Annual reporting requirements vary from country to country, making it complex for cross-border insurers to collect the data required to ensure compliance.

Italy has many unique reporting standards and is known for its bureaucracy across the international business community. Italy’s annual reporting is different due to the level of detail required. The additional reporting in Italy requires an in-depth list of policies and details including inception and expiry dates, cash received dates, policyholders’ names, addresses, fiscal codes and premium values. This makes the annual reporting a significant undertaking.

Contracts and Premiums Report – due by 16 March each year in respect of previous calendar year

The Italian legislation and regulations require insurance companies writing business in Italy to submit annual reports with the purpose of collecting information that facilitates the tax authorities’ control of activities on taxpayers.

These reports should list all the insurance contracts in place in the relevant year with a policyholder (individual or entity) subject to Italian taxes. Policies covering Liability, Assistance and any risks written as ancillary to an underlying Liability or Assistance policy don’t need to be included in the report.

If there were no contracts in place in the previous calendar year, there is no requirement to submit a Nil report.

Claims Report – due by 30 April each year in respect of previous calendar year

Claim payments made during the previous year in favour of beneficiaries (individuals or entities) who possess an Italian fiscal code must be reported to the Italian tax authorities by the end of April.

Details required in the report include:

If there are no claims to be reported for the previous year, Nil reports are not required.

Motor Report – part to the annual IPT report due by 31 May each year in respect of previous calendar year 

As an integral part of the annual Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) return due by the end of May, insurance companies writing compulsory motor third-party liability must report the amount of IPT paid in the previous year to each of the Italian provinces. Details required include province policy number, fiscal code, vehicle plate number, premium, IPT rate and IPT.

Why planning ahead of the reporting season is vital

The additional reporting in Italy requires that certain elements are present before submission. To submit the Contracts and Premiums report an insurance company needs:

Many insurance companies work with third parties, and the policy information they collate might not always include all required details. Incomplete and incorrect data prevent the successful submission of the annual reports and can lead to costly fines and reputational damage.

Navigating annual reporting alongside regular monthly and quarterly reporting can feel overwhelming. The more that can be prepared in advance, the smoother the reporting process. Understanding Italy’s specific annual reporting requirements will ensure insurers remain compliant and avoid any unnecessary delays or corrections.

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A tax authority audit can come in various forms, whether it be directly to the insurer itself or indirectly through a policyholder or broker.

It can be targeted, for example, where an insurer has been specifically identified to be investigated due toa discrepancy on a tax return, or it can be indiscriminate in its nature as part of a wider exercise being carried out by an authority.

Whatever form the audit takes, the key to responding is in the preparation beforehand.

What information should be kept for a tax authority audit?

First and foremost, insurers should ensure they are retaining copies of evidence that can be used to justify the tax amounts declared and settled. This may include the insurance contracts themselves, the invoices issued to policyholders and a record of their data that comprises the declarations that have been made.

It’s worth noting that in Italy there is a formal requirement to maintain IPT books which detail each of the premiums received during each annual period. Although this is not necessarily a specific requirement in other countries, applying this approach to all premiums received will put an insurer in a strong position if an audit is carried out.

Further documentation demonstrating compliance is also useful. If external advice has been sought, e.g., to determine the appropriate class of business for a policy and the consequent tax application, then retaining a record of this advice is advised in case this is required later.

There may be cases where a tax authority’s advice has specifically been sought and such correspondence will inevitably hold considerable weight if tax treatment is queried during a subsequent audit. Documentation of any processes in place to ensure compliance is also valuable.

As statutory limitation periods vary across jurisdictions, evidence should be kept as long as is practicable (subject to relevant data protection laws where applicable) so that it can be produced if an audit takes place.

The consequences of noncompliance

In the digital age, this practice should hopefully not seem overly burdensome. It’s worth referring to the penalty regimes in place in some countries to put the potential repercussions of an unsatisfactory audit into context.

The UK is an example of where a behaviour-based approach to determining penalties is used, with the highest level of penalties reserved for cases of deliberate and concealed undeclared tax where the authority itself has prompted the declaration.

Lower penalties (or indeed no penalties at all) will be levied where reasonable care is taken, and reasonable care will be far more likely to be considered to have been taken where records are kept in the ways described.

