More VAT News & Tips in Italy

E.U. Commission asks Italy to change its rules on the supply of services relating to the importation of goods

The E.U. Commission decided to send a letter of formal notice to Italy concerning the fact that it adds further conditions for the exemption from VAT of services relating to importation of goods. The Italian legislation currently requires that for the exemption from VAT to be applied to ancillary services relating to the importation of goods, not only their value must be included in the taxable amount, but also that VAT is actually charged on them at the customs stage at the time of importation. This goes against the VAT Directive.

VAT refund – Bank guarantee – New threshold

Italy has raised VAT refund guarantee threshold from €15,000 to €30,000. This means that no more bank guarantee is required if the VAT credit is under € 30,000. Above €30.000 the taxable person will still be obliged to provide a bank guarantee.

Interim payments 

Interim payments are due on a monthly basis [before the 16th day of the month following the one to which the payment relates] or on a quarterly basis provided conditions are met [before the 16th day of the second month subsequent to the one to which the payment relates], except for the payment for the last quarter, which is due by March 16th of the next year [1% interest is due]. Moreover, a payment on account has to be made for the last monthly/quarterly payment by December 27th of each year. The payment on account is generally 88% of the last periodic VAT payment in the preceding calendar year.

EU purchases listing

Statement of intra-EU acquisition and "B2B" purchases services to file monthly or quarterly under conditions. Due for the 25th day of the month following the reporting period.

New VAT reporting obligations 

  • New quarterly VAT reporting [Comunicazione dei dati delle fatture emesse e ricevute]

As from 01/01/2017, a company VAT registered in Italy will be obliged to communicate to the Italian VAT authorities the data contained in invoices issued and received on a quarterly basis. The information to be provided includes: data identifying the parties, invoice date and number, taxable base, VAT rate applied, VAT amount and kind of transaction. The data must be filed by electronic way before the last day of the second month following the quarter it refers to.  Failure to present the communication or an incorrect presentation of the data will result in a penalty of between € 25 up to € 25,000.

  • New quarterly VAT computation [Comunicazione dei dati delle liquidazioni periodiche IVA]

As from 01/01/2017, a new quarterly communication of VAT calculation will be introduced. The data must be filed by electronically before the last day of the second month following the quarter it refers to. Failure to present the communication or an incorrect presentation of the data will lead to a penalty of between € 500 up to € 2,000.


Removal of VAT reporting obligations

The following obligations will be cancelled from 01/01/2017:

  • Annual “Communication of sales and purchases list” [Spesometro]

  • Monthly Registers of EU purchases of goods and services [Removal postponed to 2018]

  • Annual Black-list  report

  • Annual return for leasing company


Modification of VAT reporting obligations 

  • Deadline for annual VAT return

Deadline for the annual VAT return for the year 2016 remains unchanged [end of February 2017]. Annual VAT return for the year 2017 will have to be filed between 01/02/18 and 30/04/18.

  • Amending annual VAT returns

In case of corrections in favor of the company, it will be possible to amend the annual VAT return until December 31 of the fifth year following that in which the return is submitted.


VAT warehouse 

VAT warehouse regime will be subject to significant amendments as from 01/04/2017.

Transactions into a VAT warehouse are VAT exempted. The exemption ends when the goods are being taken out of the VAT warehouse. As of 01/04/2017, VAT due upon removal from the VAT warehouse of goods destined to remain in Italy [domestic supply] must effectively be paid directly to the VAT authorities by the VAT warehouse keeper on behalf of the company. Reverse charge is no more applicable [unless if goods originally introduced into the VAT warehouse were part of an intra-EU acquisition].

Company will be entitled to recover VAT by issuing a “self-invoice” and by reporting it in its purchases.

VAT registration – New filing requirement

The tax office of Pescara in charge of VAT registration for non-residents companies added an important item to the declaration of activity that is necessary in the procedure to obtain an Italian VAT number.Companies will now have to declare and swear that no relevant operations took place in Italy before the date of registration. A false statement could result in legal proceedings.

This new statement is designed to disclose all regularization of past operations. As a reminder, note that the Italian tax authorities apply automatic penalties for operations that were not reported in due time.

Administrative guidelines on new penalties systems

The implementation of the new administrative penalty system for VAT infringements came into force in January 2016. The Italian VAT authorities have published the first official guidelines regarding the application of the new penalties [circular letter n° 4/2016 dated 04/03/2016].

Be aware that fines are automatically applied in Italy notably in case of regularization of VAT due in the past. It is therefore important to anticipate and strategize. Don’t hesitate to contact us should you wish to discuss this freely.

Local reverse charge on specific goods

Local reverse charge on the sales of laptops, tablets and gaming consoles has been extended until 31/12/2018.

