E-invoicing Italy: All you need to know

Italy was the first country in the region to introduce a clearance e-invoicing model with the Sistema di Interscambio (SdI) platform. Seeking to close one of Europe’s most significant VAT gaps, the government has steadily improved its Continuous Transaction Controls (CTC) system.

Beginning with B2G e-invoicing in 2014 and extending to cover domestic B2B and B2C e-invoices in 2019, Italy became the first EU country to make B2B e-invoicing mandatory through a clearance process.

This page will:

  • Explain how Italy’s e-invoicing works
  • Help you understand how to comply with the e-invoicing regulations
  • Answer your questions about the Sistema di Interscambio

Have questions? Get in touch with a Sovos Italy e-invoicing expert.

Quick facts about e-invoicing in Italy

  • Issuing e-invoices requires creation in a structured format and transmission is via the Sistema di Interscambio
  • The Fattura PA – the tax authority’s XML schema format – is the required format for issuing e-invoices
  • For B2B e-invoices, businesses can choose how to ensure the integrity and authenticity of invoices, but there is a strong market preference for Qualified Electronic Signatures. However, B2G e-invoices must be electronically signed.
  • Exchange of National Health Service purchase orders is through the NSO platform and referenced accordingly in the e-invoice.
  • E-archiving invoice requirements include the obligation to:
    • Execute a signing and time stamping process for e-invoices in an archive
    • Maintain a documented description of the archive and the archiving process (Manuale della Conservazione)
    • Put in place a clear delegation plan setting up the responsibilities around the archiving process
  • Since 1 July 2022, all cross-border transactions must be reported through the SdI in the FatturaPA format. Taxpayers can continue to exchange cross-border invoices in any agreed way.

Scope of e-invoicing in Italy

B2B e-invoicing in Italy applies to:

  • Domestic B2B transactions between Italy resident/established taxpayers
  • Almost all Italy resident/established taxpayers
  • Included in 2022: Taxpayers who adopt the flat-rate tax regime (regime forfettario) and amateur sports associations and third sector entities with revenue up to EUR 65,000
  • From 1 Jan 2024: Microenterprises with revenues or fees up to EUR 25,000

B2G e-invoicing in Italy applies to:

  • All taxpayers supplying goods/services to public administration entities

E-invoicing in Italy: Mandate Rollout Dates

  • 6 June 2014: Phased roll-out of mandatory B2G e-invoicing starts in Italy
  • 1 July 2018: Clearance mandate goes into effect for manufacturers and distributors of petrol and diesel intended for use as a motor fuel in cars and road vehicles
  • 1 September 2018: Mandate starts for tax-free sales to non-EU individuals acting as final customers
  • 1 January 2019: Mandate becomes a requirement for domestic B2B and B2C transactions in Italy, with minor sector-specific exceptions
  • 1 February 2020: Exchange of purchase orders for the supply of goods to entities associated with the National Health Service through the NSO platform becomes compulsory and reference in the e-invoice becomes a requirement
  • 1 January 2021: Introduction of pre-populated VAT returns and enforcement of new FatturaPA schema
  • June 2021: Enforcement of the new requirements for the creation and archiving of electronic documents
  • October 2021: Voluntary transition phase for e-invoicing between Italy and San Marino began
  • 1 July 2022:
    • Italian businesses must report information on cross-border transactions to the SDI in the FatturaPA format. As a result, Esterometro was abolished on 30 June 2022
    • E-invoicing using the FatturaPA format becomes mandatory between Italy and San Marino, with the Italian SdI as the access point for Italian taxpayers and the HUB-SM platform as the SdI counterpart on San Marino’s side
    • Scope of the B2B e-invoicing mandate in Italy broadened to include:
      • Taxpayers who adopt the flat-rate regime (regime forfettario)
      • Amateur sports associations and third sector entities with revenue up to EUR 65,000
  • January 2024: E-invoicing scope to include microenterprises with revenues or fees up to EUR 25,000

Penalties: What happens if you don’t comply

  • Failure to issue an invoice or issuing an invoice that doesn’t meet the XML format will result in a penalty between 90-180% of the associated VAT amount.
  • Issuing a purchase invoice to a client without adhering to mandate requirements will result in a penalty of 100% of the associated VAT amount.
  • After a grace period (expired for the supply of goods and services), there will be no payment for invoices issued to entities associated with the National Health Service if no prior purchase order has been transmitted through the NSO platform and referenced in the e-invoice

Register for e-invoicing in Italy with Sovos

Sovos ensures compliance with all SdI e-invoicing and VAT requirements in Italy including CTC e-invoicing, reporting and e-archiving. All you need to do is work with us and you can use our solution that connects directly with the SdI.

Want to learn more about e-invoicing?

Download the 13th edition of Trends to learn about the global e-invoicing landscape

Eastern Europe is another region adopting e-invoicing. Find out more in our ebook, VAT Digitization in Eastern Europe

FAQ for e-invoicing in Italy

Is e-invoicing mandatory in Italy?

E-invoicing in Italy is mandatory for the majority of the B2B, B2C and B2G invoices. Suppliers performing activities classified as “Commercio al minute e attivitá assimilate” are exempt from the obligation of issuing e-invoices, unless their customers so request them; on the other hand, those suppliers are required to electronically transmit a daily aggregate report (It.: Scontrino Elettronico). Reporting of cross-border transactions through the SDI in the FatturaPA format is also mandatory.

How does e-invoicing work in Italy?

The tax authority requires all invoices in the Fattura PA XML schema format. Transmission of e-invoices happens through the Sistema di Interscambio. E-invoices must be cleared by the tax authority. The Italian tax authority delivers the legal cleared e-invoice to the recipient.

How do you securely connect with the SdI to issue invoices?

With ease. Our solution connects securely with the SdI, freeing you from the burden of knitting together different systems and platforms.

How do you comply with Conservazione sostitutiva?

The term conservazione sostitutiva refers to a long-term preservation process required for compliant archiving of e-invoices in Italy. E-invoices must be preserved after being archived by grouping them together in a so-called ‘package’, and providing that e-invoice package with a qualified digital signature or seal and a time reference.

This process must be completed no later than three months after the deadline for the submission of the annual fiscal declaration at the end of the fiscal year. E-invoice preservation is an integral feature of Sovos eArchive for invoices stored under Italian law.

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