How do you recover VAT in Italy?

International Taxes

How do you recover VAT in Italy?

A company established in the European Union can recover its VAT in Italy as long as it does not conduct any taxable operations in the country. VAT is then deductible from its business expenses and, consequently, it can recover a certain amount of the costs incurred in a commercial transaction.
The purpose of this article is to assist you in your administrative procedures, summarising the key elements of the VAT refund process in Italy. This subject of course relates to companies established within the European Union. If this is not the case, you will first need to ensure that there is a bilateral agreement between Italy and the country of your company headquarters.
Italy currently has bilateral agreements with Norway and Switzerland; other third-party countries are required to appoint a tax representative to represent them in tax affairs in the country.
To find out more about this subject you can contact us or go to the page on VAT refunds for countries outside the European Union.

Italian VAT refund procedures

First, you must list potentially refundable expenses in Italy.
Below is a summary table of deductible expenses; please note, however, that this is not exhaustive and that certain categories may have specific provisos.

Hotel and accomodation YES
Meals YES
Invitation NO
Passenger transport YES (with driver)
Car hire YES
Petrol YES
Diesel YES
Conferences and seminars YES
Training YES
Goods transport YES
Stand rental YES

You can also consult the official document of the European Commission  for further information on Italian VAT refund procedures.

What is the deadline for submission?

The request must be submitted by 30th September of year n+1 to which the refund refers.
The request must be made using the electronic form available at the tax authority website of your country of origin, or by mail to the address of the office concerned.
Your dossier can be filed quarterly or annually. However, you must check that your refund request duly complies with the minimum thresholds: 200 euros for a quarterly request and 25 euros for an annual request.

What supporting documents are required?

You will need to supply ALL documents needed to consider the request: they include the originals of the invoices showing the Italian VAT number of the suppliers and the VAT amount and/or all import documents. You will be able to attach them directly to your electronic dossier on the platform (maximum file size is 5 Mb). You will also be required to present a certificate of your capacity as a taxpayer, which will entitle you to a refund.
Be aware that the Italian tax authority imposes very strict requirements concerning the quality of the VAT refund request dossier.
Based on experience, ASD advises you to submit a complete and valid claim in order to ensure swifter processing and to avoid any inconvenience during the procedure.

What is the Italian VAT refund period?

The member State then has 6 months to process your complete dossier with effect from the date of receipt. During this period, the applicant may be contacted by the Italian tax authority to supply additional documents. Once the request is approved, payment is made within the next 10 days
If your request is rejected, you will be notified of the reason within 6 months of its receipt. Interest is then paid in the event of a late refund with effect from the 180th day after the date of receipt of the request. However, interest is suspended when the documents requested from the applicant are not provided within 15 days of the date of the request and resumes on production of the documents.
It is important to note this specific characteristic of the Italian VAT refund procedure. You will need to open a “foreign bank account” or a “foreign postal account” in the name of the applicant in an authorised bank in Italy before a refund can be made. Then the refund can be made into an account in the name of the applicant in his country. In this case, you will need to provide the BIC (Bank identifier code) and the IBAN (International bank address number) of the account.

Be aware that these formalities can be handled fully by a tax agent or representative to facilitate your procedures in the country and thereby comply with the legislation in force.
This solution is often used when the deductible VAT amounts are large or when the categories of expenses require in-depth analysis.

ASD is a tax firm specialising in the recovery of VAT. For further information on our services please visit our dedicated page or contact us via our contact form. We shall be delighted to assist you in handling your procedures and to deal with your refund requests. Be aware that we can recover your VAT, not only in Italy but also in the 27 other member States of the European Union.

Share on social networks

More information on our VAT recovery service

ASD Group is an international company specialising in VAT recovery for over 20 years
For further information, please contact us via our contact form.

Find out more about the author of the article

ASD Group

ASD Group


Find all our news on VAT and customs, decrypted by our experts

ASD Group opens the doors to the world ASD Group News

ASD Group opens the doors to the world

This month, Select Antipolis magazine dedicated 8 pages to ASD Group.  Didier Delangue shares the history of the development of ASD Group. From the creation of ASD Group to its(...)

Read more
VAT registration changes in Switzerland International Taxes

VAT registration changes in Switzerland

Until now, a foreign company had the obligation to register for VAT in Switzerland, as soon as its taxable transactions in Switzerland reached 100 000 CHF (approximately 85 000€). From(...)

Read more
The dangers of the VAT fraud International Taxes

The dangers of the VAT fraud

Taxation remains a complex subject within the European Union. According to a study by the European Commission, The European Union member countries lost 151,5 billion euros in 2015, from which(...)

Read more
Update on the flat rate contribution of SIPSI Posting of Workers

Update on the flat rate contribution of SIPSI

Legislation concerning secondment declarations will change in the coming days. Zoom on future changes. WHAT IS THE DETACHMENT DECLARATION (SIPSI)? A foreign company wishing to second(...)

Read more
Strasbourg and its Eurometropolis adopt the Crit'Air sticker from 1st of November 2017 Posting of Workers

Strasbourg and its Eurometropolis adopt the Crit'Air sticker from 1st of November 2017

The affixing of the vignette Crit'Air on the windshield becomes more and more common in France. After Paris, Grenoble, Lyon and Lille, it is Strasbourg and its 33 surrounding municipalities(...)

Read more
This is the list of non-EU countries that do not have to appoint a tax representative International Taxes

This is the list of non-EU countries that do not have to appoint a tax representative

According to the article 289 A of the French General Tax Code, a foreign company that carries out transactions subjected to VAT in France must, in several cases, appoint a tax(...)

Read more
The posted worker turn-around in Europe Posting of Workers

The posted worker turn-around in Europe

After 12 hours of discussions, European Union’s Labour Ministers finally agreed upon the posted workers' reform. REDUCTION of the maximal posting duration European countries(...)

Read more
How to know if I have to file a DEB? Customs Obligations

How to know if I have to file a DEB?

Although companies can make commercial operations within the European Union freely and without a control on the borders, depending on your activity and the amount of trade you might have an(...)

Read more
European taxation of GAFA International Taxes

European taxation of GAFA

a huge subject since some months, the debate on a European taxation of digital multinationals, the « GAFA » (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple) aka « equality(...)

Read more
Our experts are at your disposal to answer your questions. Benefit from a free consultation!
Ask us for advice