Invoicing in Italy

Italian invoice requirements

For VAT compliance in Italy, transactions need to be recorded via invoices. This enables VAT-qualifying clients to temporarily deduct sales tax and it allows their transaction partners fulfill documentation requirements.

Invoices are mandatory for all VAT-related transactions, encompassing zero-rated, reverse billing, and VAT-exempted transactions.

Typically, VAT invoices should be issued within 12 days from the transaction date. In Italy, such invoices should be preserved for five years after the year the Annual VAT return is filed.

This can extend to seven years if the Annual VAT return wasn’t filed. From a civil law perspective, accounting records must be maintained for a decade.

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VAT guide Italy information

Full and simplified invoices

Starting 1 January 2019, electronic invoicing became compulsory for transactions between entities either residing or based in Italy. However, this rule doesn’t apply to non-established taxable individuals.

Here’s a breakdown of the essential details an invoice should include:

Full VAT invoice

  • Date of issue.
  • A unique, sequential invoice identifier.
  • Seller’s company name, address or residence, fiscal representative details, and, if applicable, the address of the non-resident’s permanent establishment.
  • Seller’s VAT number.
  • Buyer’s company name, address or residence, fiscal representative details, and if relevant, the address of the non-resident’s permanent establishment.
  • VAT number of the buyer or the EU VAT number provided by the EU member state if the buyer is based in another EU nation, or the fiscal code for individual consumers.
  • Detailed description of goods’ quantity & type or services’ nature & scope.
  • Date of the transaction or payment (if it differs from the invoice’s date).
  • Applied VAT rate, the VAT amount, and the net sum.
  • Goods or services’ unit cost, exclusive of taxes, discounts, or rebates (unless incorporated in the unit cost).
  • If VAT isn’t charged, a mention of the relevant Italian/EU legal provision.

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Simplified Invoice

For some transactions, a simplified invoice containing fewer details can be provided, provided the sale amount stays below EUR 400.
While the EU provides overarching guidelines, individual EU nations have the discretion to determine specific national policies. The EU Commission lists the exact provisions set by each EU country on its website.


Last Updated: 08/09/2023



The information provided by Global VAT Compliance B.V. on this webpage is intended for general informational purposes only. Global VAT Compliance B.V. is not responsible for the accuracy of the information on these pages, and cannot be held liable for claims or losses deriving from the use of this information. If you wish to receive VAT related information please contact our experts at support@gvc.tax


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