Guide to e-Invoicing in Italy, in force since 1 January 2019.

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E-Invoicing has been mandatory in Italy since 1 January 2019. But not everyone knows how to go about it! That’s why we have written a guide to e-Invoicing in Italy.


E-Invoicing in Italy in XML format

From 1 January 2019, all invoices by persons subject to mandatory e-Invoicing in Italy are created digitally, in XML format. These invoices comply with the format used by public administrations.

For more details on XML files, see Annex A to the Decision of the Revenue Agency Director no. 89757 of 30 April 2018.

In the first four days of 2019, 2.8 million invoices were issued, created by 120,000 professionals. The percentage of errors announced by the Revenue Agency stands at around 6%, and is mainly attributable to errors in filling out the invoices.

The situation, therefore, seems much improved compared to 2015, when the percentage of errors on mandatory e-invoices issued by PA suppliers was equal to 30%.


Receiving e-invoices in Italy: Recipient Code and sending e-invoices to the Exchange System

In order to be able to issue e-invoices, companies must apply for a Recipient Code, which is communicated through the restricted area of the Revenue Agency website, in the section Invoices and Fees.

The recipient code makes it possible to receive invoices automatically. Alternatively, it is possible to opt to receive invoices by certified email, informing the Revenue Agency via the same section of the website.

Companies should adopt a digital agenda that collects all the recipient codes and certified email addresses of their customers.


E-Invoicing in Italy: creation, sending and preserving e-invoices

First of all, companies should be able to create invoices in XML. Files must not exceed 5MB and must be signed digitally either by an accredited registrar certified by the Agency for Digital Italy (AgID) or through the National Service Card (obtained from the local Chamber of Commerce).

Secondly, companies must acquire e-Invoicing software capable of managing the data required for invoicing purposes and for generating and transmitting XML files to the Revenue Agency’s Exchange System.

Invoices are signed digitally and sent to the Exchange System, which proceeds with their validation. Once they have been accepted by the Revenue Agency’s Exchange System, the invoices are delivered to the recipients using the Recipient Code or certified email address provided.

Finally, e-invoices should be stored for 10 years in accordance with the law. E-invoices can be stored digitally by bodies accredited by the Agency for Digital Italy (AgID).


Special e-invoicing cases in Italy

Beware when submitting e-invoices to end consumers; these are available on the website of the Revenue Agency, in their restricted area, but must also be delivered electronically or in hard copy. E-invoices are delivered using the recipient code “0000000”.

When delivering e-invoices to foreign entities, instead, you will need to use the Recipient Code “XXXXXXX”. As regards the “VAT No.” field for non-EU subjects, this can be filled in with “OO 99999999999”.


Expected advantages of mandatory e-Invoicing for Italy

  • Control of public expenditure.
  • Reduced tax evasion.
  • Shortened payment times.
  • Transparent relations with customers and suppliers.
  • Move towards corporate digitalisation.
  • Simplified red tape.

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