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The Italian Government is aiming to implement the mandatory use of electronic invoicing between taxpayers as from 1 January 2019. This system is already mandatory for the Public Sector since March 2015, requiring all B2G invoices (Business to Government) issued to be registered and stored electronically.
Since January 2017 all Italian VAT registered taxpayers can already use voluntarily the e-invoicing and the electronic transmission of payments in their B2B transactions. In fact, opting for this system allows companies to have certain benefits in relation to their VAT compliance obligations.
According to the government, the main purpose of these measures is to reduce VAT fraud, to optimize the internal accounting processes of the businesses and make things easier between the government and taxpayers.
As from 1 January 2017 e-invoices can be sent electronically for B2B transactions, provided that the recipient agrees.
The invoices must be in a XML file according to the “FatturaPA” format to transmit them through the Exchange System (Sistema di Interscambio). You can find detailed information about the format requirements of the FatturaPa and the Exchange System in the Italian Tax Authorities’ website.
According to the Decree 127/2015, taxpayers who are opting to use the B2B e-invoicing system must communicate their decision before the 31 December of the previous year. This option will be effective for the current and the following 4 calendar years. If not revoked, the option will be automatically renewed every 5 years for the following 5 years.
Since the data of the e-invoices will be automatically collected by the Italian tax authorities, the taxpayers will benefit from some administrative and fiscal advantages.
The most important is that taxpayers will not be required to submit electronically every 3 months all data concerning the invoices issued, received and any variations (the so-called “Spesometro”). Likewise, taxpayers will be exempt from Intrastat returns related to the Intra-community movements of goods and services and from the communication of the transactions made with companies located in black listed countries.
Furthermore, Italian tax authorities will handle the VAT refund of those taxpayers within 3 months from the submission of the claim.
Finally, the period of the VAT statute of limitation will be reduced from five to four years as long as the taxpayer guarantee the transparency of payments.