment date

Periodical VAT payments are due on a monthly or a quarterly basis. The VAT due must be paid before the 16th day of the month following the period  or the 16th day of the second month following the quarter. In case of quaterly scheme interest applies.

Filing VAT returns

A taxpayer must transmit tax returns to the L’Agenzia delle Entrate by electronic means. Lovat platform supports digital submission.

The tax period is one quarter. Quarterly VAT returns must be filed by electronic means before the  16th of the month following the quarter.

Annual VAT return must be filled up to 30th of April of the following year.

Companies can also keep track of deadlines at the Lovat portal.

 

Digital services

Effective since 1 of January 2015. 

Digital business in Italy is regulated by DECRETO LEGISLATIVO 31 marzo 2015, n. 42 implementing the Directive 2000/31/EC on certain legal aspects of information society services, in particular, electronic commerce, in the Internal Market (Electronic Commerce Directive). 

 

Web: Italy’s Tax Agency

 

VAT Standard rate 
22% 

VAT Reduced rate
4% eBooks 

 

VAT calculation peculiarity
VAT= Total revenue * 22/122 

Threshold
Tax threshold is €0 for digital services. 

Pieces of evidence

To identify customer location merchant has to collect at least two items on non-contradictory evidence. And if two of them are in Italy, the customer may be determined as Italian: 

  • Customer’s permanent address 
  • Billing address (bank or electronic payment operator) 
  • IP address 
  • Telephone number 
  • The location of the customer’s fixed land line through which the service is supplied to him
  • Other commercially relevant information 

E-services list

A digital product is any product that’s stored, delivered, and used in an electronic format. These are goods or services that the customer receives via email, by downloading them from the Internet, or through logging into a website, in particular: 

  • E-books, images, movies, and videos, whether buying a copy from Shopify or using a service like Netflix. In tax language, these products are in a category usually called, «Audio, visual, or audio-visual products»
  • Downloadable and streaming music, whether buying an MP3 or using a service like SoundCloud or Spotify. Of course, these products also fall into the audio category
  • Cloud-based software and as-a-Service products, such as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)
  • Websites, site hosting services, and internet service providers
  • Online ads and affiliate marketing.

Registration procedure

A nonEuropean taxable person that choose to identify in Italy requires the registration filling out the online form available on the Agenzia delle Entrate website, on the free access area.  With the credential, it can fill out the online format at the link «Registration» 

Via the portal e-merchant need to provide the following data:  

  • A company name 
  • The Country where the taxable person’s company is headquartered 
  • Full address of the company 
  • Electronic addresses: e-mail addresses and websites 
  • Tax Identification Number is given by the Country of residence or domicile if any 
  • A declaration stating he/she/it has not been already identified for VAT purposes in the EU
  • Bank details
  • Scheme starting date if prior to the registration date
  • Reference name: name, surname, e-mail address and phone number of the individual
  • Italian Revenue Agency may refer to request information or send communications 

 There is no obligation to appoint tax representative in Italy if company provides only digital services.  

Keeping records

E-merchant needs to store all VAT relevant information for ten yearsA company must keep them in files in case any authority wants to verify it`s tax history. 

VAT payment date

The payment has to be done within 20 days of the end of the period is referred to, namely: 

  • 20th of April for the first quarter of the year 
  • 20th of July for the second quarter of the year 
  • 20th of October for the third quarter of the year 
  • 20th of January for the fourth quarter of the year 

Filing VAT returns

Italian VAT return is due quarterly. Businesses registered for the Moss in Italy have to submit the VAT Moss quarterly return electronically. At the end of each quarter, there are 20 days to file and pay whatever company owe. 

The deadlines for the returns are: 

  • 20 April – for the first quarter ending 31 March 
  • 20 July – for second quarter ending 30 June 
  • 20 October – for the third quarter ending 30 September 
  • 20 January – for the fourth quarter ending 31 December 

There is no deadline change for the submission of the return if this date falls on the weekend or on a public holiday. The company which didn’t carry out any supply in Italy or in the EU during a quarter still have to submit a «nil return».