Audits can happen at any time so it’s important insurers have taken the necessary steps to ensure information and data to demonstrate compliance is available to the tax authority when requested.

Ensuring the accurate and timely submission of tax returns is likely to reduce the possibility of a targeted audit. The IPT managed services team at Sovos has a huge amount of experience with tax filings in the UK and across Europe and has assisted many insurers with unexpected audits.

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Get in touch with Sovos today about the benefits a managed service provider can offer to ease the burden of IPT compliance.

In the “Statement on a Two-Pillar Solution to Address the Tax Challenges Arising From the Digitalization of the Economy” issued on 1 July 2021, members of the G20 Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (“BEPS”) have agreed upon a framework to move forward with a global tax reform deal.

This will address the tax challenges of an increasingly digital worldwide economy. As of 9 July 2021, 132 of the 139 OECD/G20 member jurisdictions have agreed to the Inclusive Framework on BEPS.

Pillar Details

Pillar 1

Pillar 1 gives a new taxing right, Amount A, to market countries to ensure companies pay tax on a portion of residual profits earned from activities in those jurisdictions, regardless of physical presence. Pillar 1 will apply to multinational enterprises (“MNEs”) with global turnover above 20 billion euros and profitability above 10%.

There will be a new nexus rule permitting allocation of Amount A to a market jurisdiction when the in-scope multinational enterprise derives at least 1 million euros in revenue from that jurisdiction. For jurisdictions with a GDP less than 40 billion euros, the nexus will instead be set at 250,000 euros.

The “special purpose nexus rule” determines if a jurisdiction qualifies for the Amount A allocation. Furthermore, countries have agreed on an allocation of 20-30% of in-scope MNE residual profits to market jurisdictions, with nexus using a revenue-based allocation key.

Revenue will be sourced to the end market jurisdictions where goods or services are consumed, with detailed source rules still to come.

More details on segmentation are still in the works, as is the final design of a marketing and distribution profits safe harbour that will cap the residual profits allowed to the market jurisdiction through Amount A.

Lastly, countries have agreed to streamline and simplify Amount B with a particular focus on the needs of low-capacity countries. The finalised details are expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

Pillar 2

Pillar 2 consists of Global anti-Base Erosion (“GloBE”) Rules that will ensure MNEs that meet the 750 million euros threshold pay a minimum tax rate of at least 15%. The GloBE Rules consist of an Income Inclusion Rule and an Undertaxed Payment Rule, the latter of which still needs to be finalised.

Pillar 2 also includes a Subject to tax rule, which is a treaty-based rule, allowing source jurisdictions to impose limited source taxation on certain related party payments subject to tax below a minimum rate. The rate will range from 7.5 to 9 percent.

When Will the Plan be Implemented?

There is currently a commitment to continue discussion, in order to finalise the design elements of the plan within the agreed framework by October 2021. Inclusive Framework members will agree and release an implementation plan.

The current timeline is that the multilateral instrument through which Amount A is implemented will be developed and opened for signature in 2022, with Amount A coming into effect in 2021. Similarly, Pillar Two should be brought into law in 2022, to be effective in 2023.

More Details to Come

Although the key components of the Two-Pillar Solution have been agreed upon, a detailed implementation plan that includes resolving remaining issues is still to come.

As many countries could be implementing these changes in the near future, it is important for businesses active in the digital economy to carefully track and understand the developments surrounding the OECD/G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting Project.

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Since 1993, supplies performed between Italy and San Marino have been accompanied by a set of customs obligations. These include the submission of paperwork to both countries’ tax authorities.

After the introduction of the Italian e-invoicing mandate in 2019, Italy and San Marino started negotiations to expand the use of e-invoices in cross-border transactions between the two countries. Those negotiations have finally bore fruit, and details are now available.

Building SDI connectivity to San Marino

Italy and the enclaved country of San Marino will abandon paper-based customs flows.

The Italian and Sammarinese tax authorities have decided to implement a “four-corner” model, whereby the Italian clearance platform SDI will become the access point for Italian taxpayers, while a newly created HUB-SM will be the SDI counterpart for Sammarinese taxpayers.

