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Taxnews 3.2018 | Clarification on electronic billing by VAT-registered entities not established in Italy

The Revenue Agency’s Circular no. 13, dated July 2, 2018,  has provided some clarification on electronic billing (the subject of our Taxnews issues 6 and 7), with reference to foreign entities that have identified themselves in Italy for VAT purposes or have appointed a tax representative.


The electronic billing obligation applies only to foreign entities that are established in Italy.

As explained in the aforesaid Circular, the Council of the European Union, by a decision for execution taken April 16, 2018, established that Italy can impose the electronic-billing obligation only on entities established in Italian territory, and that the issuing of electronic bills by such entities cannot be conditional upon the addressee’s consenting thereto.

As the Circular clarifies, foreign entities that operate in Italy and are identified for VAT purposes in this country – either directly or through the appointment of a tax representative – but are not established here cannot be required to discharge the electronic-billing obligation that will become effective as of January 1, 2019, unless it can be demonstrated that they have a stable organization in this country.

Accordingly, pursuant to the clarifications provided by the Revenue Agency:

·     foreign entities identified in Italy (directly or through a tax representative) are not required to issue electronic bills for transactions with entities established in Italy, but they can do so optionally, provided that they obtain the addressee’s prior consent thereto;

·     with reference to bills that such foreign entities identified in Italy receive from suppliers that are established in Italy, hence are required to charge and remit VAT in this country, such bills must be issued on paper.  If the supplier wishes to issue an electronic bill, he can do so provided that he has obtained prior consent from the foreign addressee that has been identified in Italy, and in any case the Italian supplier must issue a paper copy of the bill if the addressee so requests;

·     transactions between different kinds of entities (for example, sales made to or by entities established or not established in EU countries) are not subject to the electronic-billing requirement, but pursuant to Legislative Decree 127/2015, the data listed on such bills (the so-called “spesometro”) must be reported online to the Revenue Agency.


We have taken the greatest care in preparing the above News for our clients’ prompt and concise information. It they are used as a basis for decisions or in applying the regulations described, our clients are welcome to make specific queries we shall be happy to answer in all necessary details.
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