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Italy Tax News

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Date18 Ian 2018
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Update to Italian ‘Spesometro’ for 2018

The reporting frequency for 2018 invoice listing (or ‘VAT Books’) submission (formerly ‘Spesometro’) has been changed by Italy, from quarterly to bi-annually.

There will also be numerous simplifications of the data required – details of sales and purchase VAT invoices.

The filing will be scraped in 2019 with the introduction of electronic invoices.

e-Invoices on B2B transactions extended by Italy

The Italian Government will aim to implement the obligatory use of electronic invoicing between taxpayers as from 1st January, 2019. This system is already compulsory for the Public Sector since March 2015, requiring all B2G invoices (Business to Government) issued to be registered and stored electronically.

From 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, electing to choose this system allows companies to have certain benefits in relation to their VAT compliance obligations.

According to the government, the main drive for these measures is to decrease VAT fraud, to enhance the internal accounting processes of the businesses and make things simpler between the Government and taxpayers.

How does this work?

Since the 1st January, 2017 e-Invoices can be sent electronically from B2B transactions, provided that the recipient agrees.

The invoices require to 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 within the Italian Tax Authorities’ website.

According to the Decree 127/2015, taxpayers who opt to use the B2B e-invoicing system, have to communicate their decision before the 31st December of the previous year. This selection will be effective for the current and the following 4 calendar years. If not withdrawn, the decision will be automatically repeated every 5 years for the following 5 years.

Using this new system brings incentives

As the data of the e-Invoices will be automatically collected by the Italian tax authorities, the taxpayers will benefit from some administrative and fiscal benefits.

Importantly, taxpayers will not be required to submit electronically every 3 months all data regarding the invoices issued, received and any variations (the so-called ‘Spesometro’). Similarly, taxpayers will be excused 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.

Additionally, Italian tax authorities will handle the VAT refund of those taxpayers inside 3 months from the submission of the claim.

To conclude, 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.

‘Web Tax’ in Italy a step closer

The introduction of a tax on certain digital sales has been approved by Italy’s Senate Budget Committee.

Under this scheme, enclosed in an amendment to the 2018 budget law, businesses and individuals purchasing services from major online platforms, such as search engines and social media websites, it will be necessary to withhold 6% of the amount and remit it to the Italian tax authority.

This tax has been created to increase the tax taken from large internet companies like ‘Google’ and ‘Facebook’ and will raise an estimated €114million ($135million) per year in revenue. Certain taxpayers, such as small businesses, will be excused from the measure, as will transactions by individuals of less than €30.00 in value.

If approved by the Italian parliament, which is expected by the end of the year, the tax would enter into effect from January 2019. The Government proposes to clarify the exact scope of the measure by April 2018.

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