Indirect Tax News - December 2020

News on e-invoicing regime and VAT obligations

According to the new, approved regulations announced by the Italian tax authorities via a Provision dated 20 April 2020 (Prot. no. 166579/2020), starting 1 January 2021 taxpayers resident, or established, in Italy for VAT purposes and who are subject to the e-invoicing regime must use the new version of the technical specifications of the .XML e-invoice.

In this respect, of particular interest are the new codes relating to the .XML tags <TipoDocumento> and <NaturaOperazione>, which are the codes related to the type of document and to the nature of the transaction, respectively.

By way of example, with reference to tag <TipoDocumento>, new document type codes can be used to manage the different reverse charge regimes as provided by the Italian VAT Law.

Regarding tag <NaturaOperazione>, under the new version of the technical specifications of the .XML e-invoice, new codes have been introduced that facilitate identification of transactions without local VAT. For example, the generic "N3" code, which is used for VAT exempt sales, now is divided into: N3.1 - VAT exempt - exports, N3.2 - VAT exempt - intra-community supplies, and so on.

Adoption of the new technical specifications is closely linked to the Italian tax authorities’ objective of simplifying the VAT obligations for taxable persons by providing templates for some VAT documents.

Indeed, according to art. 4, paragraph 1, Legislative Decree no. 127/2015, on an experimental basis, beginning with VAT transactions carried out from 1 January 2021 with respect to transactions acquired with e-invoices and on cross-border transactions (so called “esterometro”), Italian tax authorities will make drafts of the following VAT documents available to all taxable persons resident and established in Italy: i) VAT registers (for both purchases and sales); ii) the quarterly VAT return; and iii) the annual VAT return.

And finally, it should be noted that draft Financial Law 2021 indicates that the “esterometro” obligation could be repealed with respect to 2022. If this legislative provision is enacted, beginning in 2022 taxpayers will have to adopt the new technical specifications for invoices issued to, and received from, Italian and foreign counterparties.

Francesco Grandolfo

Giuseppe Cammareri