Cross-border e-invoices between the countries will be exchanged between SDI and HUB-SM. The international exchange system will be enforced on 1 July 2022, and a transition period will be in place between 1 October 2021 and 30 June 2022.

FatturaPA: The format of choice

HUB-SM’s technical specifications are now available for imports from Italy to San Marino, and exports from San Marino to Italy. The countries have also decided to choose FatturaPA as the e-invoice format, although content requirements for export invoices from San Marino will slightly differ from domestic Italian FatturaPA e-invoices.

The SDI and HUB-SM systems will process e-invoices to and from taxpayers connected to them, or under each country’s jurisdictions.

In other words, Italian taxpayers will send and receive cross-border invoices to or from San Marino via the SDI platform, while Sammarinese taxpayers will perform the same activities via HUB-SM.

Both platforms will deliver invoices to the corresponding taxpayers through the Destination Codes assigned by the respective tax authorities. This means HUB-SM will also assign Destination Codes for Sammarinese companies.

Integration documents for Sammarinese companies

Inspired by the Italian methodology for fiscal controls in cross-border transactions, San Marino will require Sammarinese buyers to fill out an additional integration document (similar to a “self-billing” invoice created for tax evidence reasons) upon receipt of the FatturaPA. This document will be filled out in a new XML-RSM format created by the enclave and sent to HUB-SM.

After the larger rollout of the SDI for B2B transactions in 2019, the platform has proven capable of adapting to new workflows and functionalities.

Since last year, e-purchase orders from the Italian National Health System have been exchanged through the NSO, an add-on to the SDI platform. In January 2022, the FatturaPA replaces the Esterometro as a cross-border reporting mechanism.

SDI has already debuted in the international arena through the acceptance of the e-invoices following the European Norm, which are mapped into a FatturaPA before being delivered to Italian buyers. This integration between SDI and HUB-SM might also reveal the early steps of interoperability between both tax authorities’ platforms for cross-border trade.

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Italy postpones e-document legislation until 2022. In September 2020, Italy introduced major changes to the country’s rules on the creation and preservation of electronic documents. These new requirements were expected to be enforced on 7 June 2021 however the Agency for Digital Italy (AGID) has now decided to postpone the introduction of the new rules until 1 January 2022.

The new ‘Guidelines for the creation, management, and preservation of electronic documents’ (“Guidelines”) regulate different aspects of an electronic document. By following the Guidelines, businesses benefit from the presumption that their electronic documents will provide full evidence in court.

The postponement of the introduction of the Guidelines is a reaction from the AGID to claims of local organizations who have particularly expressed concern about the obligation to associate metadata with e-documents. The Guidelines set forth an extensive list of metadata fields for keeping alongside e-documents in a way that will enable interoperability.

Metadata requirements modified

In addition to delaying the introduction of the new e-document legislation, the AGID has also modified metadata requirements. They included new pieces of metadata and changing the description of some fields. The AGID has also corrected references – especially to standards – and rephrased statements to clarify some obligations.

The updated Guidelines and their corresponding Appendices are available on the AGID website.

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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:

  1. A new version 1.6 of the FatturaPA B2B XML format
  2. A new version 1.3 of the FatturaPA B2G XML format; and
  3. 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.

Implementation deadlines

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.

Important update

On 12 March (after this blog was posted), AdE has republished version 1.3 of the FatturaPA B2G technical specifications. Although the version number remains the same, the republished version states a new effective date for the new B2G schema: 4 May. With enforcement of the B2G schema on 4 May, the SDI platform will be able to process both B2G and B2B schemas simultaneously, and not on different dates, as informed previously.

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Italy has been at the forefront of B2G e-invoicing in Europe ever since the central e-invoicing platform SDI (Sistema di Interscambio) was rolled out and made mandatory for all suppliers to the public sector in 2014.

While a number of its European neighbours are slowly catching up, Italy is continuing to improve the integration of new technologies with the public administration’s processes. Its latest move is to make e-orders mandatory in public procurement. By leveraging the successful use of the public administrations’ Purchase Orders Routing Node platform (Nodo di Smistamento degli Ordini, or NSO) in the Emilia-Romagna region, Italy is now extending the functionality throughout the country.

