Italy Is the first Clearance E-Invoicing Model in the EU for all VAT transactions.

Italy: a pioneer of the automated e-invoice process.

Italy has been taking actions to close its VAT gap – the largest in Europe – including implementing a clearance e-invoicing model (FatturaPA). It started with B2G e-invoicing in 2014,  was expanded to B2B and B2C transactions from 1 January 2019 and has been continuing to evolve. 

The Italian central e-invoicing platform Sistema di Interscambio (SDI) was considered revolutionary by the Italian government when it was introduced. The SDI originated as an invoice exchange platform with data gathering playing an integral role. The breadth of data gathered is increasing, as can be seen in the upcoming requirement for cross-border data to be reported in the FatturaPA. 

As a result, businesses need to adopt an e-invoicing system capable of integrating with ERP and automation platforms to become compliant with Italy’s solution.

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

Mandate quick facts

  • The issuance of an e-invoice is contingent upon the invoice being created in a structured format and transmitted through a state-controlled platform called Sistema di Interscambio (SDI).

  • Invoices must be issued in the tax authority’s XML schema format – the FatturaPA.

  • Currently,  the mandate covers domestic supplies performed between Italian resident or established businesses, and parties to cross border supplies may agree to issue and receive e-invoices. In 2022, Italian businesses will be required to also send cross-border transactional data to the SDI using the FatturaPA schema

  • Purchase orders from the National Health Service must be exchanged through the NSO platform and referenced accordingly in the e-invoice. 
  • In the B2B e-invoicing flow, businesses may choose how to ensure integrity and authenticity of the invoices, but there is a strong market preference for Qualified Electronic Signatures. However, B2G e-invoices must be electronically signed.
  • There are several specific requirements for the archive of e-invoices, notably search criteria, a documented description of the archive and the archiving process (Manuale della Conservazione), as well as a clear delegation plan setting up the responsibilities around the archiving process.

Mandate rollout dates

  • July 1, 2018: Clearance mandate goes into effect for manufacturers and distributors of petrol and diesel intended for use as motor fuel in cars and road vehicles
  • September 1st, 2018: Mandate kicks in for tax-free sales to non-EU individuals acting as final consumers
  • January 1, 2019: Mandate becomes a requirement for domestic B2B and B2C transactions, with minor sector-specific exceptions
  • 1 February 2020: Purchase orders for the supply of goods to entities associated with the National Health Service must be exchanged through the NSO platform and referenced in the e-invoice

Road on Amalfi Coast, Italy
  • 1 January 2021: A new schema of the FatturaPA is enforced

  • 1 January 2021: Pre-populated VAT returns introduced

  • 1 June 2021: Enforcement of the new requirements for the creation and archiving of electronic documents

  • 1 July 2022: Italian businesses must submit information of cross-border supplies to the SDI in the FatturaPA format. As a result, Esterometro is being abolished from 30 June 2022


  • Failure to issue an invoice or issuing an invoice that doesn’t meet the XML format will result in a penalty of 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 supply of goods; until 1 January 2022 for supply of services), invoices issued to entities associated with the National Health Service won’t be paid if no prior purchase order has been transmitted through the NSO platform and referenced in the e-invoice

Need help to ensure compliance with all FatturaPA and other VAT requirements in Italy?

To address its VAT gap, Italy has continued to expand the transactions over which the tax authority has visibility and evolve the formats used to submit relevant data. It is inevitable this trend will continue.

We know how difficult it is to follow the changes while keeping up with existing workloads.

Our experts continually monitor, interpret and codify these changes into our software, reducing the compliance burden on your tax and IT teams.

Discover how the Sovos solution is tailored to manage all e-invoicing and related VAT initiatives in Italy.