Italy has been a pioneer when it comes to automating e-invoicing processes. It first introduced a B2G e-invoicing system in 2014 which has since evolved into a robust and mandatory platform for the exchange of invoices now also expanded to include B2B and B2C transactions. The Italian central e-invoicing platform SDI was considered revolutionary by the Italian government and has been transformed from its origins as an invoice exchange platform into the data gathering solution that we see today.
Effective from 1 February 2020, electronic purchase orders from any entities associated with the Italian National Health System (SSN) must be exchanged through the NSO platform. Pre-completed VAT returns are expected to be introduced in the second semester of 2020. The common feature in these Italian initiatives is the use of the SDI as the point of contact between the Italian tax authority (the Agenzia delle Entrate – ADE) and the taxpayer’s data. Contrary to widely held expectations, the SDI has proved to be a highly modular solution that can be adapted to different scenarios.
The ADE’s decision to leverage the SDI and expand its functionality into a multi-tasking platform comes with consequences. The FatturaPA must now serve as a vehicle for the input of data needed for the other “modules”. These aren’t part of the e-invoice clearance process, but the data is required for other purposes. For this reason, adjustments in the FatturaPA schema are expected to be released at any time, as already confirmed by the ADE.
Some of the updates to the invoice layout will be welcomed by taxpayers, such as an increase in the number of digits for discounts and surcharges, and the identification of cross-border supplies to San Marino. On the other hand, a list of new document types and details in the nature of the operation are among the expected changes which will enable the interaction of the FatturaPA with the pre-completed VAT returns planned for the second semester.
Although the ADE is expected to grant an implementation timeline for businesses, the frequent changes and upgrades in the SDI platform and its associated FatturaPA invoice mean taxpayers must ensure their ERP systems and invoicing solutions are robust but flexible enough to keep pace with the wave of tax controls being introduced not only in Italy but globally.
To find out more about what we believe the future holds, download Trends in Continuous VAT Compliance.