What to know about Italy’s VAT Number

When in Italy a vat number is also known as a Partita IVA. This is a specific code given to professionals and businesses to identify them for tax purposes. You’ll need to open one if you plan on conducting business within Italy.

What does Italy’s VAT number look like?

In Italy VAT numbers begin with IT and then are followed by 11 digits, most businesses will display them on their website. If not when conducting business with them you will have to request it.

How can you obtain one?

In Italy, VAT Numbers must be registered with the Agenzie delle Entrate. These can be registered or opened on your own via an appointment, or you can work with a local Italian accountant. Italian accountants are called commercialiste, and it is highly recommended you work with one. They will be able to inform you about the most up-to-date information on Italian tax regulations.

If you are opening a personal vat number, or a partita iva for freelance work, you’ll find a ton of information in this blog. It breaks down what types there are available for professionals, how to open one, and the costs.

Who needs a VAT Number?

Anyone conducting “business or agricultural activity or an artistic or professional activity on a regular basis.”

Foreign companies or vendors, do not need to register for an Italy VAT number if their customers in Italy are exclusively other businesses established in Italy. If you are working b2b, selling to businesses with registered vat numbers, you do not need one. Instead, if you are selling to the consumer, and conducting a b2c business in Italy, it is another story. Find out more information here.

What are the VAT rates in Italy?

The VAT rates applied to goods and services vary by good, here is a basic overview of the most commonly found items:
22% -for standard goods and services.

Specific reduced rates include:

  • 4%, for some food, beverages, and agricultural products;
  • 5%, for other prepared food
  • 10%, for the supply of electricity and gas for household use, medicine, building renovation, and specified goods and services.

Every sale item should be confirmed with a commercialista and the Agenzie delle Entrate for the most up-to-date VAT application.

However, don’t get confused, as a professional operating freelance with a Partita IVA, you do not always charge, nor pay these fees. To understand the taxes charged on top of services, and the taxes to pay, read more in this article. If you are a business curious about the VAT and taxes to pay, I highly suggest seeking out a local accountant (commercialista) to guide you.

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