E-ordering for purchases beyond healthcare products

As of 1 October 2019, all purchase orders from the Italian National Health System (Servizio Sanitario Nazionale, or SSN) must be delivered to and received by suppliers through the NSO platform. The suppliers affected by the mandate will be required to receive e-orders from public entities; the public administration will not proceed with the liquidation and payment of invoices issued by non-compliant companies. It is noteworthy that the mandate covers all purchase orders made by entities associated with the SSN, including office supplies and electronics, and not just health-related products.

In addition to mandatory receipt of e-orders, suppliers will also be able to send messages to the public administration. In cases where suppliers and the public administration have previously agreed, the supplying company may send pre-filled e-orders to the public administration buyer, which will confirm or reject the proposed supply.

Foreign suppliers and the new e-ordering mandate

Moreover, foreign suppliers must also comply with this mandate. The NSO mandate will have some impact on e-invoicing for Italian public administrations seeing as certain e-order data must be included in the e-invoices that are transmitted through the SDI.

The NSO system is built upon the existing SDI infrastructure, and as a result, the communication with the NSO requires similar channel accreditation as the SDI. Suppliers and intermediaries already performing the transmission of messages through the SDI platform are required to comply with complementary accreditation requirements, which are yet to be published. Furthermore, the technical specifications show that PEPPOL intermediaries may interact with the NSO platform through an Access Point service accredited with the NSO.

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Regulatory Analysis

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Companies struggling to meet Italy’s electronic invoicing deadline of January 1 will get some relief from financial penalties if they can’t immediately issue invoices at the moment of supply, but it seems the Italian Tax Authority will not delay rolling out the system.

The government had stated that invoices that did not comply with the new mandate after January 1 would be subject to penalties ranging from 90 to 180 percent of the applicable tax. The tax authority will consider invoices not correctly formatted or not issued through the new SDI reporting system to be non-compliant.

But many businesses, especially smaller firms, have had trouble transitioning from their existing processes to the new e-invoicing framework that requires real-time e-invoice clearance through the state-operated Sistema di Interscambio, or SDI, platform.

In response to business concerns, the government is opening up to a grace period of sorts: Instead of postponing the e-invoicing roll-out as such, Italy will waive penalties for delayed clearance transmission. Furthermore, as of July 2019, Italy will loosen the main rule for when an invoice must be issued, which effectively will allow businesses more flexibility in the e-invoicing process.

Businesses get a grace period for Italian electronic invoicing penalties

The new rules on penalties allow for a short grace period. The tax authority will not apply penalties for e-invoices that are issued and cleared by the SDI within the VAT liquidation period to which the invoice belongs – in other words, by the 15th of the following month in which the invoice should be issued and consequently cleared (according to  Decree n. 100 from 1998, updated in 2018). For e-invoices that the SDI issues and clears by the end of the following VAT liquidation period (usually the end of the following month), the tax authority will reduce the penalty by 80 percent.

For example, if a business can’t transmit invoices in compliance on January 1, it can delay the clearance transmission of an invoice that should have been issued to February 15 without any penalties for the delay. If the business still needs more time, it can delay the clearance transmission of invoices through the SDI until March 15 and pay an 80 percent reduction of the regular penalty.

Italy eases timing of electronic invoicing issuance

Italy is also loosening its requirement for the timing of issuing an invoice. Since 1972, Italian VAT law has stated that suppliers must issue invoices to the government at the point of supply. However, beginning in July, suppliers will be able to issue invoices through the SDI platform within 10 days of supply. Invoices not cleared by SDI are not valid for fiscal purposes, so taking 10 days to issue an invoice could cause delays in receiving payment.

For companies doing business in Italy, the relief is welcome, but it is also a sign that Italian e-invoicing is moving forward on schedule. That means companies with Italian operations need to get their systems ready to comply with the new mandate or face penalties by mid-February.

Takeaways: What this means for doing business in Italy

What is also clear from the latest developments is that e-invoicing regulations in Italy can change at any time. The problem becomes exponentially more difficult to solve when businesses figure in similar changes happening all over the world. Adopting a system that automates e-invoicing and provides a single source of truth for data in both accounts payable and accounts receivable is essential.

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Sovos has been keeping companies in compliance in Italy for more than a decade. Find out how Sovos saves clients from penalties, cancelled shipments and other potentially expensive e-invoicing pitfalls.