Value Added Tax in local language is “Imposta sul valore aggiunto”

VAT returns in Italy

Frequency of Italian VAT returns

All VAT registered businesses must submit VAT returns and VAT ledgers on a quarterly basis.

In addition, monthly or quarterly VAT payments must be made depending on the turnover of the company in Italy. This threshold is different for goods and for services. Where the annual turnover exceeds €700,000 for companies supplying goods and services; and €400,000 companies supplying services exclusively, monthly VAT payments are due. In case this threshold is not exceeded, quarterly VAT payments must be made.

  • Frequency of filing

    • Standard reporting period
      Quarterly always (see payments below)
  • Frequency of payment

    • Monthly

      Turnover above:

      €400.000 for services

      €700.000 for goods

    • Quarterly

      Turnover bellow:

      €400.000 for services

      €700.000 for goods

When the taxpayer is paying VAT quarterly, the amount due should be increased by 1% to pay for index price fluctuations.

Italian VAT return due dates

Regarding due dates, we should differentiate between VAT returns and VAT payments.

Italian VAT payments

Italian monthly VAT calculations must be paid by the 16th day of the month following the reporting period. Quarterly VAT calculations must be paid by the 16th day of the second month following the reporting period for the first three calendar quarters of the year. The fourth quarter VAT return is due by 16 March.

As a general rule, quarterly VAT calculations follow the calendar quarter (January to March, April to June, etc).

For example, the second quarter VAT calculation of 2017 is due by 16 August 2017. Your VAT payment must reach the tax authorities bank account by the same due date.

If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or bank holiday, the date is shifted to the next working day.

In addition to monthly or quarterly VAT payments, an annual prepayment must be made by the 27 December.

  • VAT payment frequency
    VAT payment due date
  • Monthly
    16th day of the month following the reporting period
  • Quarterly
    16th day of the second month following the reporting period.  The fourth quarter VAT payment of the year is due by March 16
  • Annual prepayment
     27th of December

When the taxpayer is paying VAT quarterly, the amount due should be increased by 1% to pay for index price fluctuations.

Italian VAT returns

Quarterly VAT returns including VAT ledgers are required as from 1 January 2017. The due date to submit this return is the end of the second month following the reporting period. There is a holiday extension foreseen for the second quarter VAT return, which will be due by 16 September of the following year.

The due date for Annual VAT returns is 30 April of the following year. The 2016 Annual VAT return will still be submitted by the former due date: 28 February 2017.

  • VAT return
    VAT return due date
  • Monthly VAT return
    Not applicable
  • Quarterly VAT return
    Last working day of the second month following the quarter
  • Annual Summary VAT return
    30 April of the following year

Italian VAT payments

VAT payments must reach the bank account of the tax authorities by the due dates listed in our section for VAT return deadlines. As part of our VAT compliance service, Marosa will provide you with a Payment memo including the relevant IBAN, account holder and reference to be used when making your payment of Italian VAT.

As a general rule, VAT payments of non-established companies registered directly for VAT purposes are made to the following bank account.

Bank account holder: BANCA D’ITALIA – Tesoreria centrale dello Stato

IBAN code: IT87 N010 0003 2040 0000 0000 350


However, you must check with Marosa before making a VAT payment using the bank details above, as these are often changed by the tax authorities.

The reference to be used in your bank transfer is made up of the following information: VAT number – period (monthly/quarterly) – fiscal code.

The Italian tax authorities publish a table with all possible fiscal codes to be included in your reference. These codes are different for monthly or quarterly payments, also for annual returns and annual prepayments.

All bank charges must be paid by the taxpayer. It is possible to net off previous VAT credits against the VAT payment. It is also important to allow 3-4 working days to make the payment, particularly on international bank transfers. For quarterly VAT payments, companies must increase the payment by 1% of the amount due.

Established companies or companies registered via a fiscal representative must make the payment to the bank account of the tax office where the representative or permanent establishment is located. This account changes for each region. The fiscal codes, however, are the same throughout Italy.

Italian VAT refunds

In Italy, a bank guarantee is required in order to receive a VAT refund exceeding €30,000. For each quarterly VAT reimbursement requested by a VAT registered company, a VAT refund request (TR form) must be filed electronically and a bank guarantee with an Italian bank must be submitted. In some instances, where the refund requested is below €30,000, the bank guarantee requirement may be waived.

