Italian VAT registration

What are the Italian VAT registration thresholds?

As with most EU countries, there is no Italian VAT registration threshold for non-resident traders.  A VAT registration, if required, is due prior to the provision of any supplies.  It is important to follow this requirement as the recovery of back-dated input VAT is difficult in Italy.  If the supplies are the sale of goods over the internet, then there is a distance sales VAT registration threshold of €35,000 per annum.

Is an Italian fiscal representative or agent required?

The Italian authorities recently dropped the requirement to appoint a fiscal representative that is jointly liable for any VAT due, and now allow direct registration. Most companies still use a local VAT agent since the compliance and reporting requirements in Italy are cumbersome. For example, payments of VAT due can be complicated if not done in Italy.

What information is required to get an Italian VAT number and registration?

Companies requiring a valid Italian VAT registration

  • VAT certificate
  • Memorandum and Articles of Association.
  • Latest audited company accounts
  • Registration for intra-community supplies and VIES registration
  • Industry classification form
  • Declaration that the company does not have a permanent establishment in Italy
  • Letter of Authority for the legal/tax representative of the company, plus signed passport photo

Where are Italian VAT registrations submitted?

To secure an Italian VAT number, foreign entities must submit their application to the local tax office of the company’s legal agent.

There will be fines for late registration if taxable supplies have already been provided, and potentially interest charges on any late VAT.

What is the format of an Italian VAT number?

Upon being granted an Italian registration, a VAT number will be issued. Italy, like all EU countries, has a standard format, as follows:

Italian Number Format

Country Code IT
Format 12345678901
Characters 11 characters

The initial seven numbers refers to the tax payer, and the following two digits identify the tax office. An Italian prefix, IT, is added for the purposes of recording intra-community supplies. Italian VAT numbers can be verified through the VIES system.

What next?

After obtaining an Italian VAT number, companies may provide taxable goods and services.  They must follow all of the legal requirements for trading, Italian VAT Compliance, and submit regular monthly / quarterly and annual declarations, Italian VAT returns.

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