Intra-EU transfer of goods for valuation or work upon

Italian authorities have changed national rules to be in line with the European Court of Justice [Dresser-Rand 06/03/2014] regarding the transfer of goods from one Member State to Italy for valuation or work upon. As from 18/08/2015, foreign companies shipping their goods in Italy will be required to be VAT registered in Italy provided the goods, after valuation or work upon do not come back in the EU Member State they come from.

Annual VAT communication is no longer required - 01/01/2017

As from 01/01/2017, filing the Annual VAT communication will no longer be required.
Member States may require taxable persons to submit a return in respect to all transactions carried out in the preceding year [art. 261 of the VAT Directive].

Annual VAT return – New deadline - 01/01/2017

Deadline for filing the annual VAT return for the year 2016 has been changed from 30/09/2017 to the end of February 2017.
Member States may require taxable persons to submit a return in respect to all transactions carried out in the preceding year [art. 261 of the VAT Directive].

Usual exporters - Letter of intent – New reporting requirement - 01/01/2015

Companies performing zero-rated supplies [export of goods, intra-EU supplies of goods or services, etc.] for more than 10% of its annual total turnover acquire the status of “usual exporter” and is entitled to purchase VAT free services and goods [with some exceptions] up to the amount of the zero-rated supplies made during the previous year. So far, the suppliers have the obligation to communicate by electronic ways [“dichiarazione di intento”] all letters of intent received from the “usual exporter” to the Italian tax authorities. Since 01/01/2015, the obligation to e-communicate the so-called “dichiarazione di intento” to the Italian tax authorities has been shifted from the supplier to the “usual exporter”. Suppliers are now allowed to issue VAT zero-rated invoices upon reception, from the “usual exporter”, of the letter of intent together with the official receipt issued by tax authorities [Agenzia delle Entrate] confirming that it has been electronically filed successfully. Penalties from 100% to 200% of the VAT not charged can be imposed to any supplier which invoices a zero-rated transaction before receiving these documents.

VAT refund – Bank guarantee – New rules - 01/01/2015

VAT credit may be claimed annually or quarterly if specific conditions are met. Foreign companies are currently obliged to subscribe a bank guarantee in order to recover a VAT credit. The bank guarantee has to cover three years from the execution of the refund. European commission has started an infraction procedure against Italy regarding this topic in 2013. In the view of closing the infringement procedure, Italian VAT authorities have therefore decided to amend the procedure related to the refund as follows:

  • No more bank guarantee is required if the VAT credit is under € 15,000 [previously € 5,164];

  • For VAT credit exceeding € 15,000, a bank guarantee is still required but can  be alternatively replaced under certain circumstances, by submitting the annual VAT return [where the VAT refund is requested] together with the compliance check [so called “visto di conformità”]  or an alternative subscription. A declaration in lieu of notary deed has also to be attached.

Where, for a given tax period, the amount of deductions exceeds the amount of VAT due, the Member States may, in accordance with conditions which they shall determine, either make a refund or carry the excess forward to the following period. However, Member States may refuse to refund or carry forward if the amount of excess is insignificant [art. 183 of the VAT Directive].

Extension of the local reverse charge mechanism in the construction sector - 01/01/2015

Since 01/01/2015, the local reverse charge mechanism [currently available only for certain types of services in real estate and construction sectors] has been extended and is also applicable to cleaning, demolition, equipment installation and completion services in relation to immovable property.

Member States may provide that the person liable for the payment of VAT is the taxable person to whom the supplies of goods or services as listed are made [art. 199 and sub. of the VAT Directive].


Italy has decided to promote the use of e-invoicing. As from 01/07/2016, Italian VAT authorities will provide a free system for edition, transmission and storage of e-invoice available for all companies [Inter-charge system]. Following the intention of the tax authorities to favor this system, companies that will have opted in submitting all invoices issued and received by electronic means by 01/01/2017 will be exempt from a number of reporting obligations.

If your company is VAT registered in Italy, the use of the Inter-charge system will present a lot of benefits: no more yearly listing called Spesometro, no more “black list” reporting and Intrastat requirements and VAT refunds processed in priority.

Modification of the statutes of limitations

As from the fiscal year 2016, the period during which Italian VAT authorities are entitled to make a VAT audit is extended as follows:

  • The tax assessment must be notified by 31/12 of the fifth year following the year in which the VAT return was submitted [instead of the term of four year provided by the old provisions].

  • In case of failure to file any VAT return, the tax assessment can be notified by 31/12 of the seventh year following the year in which the tax return should have been submitted [instead of the term of five years provided by the old provisions].

  • The extension of the statutes of limitations [ aiming at doubling the ordinary term] in case of criminal tax violation has been repealed.





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