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VAT e-Commerce - One Stop Shop


E-learning activities:

In Italy, the supply of education by an eligible body is an exempt supply with no right to input VAT deduction.

Eligible bodies are schools or institutions recognized by Public Administration, non-profit entities, etc.

Reference to the above may be found in the Italian VAT Act (DPR 633/72), Article 10.

Gambling activities:

In Italy, gambling activities are exempt with no right to input VAT deduction, there is no specific exemption for the supply of online gaming services but in practice these services are also treated as exempt with no input VAT deduction.

Reference to the above may be found in the Italian VAT Act (DPR 633/72), Article 10.

There is no specific guidance in the Italian legislation regarding the VAT treatment of bonus points or credits earned as part of e-gambling activities.

Generally, in Italy, all gambling activities are subject to a system of licences and authorisations, except for national lotteries, which are under a State monopoly. In this case, the managing Authority is the Agenzia delle dogane e dei monopoli (Customs and Monopolies Agency),


There are no further exemptions in the Italian VAT legislation under which the supply of telecommunications, broadcasting and electronic services provided to non-VAT taxable persons may fall.




Invoicing comment:

Taxable persons identified in Italy using the OSS and IOSS schemes are released from the obligations of issuing invoices, of keeping VAT records and of submitting the annual VAT return, while they are required to submit the return and fulfil the obligations set out for the OSS and IOSS schemes. This exemption applies to all transactions covered by these schemes. Taxable persons, identified in other EU Member States for the purposes of the OSS and IOSS schemes, that carry out in Italy the transactions covered by these schemes are required to comply with the VAT obligations of the State of identification. Taxable persons providing services to final consumers, making intra-Community distance sales or distance sales of imported goods, that do not opt to use the special OSS and IOSS schemes, apply the invoicing rules envisaged by the State in which the transactions are deemed to have been carried out. For transactions deemed to be carried out in Italy, the supplier, unless exempt, must issue an invoice in accordance with the Italian VAT legislation. The general invoicing rules may be found in Articles 21, 21bis and 22 of the Italian VAT Act (DPR 633/72). In particular, a simplified invoice may be issued under certain conditions (pursuant to the Decree of the Minister of Economy and Finance of 10 May 2019, invoices for a total amount not higher than EUR 400 may be issued with a simplified procedure pursuant to Article 21-bis of Presidential Decree – “DPR” - No 633 of 26 October 1972). The invoice may be issued in a foreign language, but an Italian translation must be provided upon request from the Italian Tax Authorities. According to the domestic legislation, the deadline for issuing the document, both in electronic and paper format, is 12 days from the date of the transaction. Special rules apply for pre-paid telecommunication traffic (e.g. pre-paid cards) where the VAT is applied by the supplier at the time the pre-paid traffic is sold (i.e. the pre-paid card is delivered to the customer who pays immediately the consideration). Reference to the above may be found in Decree of the Minister of Economy and Finance (Ministerial Decree) No 366 of 24 October 2000. In Italy, for services which may be identified by appropriate documentation and which are provided in the same calendar month to the same customer, a single invoice (together with the details of the services) may be issued by the 15th day of the month following the month when the taxable event of those services occurred. Reference to the above may be found in Article 21 of the Italian VAT Act (DPR 633/72). In Italy, there is a generalised electronic invoicing obligation for residents. Indeed, Italy was authorised by Council Implementing Decision (EU) 2018/593 of 16 April 2018, for the period from 1 July 2018 to 31 December 2021, by way of derogation from Articles 218 and 232 of Directive 2006/112/EC on the common system of value added tax, to introduce the obligation to issue and accept invoices in electronic format for transactions between taxable persons established in the Italian territory, other than those carried out by the taxable persons who benefit from VAT exemption schemes (flat-rate scheme). The e-invoicing process, supported by the IT tools and services made available free of charge by the Italian Revenue Agency, involves channelling invoices through the system ‘Sistema di Interscambio’ (‘the SdI’) managed by the Italian Revenue Agency. In other cases e-invoicing is allowed if accepted by the customer (see Article 21(1) of DPR 633/72). When the customer is an entity of the public administration, mandatory electronic invoicing applies. There are currently no specific provisions in the Italian legislation on how batch invoices should be issued. The general rules provided under Directive 2006/112/EC apply. OTHER OBLIGATIONS FOR PERSONS OPTING FOR THE OSS AND IOSS SPECIAL SCHEMES: - APPOINTMENT OF A TAX REPRESENTATIVE: a non-EU taxable person (from a country with which the EU has not concluded an agreement on mutual assistance for VAT purposes) who identifies himself in Italy for the purposes of the (IOSS) scheme must appoint a tax representative established in Italy to fulfil the VAT obligations in the name and on behalf of the represented taxable person. A separate IOSS VAT identification number will be assigned to each represented taxable person. No additional requirements are set by Italy (e.g. a guarantee). Italy, in line with EU law, does not require non-EU suppliers to appoint a tax representative to use the non-Union OSS scheme. Italy requires the appointment of a tax representative for non-EU taxable persons who identify themselves in Italy for the purposes of using the Union OSS scheme (persons making intra-Community distance sales of goods from Italy). - SPECIAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR DECLARATIONS OF IMPORT VAT: in Italy, the taxable persons who have not opted for the OSS scheme and who use the special arrangements for declaration of import VAT shall apply the standard VAT rate for goods imported into Italy intended for final consumers in Italy. The customer may obtain application of the reduced VAT rate, if any, by adopting the standard import procedure. The taxable person making use of this special arrangement does not need to get prior authorization from the Italian Customs authority. However, since the payment of the VAT collected from the customer is due within the deadline for payment of the import duty, the taxable person using the special arrangement must obtain from the Customs authority the authorization for the deferral of payment, following authorization for the lodging of a comprehensive guarantee and related provision of a specific security deposit. In Italy, within the 16th day of the month following the importation, the taxable person making use of the special arrangement must pay to the Customs the VAT collected from the customer and submit to the Customs authority, in electronic and simplified format, his monthly summary declaration of imports. The measures adopted in this respect (Directorial Decisions No 219776/RU and No 219778/RU, both of 30 June 2021) are available on the website of the Customs and Monopolies Agency (

