Anyone predicting Italy’s clearance model e-invoicing system, FatturaPA, would undergo further reform would be right. Agenzia delle Entrate – AdE, the Italian tax authority, has issued new technical specifications and schemas for Italian B2B and B2G e-invoices. But – what do these changes really mean? And what impact do they have on business processes?
Technical and content updates
Over recent weeks, three updates have been introduced:
- A new version 1.6 of the FatturaPA B2B XML format
- A new version 1.3 of the FatturaPA B2G XML format; and
- A new version 1.8 of the technical specifications for the SDI platform.
The inclusion of withholding taxes (especially social contributions) is one of the new content requirements for the B2B and B2G XML formats. There are also 12 new document types (including self-billed invoices and integration documents) and a further 17 new nature of transactions options (such as reasons for exemptions and reverse charges).
These content updates now require Italian companies to have a deeper understanding of the Italian tax system. The changes impact the moment taxpayers classify their supplies: under the current model, Italian companies don’t have to worry about this until the submission of their VAT returns but under the new schema this classification will be performed in real-time. These updates are likely to impact business processes. They are a necessary next step in paving the way ahead of the upcoming introduction of pre-completed VAT returns, an initiative largely considered to eliminate administrative burden and make life easier for most Italian businesses.
In parallel, further changes resulting from the new versions of the FatturaPA formats have a technical impact on businesses, demanding IT implementation readiness. Among the technical updates are the inclusion of additional fields, length of content, permitted characters, shifting from optional to mandatory field fulfillment and vice-versa, and how often a field can be repeated.
The new technical specifications also introduced new validations that will be performed by the Sistema di Interscambio – SDI, the Italian government-platform responsible for clearance of e-invoices. Most of the new validations check the content of the e-invoice against document types and the indicated nature of the transactions and require taxpayers to eventually be able to understand, process and react accordingly to new errors.
The SDI platform will start processing B2B invoices in the new FatturaPA format from 4 May 2020, but the AdE will enforce use of the new schema on 1 October 2020, triggering new validations and errors only after this date as per the Provvedimento from 28 February 2020. Different deadlines apply to B2G invoices, unless of course the AdE publishes new transition rules for these invoices before that date. The enforcement of the new schema for B2G invoices is set to begin on 1 May 2020.
In practice, the effect of these deadlines mean that while the schemas for B2B and B2G invoices are indeed the same from a technical perspective, taxpayers will must be ready for different deadlines and be prepared to work with two different invoice schemas from 1 May until 4 May.
To find out more about what we believe the future holds, download Trends in Continuous VAT Compliance.