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VAT: Italian Electronic invoicing

January 2019

Italy makes electronic invoicing for VAT purposes compulsory for any economic transaction by an established taxable person to any established business or resident individual in Italy. 

Starting from 1st January 2019, the possibility to issue electronic invoices - introduced in Italy by the Legislative Decree No. 52/2004 implementing the European Directive No. 2001/115/EC - will become a duty as provided for by the Legislative Decree No. 127/2015 and the Law No. 205/2017.

The electronic invoicing will imply to issue invoices in a standard format as provided for by the Regulation of the Revenue Agency No. 89757 of 30th April 2018 and to send them through the Electronic Data Interchange Systems (SDI). In order to access to the SDI, for both issuing and receiving electronic invoices, VAT taxpayers are required to use (i) information systems put at disposal by the Revenue Agency, or (ii) a certified email or (iii) a computerised channel able to communicate with the SDI. Electronic invoices must be filed only in an electronic way. For B2C transactions, analogic (hard copy) invoices must be delivered to the consumer also, if it is required.

Electronic invoices must be issued by each Italian VAT resident taxpayer and each VAT taxpayer established in Italy for both B2B and B2C transactions. Taxpayers identified for VAT purposes in Italy are not obliged to issue electronic invoices. Moreover, some exemptions are provided for some Italian residents, for example, small VAT taxpayers which apply specific simplified tax regimes.

All B2B and B2C VAT transactions between Italian parties (or Italian VAT position of foreign parties established in Italy) fall within the scope of the electronic invoice. Accordingly, an Italian resident or established VAT taxpayer is not obliged to issue electronic invoices for transactions with non-Italian VAT residents not established in Italy. In the latter case, the issuer can opt for issuing electronic invoices, but they are obliged to send analogic invoices to the receiver.

In connection with the new regime, some rules have been changed with reference to the due date for the issuing and registration of invoices, both electronic and analogic. No changes have been made with reference to the liquidation of VAT.

Finally, upon certain conditions, it has been provided, a specific full exemption of administrative penalties, in case of late issuance of electronic invoices if the delay doesn’t affect the VAT liquidation of the relevant period, while an 80% reduction of the same penalties, if the delay implies the relevant VAT to converge to the liquidation of the subsequent period.


Picture of Berardo Lanci
Berardo Lanci
Picture of Federica Fiorani
Federica Fiorani
Senior Associate