Payments and reimbursements

As a Member State of consumption, do you require an additional claim before making a reimbursement?:

Tax reimbursements are due in two cases:

  1. the processing of the return shows an overpayment by the taxable person. In this case there is no need to submit a claim: the Revenue Agency will in any case reimburse the amount in the form and manner provided for by the new Article 38-bis3 paragraph 2.
  2. The taxable person makes purchases in the territory and does not have the possibility to recover the tax incurred through deduction. In this case a refund can be granted pursuant to Directive 2008/9/EC, by making an application under Article 38-bis2, paragraph 1, of DPR 633/72.

Reimbursement threshold as Member State of consumption:

10.33 EUR

Release from payment of insignificant amounts of VAT:

In Italy, no payment is due where the annual VAT payable is lower than EUR 10.33.

Reference to the above may be found in Article 3 of DPR No 126 of 16 April 2003.

Penalties for non compliance

Failure to register and late registration:

Incorrect and/or late OSS/IOSS VAT registration, which does not allow the identification of the taxpayer or of the place where the taxpayer's business activity takes place, is subject to a penalty between EUR 500 and EUR 2.000.

Further penalties may be applicable for violation of other obligations.

Registration under the OSS/IOSS scheme will not be considered as completed if the Tax Authorities cannot identify the taxpayer or the place where the taxpayer's business activity takes place.

The penalty will be reduced to a fifth of the minimum (EUR 100) if missing information is provided within 30 days from the Tax Office request.

Incomplete and incorrect VAT returns:

For incorrect OSS/IOSS VAT returns: a penalty of 90% up to 180% of the unpaid VAT due will apply.

