VAT returns in Italy
Frequency of Italian VAT returns
All VAT registered businesses must submit VAT returns on a quarterly basis, and keep VAT books records on a monthly basis, which are submitted upon request of the tax authorities. In addition, monthly or quarterly VAT payments must be made depending on the company's turnover in Italy. This threshold is different for goods and for services. Where the annual turnover exceeds EUR 800,000 for companies supplying goods and services; and EUR 500,000 for companies supplying services exclusively, monthly VAT payments are due. If this threshold is not exceeded, quarterly VAT payments must be made.
Frequency of filing
Standard reporting periodQuarterly always (see payments below)
Frequency of payment
MonthlyTurnover above: EUR 500.000 for services EUR 800.000 for goods. The reference should be the previous year.
QuarterlyTurnover below: EUR 500.000 for services EUR 800.000 for goods. The reference should be the previous year.
When the taxpayer is paying VAT quarterly, the amount due should be increased by 1% to pay for index price fluctuations.
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Italian VAT return due dates
Regarding due dates, we should differentiate between VAT returns and VAT payments.
Italian VAT payments due dates
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. 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 2023 is due by 16 August 2023. 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 frequencyVAT payment due date
Monthly16th day of the month following the reporting period
Quarterly16th day of the second month following the reporting period. The fourth quarter VAT payment of the year is normally due by an extended deadline
Annual prepayment27th 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
The due date to submit quarterly VAT returns is the end of the second month following the reporting period. There is a holiday extension foreseen for the second quarter VAT return. The due date for Annual VAT returns is 30 April of the following year.
VAT returnVAT return due date
Monthly VAT returnNot applicable
Quarterly VAT returnLast working day of the second month following the quarter
Annual Summary VAT return30 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: IT64 W010 0003 2453 4800 8120 301
- BIC/SWIFT code: BITA IT RR ENT
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: Italian VAT number (11 numbers).Tax code (4 numbers).Tax year (4 numbers). In the payment reference it is essential to report exactly the indicated structure in numerical format containing the Italian VAT number, the tax code and the tax year, separated by a point (.) 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 annual VAT prepayment
Italian taxpayers must make an advanced VAT payment in December concerning the VAT amount due for reporting period December – in case of monthly VAT payments, or Q4 – in case of quarterly VAT payments (Acconto IVA).
There are three methods to determine the amount to be paid in advance:
- Historical method: according to which the advance payment for the month December or fourth quarter of the current year should be equal to 88% of the VAT payment made or that should have been made, for the same reporting period of the previous year.
- Provisional or forecast method: according to which the advance payment should be equal to 88% of the VAT payment that the taxpayer estimates for the month of December or fourth quarter of the current year.
- Analytical method: according to which the advance payment should be equal to the 100% amount of VAT due for the transactions, registered or that should have been registered, carried out from December 1st to December 20th, or from October 1st to December 20th, of the current year, considering:
- the input VAT relating to the purchases registered in the same period and fully deductible.
- the VAT credit carried forward from previous reporting period, if any.
The relevant payment references for the prepayment are the following:
- Monthly VAT calculations: VAT number – Acconto IVA XXXX – codice tributo: 6013
- Quarterly VAT calculations: VAT number – Acconto IVA XXXX – codice tributo: 6035
Unlike periodic VAT payments, ordinary quarterly taxpayers do not have to apply the 1% interest surcharge on the annual VAT prepayment.
The annual VAT prepayment in Italy is due by the 27 December of each year.
The VAT prepayment is not due in the following cases:
- The prepayment amount resulting from the calculation is less than EUR 103,29.
- Activities have started during the current year.
- VAT de-registration during the year by 30 November for monthly payers and by 30 September for quarterly payers.
- When only non-taxable or exempt transactions were carried out.
- Special regimes or activities: agricultural producers "referred to in art. 34, paragraph 6, of Presidential Decree no. 633 of 1972"; subjects who carry out activities of shows and games under special regime; amateur sports associations, as well as non-profit and certain associations, on a flat-rate basis; collectors and dealers of scrap, waste, waste paper, glass and the like, exempted from the obligations to settle and pay the tax, etc.
Italian VAT refunds
Generally, VAT refunds in Italy are requested via the annual VAT return.
When the refund exceeds EUR 30,000, a bank guarantee is requested. 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 EUR 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".
Finally, certain taxpayers may opt to submit quarterly VAT refund claims. According to this procedure, the VAT refund claims can be done on a quarterly basis by submitting the TR form by the last day of the month following the reference quarter. Non-established taxpayers VAT registered in Italy can opt for this quarterly refund regime, nevertheless, the procedure is quite cumbersome, and we do not recommend it because refund claim procedures tend to accumulate. Also, tax authorities may require a bank guarantee.
Before accepting the reimbursement of the VAT credit, the tax authorities may also request copies of invoices. Communications between the taxpayer or its tax agent or fiscal representative, and the tax office are usually followed by email or certified post.
Italian nil and corrective 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. This does not apply to annual summary VAT returns, which have to be submitted even if there is no activity to be reported.
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.
Also, the quarterly VAT returns can be individually corrected before the submission of the annual VAT return. A new VAT return for the same reporting periods must be submitted for this purpose. The tax office will consider the last VAT return submitted. If there is additional VAT amount to be paid and the payment deadline is exceeded, it is recommended to perform a voluntary disclosure or ravvedimento operoso, in the local language, consisting of proactively calculating and paying the applicable penalties and surcharges. This is only possible if the regularization is made before the tax authorities initiate an audit procedure, and the advantage is that you will calculate penalties and surcharges at reduced rate.
Corrective VAT returns are submitted electronically.
Further details can be found on 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 OSS 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 information about the general EU VAT regime on distance sales in our manual about VAT on e-commerce. You may also watch our webinar explaining VAT rules for e-commerce in the European Union.
VAT penalties in Italy
Late filingIf 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 paymentThere is a general penalty of 30% of the VAT due. However: - If paid within 90 days following the due date: this penalty is reduced by half. - If paid within 15 days following the due date: This penalty is further reduced by 1/15 per day (see example below). - If paid later, the general rule applies. Also, reduced interest rate is applied on late VAT payments following a voluntary disclosure, while increased interest rate is applied in case of payment following a tax audit or similar scenarios.
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.