VAT guide for Italy

Discover the Italian VAT rates and guidelines for VAT compliance. Get all your VAT questions answered here.

VAT in Italy

This section serves as a guide for e-commerce sellers in Europe who are planning to extend their business activities to Italy. It provides all you need to know about VAT (Value Added Tax) system, including details on registration, international VAT compliance, and the various VAT rates that apply to different categories of goods and services.

Italian VAT rates for different categories

Italy has a set of VAT rates that apply to various goods and services. VAT-registered businesses in Italy must apply these rates appropriately and account for the collected tax. The standard rate, reduced rate and super-reduced rates are as follows:

Rate

Type

Goods/Services

22%

Standard vat rate

Most goods and services fall under the standard VAT rate.

10%

Reduced vat rate

This rate applies to certain foodstuffs, some pharmaceutical products, admission to cultural and entertainment events, and accommodation.

5%

Reduced vat rate

Specific items like books, certain medical equipment, and some social services.

4%

Super-reduced vat rate

Essential goods, including basic foodstuffs, and some medical supplies.

0%

Zero rate

Intra-community and international transport services, and exports outside the EU are zero-rated, allowing for reclaiming of input VAT.

For a detailed list of VAT rates in Italy per item, refer to the Agenzia delle Entrate (Italian Revenue Agency).

 

VAT filings & Registrations (VAT compliance)

Register for VAT in Italy

When starting or expanding e-commerce activities in Italy, VAT registration is a critical step. Here’s the process for obtaining an Italian VAT registration:

  1. Application Submission: E-commerce sellers can register for Italian VAT with the Italian tax authorities (Agenzia delle Entrate) either directly or through an intermediary.

  2. Documentation: Provide the necessary documentation, which could include a certificate of incorporation, evidence of trade, and identification documents.

  3. VAT Number: That’s it, you’re registered in Italy! Upon approval, you will receive an Italian VAT number (Partita IVA).

Italian VAT Returns & VAT Payment

VAT filings in Italy should be completed as per the prescribed schedule. Usually, you can pay vat on a quarterly basis, or on a monthly basis depending on the business operations. The VAT return must be submitted on or before 16th day of the month.

  • Electronic Filing: VAT returns are generally filed electronically using the Sistema di Interscambio (SdI) system.

  • Timely Submission: It’s important to file Italian VAT returns and make pay VAT promptly to avoid late filing penalties. The VAT payment must be done on or before the 16th of the month as well. This applies to both monthly and quarterly VAT returns.

 

Italy VAT Fines

Not adhering to Italian VAT rules can lead to various fines and penalties:

Infraction Type

Penalty Description

Fine Amount / Penalty

Late Filing

Failure to file VAT returns on time

Fines ranging from €250 to €2,000 for each late submission.

Late Payment

Delayed payment of VAT dues

Interest charged on the late payment plus additional penalties.

Inaccurate Filing

Mistakes or omissions in VAT filings

Proportional fines based on the amount of VAT that is misstated.

Tax Fraud

Deliberate underreporting or non-payment of VAT

Severe penalties including criminal charges, with fines based on the amount of tax evaded.

 

How long do I need to keep records?

In Italy, businesses are required to maintain VAT records and invoices for ten years to comply with record-keeping obligations.

Italian VAT Thresholds

Italy has set a distance selling threshold of €35,000. Once sales exceed this threshold, VAT registration in Italy is required. Businesses may also opt for voluntary VAT registration before reaching the threshold.

To ensure compliance with EU VAT legislation, it’s recommended to consult the Agenzia delle Entrate’s

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Any questions?

Do you have inventory stored abroad because you sell through Amazon FBA, for example, or use a European fulfillment center? Then you need an European VAT registration in that country! Save yourself the paperwork and let us apply for your VAT registration.

Where can I use the VAT registration?

You can use the VAT number for any business purpose. For example, when selling through Amazon, Bol.com, Shopify or another platform. The number is also valid if you are going to do business locally that requires a European VAT number.

If you have a VAT registration abroad, you will also have to file VAT returns there. How often and when to do so, depends on the country. It can be monthly, or quarterly.

We understand that you don’t feel like doing all the VAT administration. So leave it to us: link your sales accounts to Staxcloud, so we can always accurately file your European VAT return. Then you won’t spend any more time on VAT returns.

July 1, 2021, the One Stop Shop went into effect, also known as the One-Stop Shop system. Do you sell more than €10,000.- across borders every year? Through this new regulation, you declare your VAT of all the countries in which you do business at once. If you have all your stock in your country of residence, you no longer need a VAT number in those other countries. In the One Stop Shop declaration, you declare every cross-border sale within the EU.

That involves quite a bit of math. Especially if you sell through multiple platforms! We’ve come up with something on that: you can link all your sales channels (Amazon, Bol.com, Shopify and more) to Staxcloud. This way you always have all your VAT data at hand, and within 5 minutes you have your One Stop Shop declaration arranged. Staxcloud does the calculations, and our Staxxers handle the declaration further. Handy right?

A tariff is a tax on imported goods, and the tariff number, also called a tariff code or HS code, gives customs officials more information about what kind of item is being imported. The standard code is a six-digit number, but some countries have codes of 8 or 10 digits.

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Dealing with VAT

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Vat consult for e-commerce

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Janine Bouwmeester

VAT consultant