Reference to the above may be found in Article 5 of Legislative Decree 471/1997.

Non-compliance with invoicing and accounting obligations:

a) for non-/late invoicing (where mandatory) and posting of the invoices in the Italian VAT ledgers: penalties ranging from 90% to 180% of the VAT amount incorrectly invoiced;

b) for omitted or irregular bookkeeping : penalties range from EUR 1,000 to 8,000 EUR. However, this could trigger an assessment of the Italian Tax Authorities based on presumptive elements.

Moreover, violations relating to the content and documentation of the periodical OSS/IOSS returns are subject to penalties from EUR 250 to EUR 2,000.

Reference to the above may be found in Articles 6 and 9 of Legislative Decree  471/1997.

Nevertheless, it should be recalled that for cross-border supplies under the special schemes by non-EU or EU suppliers to customers who have their permanent address or habitual residence in Italy, no invoicing obligation is envisaged.

For supplies made by suppliers established in Italy to customers who have their permanent address or habitual residence in Italy, invoicing is not mandatory, unless the customer requires such document. Reference to the above may be found in Article 22 of the Italian VAT Act (DPR 633/72).

Voluntary compliance:

In case of “adempimento spontaneo” (voluntary compliance) for the late payment of VAT, penalties and interest, the penalties may be reduced to an amount ranging from 1/10 and 1/5 of the aforesaid penalties, depending on the time when the voluntary late payment is made.

For an outline of the penalties for spontaneous late payment, click here.

Non-payment and late payment of VAT:

For non-payment and/or late payment of VAT, the following penalties apply:

a) 2% of the VAT incorrectly paid for each day of delay, if VAT is paid up to the 15th day following the due date;

b) 30% of the VAT incorrectly paid in the other cases (i.e. non-payment or late payment subsequent to the 15th day following the due date).

Interest is also due with respect to VAT non-/late payments.

Reference to the above may be found in the sections of the Italian VAT Act concerning Decreto legislativo (Legislative Decree) 471/1997 and Legislative Decree 472/1997.

Non-submission and late submission of VAT returns:

For non-submitted OSS/IOSS VAT returns: a penalty of 120% up to 240% of the unpaid VAT due will apply (with a minimum penalty equal to EUR 250).

If the return is submitted late, the penalty may vary from 30% to 120% of the VAT due, with a minimum amount of EUR 100, depending on the delay in submission.

Registration process

VAT Registration Process:

Instructions and information regarding OSS/IOSS registration are available on the Italian VAT Authorities official website ( at:

OSS/IOSS registration is regulated by Articles 74-quinquies, 74-sexies and 74-sexies (1) of DPR 633/1972.

Appointment of a VAT Agent:

Italian law does not require the appointment of agents with respect to OSS users in Italy.

As regards the importation scheme (IOSS), it will be allowed to specifically appoint a tax representative for the purpose of the special scheme, in the form provided for by Article 17 (3) of DPR 633/72. On the other hand, opting for the special import scheme through a tax representative will be mandatory for taxable persons established in third countries who do not have a permanent establishment in the State and who are not established in a third country with which the European Union has concluded any mutual assistance agreements (Article 74-sexties (1) DPR 633/72). 

Time of supply – chargeability

Deferment and Cash Accounting Scheme:

In Italy, the basic time of supply for goods and services is the earliest of the following events: the delivery of goods; the performance of services; or receipt of full or partial payment.

The VAT cash accounting scheme allows entrepreneurs or the self-employed to postpone the payment of VAT on the supply of goods and services until the actual receipt of the payment. Similarly, the right to deduct VAT on the goods and services purchased arises at the time of payment of the consideration to suppliers. In any case, VAT becomes due one year after the transaction is carried out, unless the recipient/ customer is subject to insolvency procedure before the expiry of this period. Likewise, VAT on acquisitions may be deducted one year after the transaction is deemed to be made.

It should be noted that for the supplier of the goods or services (unless he has himself chosen the cash accounting scheme) the right to deduct follows the standard rules. This means that VAT becomes deductible from the moment the transaction is deemed to be made, irrespective of the time of payment.

