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VAT in Italy

VAT Guide for EU countries within Europe

VAT in Italy

Whether you’re a European or non-European company, establishing certain activities in Italy may mean you need to register for VAT. You can use a fiscal representative or tax advisor to draw up your VAT, Intrastat and ESL returns with total peace of mind in Italy.

If you deal with companies in Italy, you may be able to claim a Italian VAT refund.

Here you can find the specifics of VAT regulations in Italy, which work alongside the harmonised framework of the EU as explained in our guide to intra-Community VAT obligations.

Basic information

EU membership 1957
ISO code IT
VAT introduced in Italy 1973
VAT name in Italy Imposta sul valore aggiunto (IVA)
VAT ID format in Italy IT99999999999
Territories with special status in Italy Livigno, Campione d’Italia, Lugano,

VAT rates in Italy

Standard VAT rate 22 %
Reduced VAT rate (1) 10 %
Reduced VAT rate (2) 5 %
Super reduced VAT rate 4 %
VAT parking rate n/a
Zero VAT rate no

Thresholds triggering VAT reporting obligations in Italy

Intrastat threshold at introduction 200 000 EUR
Intrastat threshold on dispatch 0 EUR
Distance selling threshold As of 1st July 2021, the threshold is EUR 10,000 for all intra-Community distance sales.

Reporting frequency in Italy

Intrastat declaration monthly depending on threshold
EC Sales List (ESL) declaration monthly according to threshold/conditions, quarterly depending on threshold/conditions
VAT returns quarterly , annually
Reporting currency EUR

VAT-related penalties in Italy

Failure to file a VAT return Minimum penalty of EUR 250 up to 240% of the amount of VAT due.
Late payment of VAT Penalty of 15% of the amount of VAT due if payment is made within less than 90 days after the deadline, and 30% of the VAT due if payment is made within more than 90 days; and late payment interest of between 0.2 and 3.5% of the amount of VAT due.
Failure to report ESL/DEB Penalty of EUR 500 to 1,000.

Useful links on VAT in Italy

Tax Authorities in Italy Tax authorities
Ministry of Finance in Italy Ministry of Finance
Check a VAT number in Italy Check a VAT number
EU VAT Guide EU VAT Guide
Italy is one of the 7 founding countries of the European Union.

Italy is the 3rd largest economy in Europe and the 11th largest in the world. It is an industrial country with a diversified economy, based on a large number of small and medium-sized companies in all sectors of activity. Italy’s trade balance is positive, and Italy is firmly established in the top three of the world’s largest exporters of machine tools.

VAT came into force in Italy in 1973. The Italian VAT regulations are based on Community directives and on Presidential Decree No. 633/DR of 26th October 1972.

When a taxable person who is not resident and registered for VAT in another Member State sells goods or supplies services subject to VAT in Italy, or carries out distance selling on Italian territory (subject to thresholds) they must register to pay VAT in Italy. It is worth seeking the assistance of a fiscal representative for any of these operations.

The current VAT rates in Italy are as follows:

  • Standard VAT rate: 22 %
  • Reduced VAT rate (1): 10 %
  • Reduced VAT rate (2): 5 %
  • Super reduced VAT rate: 4 %
  • VAT parking rate: n/a
  • Zero VAT rate no

Certain transactions in Europe may require registering for VAT and filingVAT returns in Italy:

To check if your activities involve VAT obligations in Italy, use our VAT simulator or contact us.

When do e-traders need to register for VAT in Italy?

In Italy just like in other European Union countries, e-traders must register for VAT:

  • when the overall threshold of EUR 10,000 for Intra-Community distance selling is exceeded and they have not opted to pay the VAT in Italy via the One Stop Shop,
  • or when they hold a stock of goods in Italy and must report the stock supply transactions.

What are the VAT obligations for e-traders in Italy ?

In addition to VAT registration, e-traders must:

  • Apply the defined VAT ratesin Italy: standard rate (22 %), reduced rates 1 and 2 (10 % and 5 %).
  • Declare stock transfers between marketplaces‘ storage platforms, as well as the supply translactions for these stocks.
  • File periodic returns (VAT returns, intrastat, ESL), to ensure their VAT compliance in Italy.

> Learn more about the VAT & e-commerce regulations and the VAT regime for logistics platforms in Europe.

Why identify yourself to VAT in Italy?

You may need a VAT number in Italy to fulfil your tax obligations in this country. Indeed, certain activities such as sales, purchases and subcontracting operations may require VAT identification. To check if your activities require VAT identification in Italy, use our VAT simulator or contact us.

VAT Italian is named Imposta sul valore aggiunto (IVA)and the VAT numbers in Italy have the following structure: IT99999999999.

How do I get a VAT number in Italy?

The administrations in charge of in Italy VAT are the following: Tax authorities, Ministry of Finance.

Registering for VATis a relatively simple formality compared to setting up a company, but in addition to obtaining a VAT number in Italyyou’ll need to file periodic VAT returns to ensure your VAT compliance. Which is why we recommend foreign companies use a fiscal representative or tax advisor.

Companies with a VAT number in Italy must complete and submit VAT returns in Italy detailing all taxable income (sales) and expenses (costs), with the following periodicity: quarterly , annually.

Failure to comply with the deadlines imposed by the Italian authorities for the deposit and payment of VAT will result in the payment of penalties . For this reason, it is recommended that foreign companies use the services of an agent or a tax representative.

These penalties are defined as follows in Italy:

  • Penalties for failure to file a VAT return in Italy: Minimum penalty of EUR 250 up to 240% of the amount of VAT due.
  • Penalties for late payment of VAT in Italy: Penalty of 15% of the amount of VAT due if payment is made within less than 90 days after the deadline, and 30% of the VAT due if payment is made within more than 90 days; and late payment interest of between 0.2 and 3.5% of the amount of VAT due.

In addition to VAT returns, companies may be required to provide the Italian authorities with Intrastat & EC Sales List returns:

  • Intrastat returns enable the Italian authorities to compile foreign trade statistics.
    Companies must file these Intrastat returns as soon their turnover reaches the threshold.
    Intrastat threshold at introductio n in Italy (200 000 EUR HT/an)
    – Intrastat threshold on dispatch in Italy (0 EUR HT/an).
    Failure to comply with the deadlines imposed by the Italian authorities for the filing of these Intrastat returns wil incur a penalty payment for the company.
  • The sales summary returns (EC Sales List or ESL) or purchases (EC Purchases List or EPL) in Italy are for tax purposes.
    Failure to comply with the deadlines imposed by the Italian authorities for the filing of these ESL returns wil incur a penalty payment for the company.

In principle, a non-resident company in Italy can recover all or part of the VAT incurred on its expenses.

There are three different scenarios:

  • The company, whether it is established within the European Union or not, is already registered for VAT in Italy, or is obliged to register for VAT in Italy. In this case, it must apply for a VAT refund via the periodic VAT return filed in Italy, according to a periodicity:quarterly , annually.
  • The company is established within the European Union, is not registered for VAT in Italy and is not required to do so. In this case, a VAT refund should be requested via the tax authorities’ electronic portal in the country where the company is established.
  • The company is not established within the European Union and is not required to register for VAT in Italy. In this case, they must use the services of a fiscal representative to carry out what is required by the Italian authorities on their behalf.
    > Learn more about our VAT recovery services.


*This information is subject to change without notice.

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