When the refund requested exceeds €30,000, a bank guarantee is requested for each of the quarters. This guarantee covers a period of three years and is submitted after the TR form has been sent to the Italian tax authorities. The amount of the guarantee is equivalent to the amount of refund plus interest for a three-year period. The bank issuing the guarantee must be an Italian bank or an Italian subsidiary of a foreign bank.

When the refund does not exceed €30,000 it is possible to get a repayment without submitting a bank guarantee. A certificate must be issued and signed by the legal representative certifying a number of requirements such as social security, sales of shares or ratio of net capital and fixed assets in the balance sheet. The representative is responsible under criminal law for this information. In addition to this certificate, the company must have their annual VAT return certified as "visto di conformita", which confirms that VAT return and VAT ledgers (calculated during the year) reconcile with each other, it should also confirm that VAT ledgers reconcile with each issued invoice. An Italian certified chartered accountant can issue the "visto di conformita".

Italian nil and corrective VAT returns

nil VAT return needs to be submitted even if there are no transactions to be reported for that period. This requirement applies to annual summary VAT returns.

Regarding quarterly VAT returns, a nil VAT return only needs to be submitted in case there is a VAT credit from past periods which shall be carried forward.

Regarding amendments to previously submitted data, corrections can be made to the annual VAT return that has been submitted by filing an additional declaration and ticking the option "Correttiva nei termini".

When a corrective return is submitted after the deadline, a difference is made between those corrections filed in the following 90 days after the due date and those filed after 90 days have passed following the annual VAT return deadline.

Further details can be found on section 4.1.1 of the Annual VAT return instructions published by the Italian tax authorities.

Italian tax authorities

Non-established companies have a dedicated tax office in Italy. Established companies, tax resident businesses and companies registered via a fiscal representative are appointed the tax office applicable to their region.

The Pescara office is responsible for non-established VAT registered taxpayers. This tax office is also responsible for VAT refunds via the EU Refund mechanism, VAT refunds for non-EU companies and MOSS VAT registrations:

Agenzia Delle Entrate
Centro Operativo di Pescara
Area Controlli
Via rio Sparto 21
65129 Pescara (pe)

Italian distance sales. VAT on e-commerce

You can find more information about the EU wide VAT regime on distance sales in our article about this topic in our website.

These are some of the rules applicable in Italy regarding this regime:

  • The distance sales threshold is 35,000 €. Where the total amounts of sales to Italian customers in any 12-month period exceeds this threshold, a registration is required
  • Foreign companies may opt to register in Italy before the threshold is exceeded.  Italian companies may opt to register abroad if the threshold not exceeded, this option is mandatory for 2 years once the application is sent
  • When a foreign e-commerce business registers in Italy, a compliant VAT invoice must be issued for each Italian client. It is however allowed to issue a “simplified invoice” which requires fewer details.
  • Intrastat returns are not due on online distance sales of goods
  • VAT returns must report the sales as domestic sales only. Distance sales are not reported as intra-Community acquisitions followed by local sales

If goods are returned by the client, an intra-Community supply is not reported in Italy."

VAT penalties in Italy

  • Cause
  • Late filing

    If submitted within 90 days after the deadline: €25 fixed penalty.

    If submitted after 90 days following the deadline: €258 minimum penalty and between 120% and 240% of the VAT due.

  • Late payment

    There is a general penalty of 30% of the VAT due. However:

    - If paid within 30 days following the due date: Penalty of 1/10 of the  - 30% of VAT due. This penalty is further reduced by 1/15 per day if paid within the first 15 days (see example below)

    - If paid after 30 days following the due date but before the due date to submit the annual return: Penalty of 1/8 of the 30% of VAT due.

    - If paid later, the general rule applies.

For example, a VAT payment of €1,000 performed two days after the due date is subject to a 0,4% penalty (30 x 2/15 x 1/10) due to spontaneous regularization.

In addition to the above penalties, late payment interest must be added to the penalty amount. The interest rate is published by the Italian authorities every year.

Late filing and late payment penalties are added together when a VAT return is not submitted nor paid to the tax authorities."

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