The VAT cash accounting scheme is available to taxpayers who:

  • exercise business activities, arts or professions;
  • have achieved in the previous year (or, in case of start-ups, plan to achieve) a turnover not exceeding EUR 2 million, or to smaller companies that in the previous year have not exceeded EUR 400,000 of turnover if they perform services, or EUR 700,000 if they perform other activities;
  • carry out taxable supplies of goods or services in the Italian territory to recipients or customers who, in turn, exercise business activities, arts or professions.

Some active and passive transactions are excluded from the VAT cash accounting scheme (e.g. transactions with private individuals, intra-EU supplies and acquisitions, reverse-charge transactions).

Continuous supplies:

In Italy, continuous supplies of services are taxable in accordance with the general principles laid down in Directive 2006/112/EC.

(transposed in Article 6 of Presidential Decree 633/72)

The relevant criteria for VAT chargeability purposes are  "completion of the service", in case of single supply and "accrual of consideration", in case of periodic or continuous services:

Generic supplies of services are taxable pursuant to the general principles.

For the so-called "generic" services (Article 7-ter of Presidential Decree 633/72), the time of "performance" of the service is the following:

  • general rule: at the time the service is completed;
  • derogation: on the date of payment of the consideration, if the consideration is paid (in whole or in part) before the time the service is completed.

Periodic or continuing services: for transactions of a periodic and continuous nature rendered to/received from taxable persons not established in the Italian territory (EU and non-EU), the time of performance of the service is the date of accrual of the consideration or the 31 December of each year, until the completion of the service, where the service is carried out:

  • for a period exceeding 1 year;
  • without any payment (even partial) accruing in the same period.

Other rules

Additional obligations deemed necessary for collecting VAT and preventing evasion (anti-avoidance measures):

Italy has not implemented any rules or anti-avoidance measures that may directly impact the supplies of goods or services provided to non-VAT taxable persons.

Bad Debt relief:

In Italy, a bad debt relief claim can be made in those cases where the customer is in bankruptcy or other similar official procedures (e.g. foreclosure, etc.).

In particular, if the consideration of a transaction already invoiced is totally or partially reduced due to customer’s insolvency, bad debt relief can be claimed (and thus a credit note can be issued) as soon as insolvency proceedings are opened, without having to wait for the unsuccessful conclusion of the proceedings, notwithstanding the obligation to make another payment of the tax if part of the consideration is subsequently recovered.

Reference to the above may be found in Article 26 of the Italian VAT Act (DPR 633/72) as amended by Article 18 of Decree-Law No 73 of 25 May 2021 'Recovery of VAT on uncollected debts in insolvency proceedings'.

Re-valuation of services at open market value:


Use and Enjoyment:

In Italy, use and enjoyment rules are applicable to telecommunications and broadcasting services provided to non-VAT taxable persons.

Telecommunications and broadcasting services provided to an Italian customer are not subject to Italian VAT if the service is used and enjoyed outside the EU (Art. 7-sexies (1)(g) of DPR 633/72). Thus, only paragraph a) of article 59a has been implemented.

VAT Treatment of vouchers:

Specific provisions are provided for vouchers, implementing Directive 2016/1065/EU. In accordance with the EU Directive, the Italian regulations makes a distinction between single purpose and multi-purpose vouchers.

A voucher is single-purpose if, at the time of its issue, the VAT rules applicable to the supply of goods or services to which the voucher relates are known. Each transfer of a single-purpose voucher, including its issue, prior to the performance of the underlying supply, results in the application of VAT. A voucher is, on the other hand, multi-purpose if, at the time of its issue, the VAT rules applicable to the supply of goods or services to which the voucher relates are unknown.

VAT shall apply when the multi-purpose voucher is accepted as consideration or part consideration for the supply of the goods or services to which it relates, whereas each preceding transfer of the voucher is not relevant for VAT purposes.