Direct identification for VAT purposes

VAT registration in Italy, also known as direct VAT identification (Identificazione diretta ai fini IVA), allows non-resident companies carrying out activities subject to VAT in Italy to exercise their rights and fulfil their obligations in accordance with national VAT legislation.

As an alternative to direct VAT identification, VAT-related obligations can be handled by appointing a fiscal representative in Italy. The foreign company must fulfil all the obligations provided for by the VAT law through the fiscal representative. However, under Italian law, the fiscal representative bears a substantial personal liability risk.


For companies established outside the EU, only the appointment of a fiscal representative is foreseen.

In the following cases, the foreign company is obliged to apply for direct VAT identification or to appoint a fiscal representative in Italy: 

·         Sales of goods to private individuals (e-commerce):

If an entrepreneur supplies goods to private individuals from other EU member states, he must in principle pay the VAT of his own state. However, this rule only applies if the cross-border sales of goods do not exceed the annual delivery threshold of 35,000 € and the entrepreneur has not waived the delivery threshold. Therefore, the foreign company should keep an eye on its sales of goods to Italy, because if the delivery threshold is exceeded, a VAT registration must be made in Italy and the Italian VAT must be paid. 

·         Delivery of goods from an EU country to an Italian warehouse:

Goods delivered from an EU country to a warehouse in Italy are considered equivalent to an intra-Community operation for VAT purposes and must therefore be declared to the customs office by means of an Intrastate declaration when certain thresholds are exceeded.

 ·        Sales of goods and provision of services to foreign subjects


 ·        Fulfilment of reverse charge obligations:


If the tax liability is transferred to the foreign company, the latter must register for VAT and comply with the obligations provided for by the Italian VAT law.


Within the scope of VAT registration of the foreign company we offer our clients the following consulting services:


·        Preparation and submission of the application for VAT registration

·        Keeping the accounts and the prescribed VAT registers

·        Preparation and telematic dispatch of the annual VAT return

·        Preparation and telematic dispatch of the advance VAT returns

·        Payment of VAT liability

·        Creation of Intrastate declaration


Foreign companies applying for VAT registration or appointing a fiscal representative in Italy are exempt from the obligation to issue invoices electronically. Therefore, invoices can be issued either in electronic form or in paper form. 

We support foreign companies in applying for an Italian VAT number.

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