An overview of the prefilled VAT return in Italy

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  1. Introduction
  2. What is the prefilled VAT return?
  3. Who can access the prefilled VAT return?
    1. How to access the prefilled VAT return
    2. What’s new for the prefilled VAT return
  4. Deadlines for the prefilled VAT return
  5. What are the benefits of the prefilled VAT return?

In recent years, the Agenzia delle Entrate (the Italian Revenue Agency) has launched several projects to support tax compliance and to promote better cooperation between the tax authority and taxpayers. As a result, it is updating its services to be more digital and user-friendly, making it easier for taxpayers—including those with a value-added tax (VAT) number—to comply with the tax authority’s requirements in just a few simple steps. One of the tools available is the precompleted VAT return. In this article, you will learn what it is, who can access it (and how), and what its benefits are.

What’s in this article?

  • What is the prefilled VAT return?
  • Who can access the prefilled VAT return?
  • Deadlines for the prefilled VAT return
  • What are the benefits of the prefilled VAT return?

What is the prefilled VAT return?

On September 13, 2021, Italy began a trial of the prefilled VAT return, which is included in Article 4 of Legislative Decree 127/2015. This decree implemented an online support service on the Agenzia delle Entrate website.

The prefilled VAT return uses data from electronic invoices, cross-border transactions, and electronic receipts to automatically prepare drafts from registers of issued and received invoices (as mentioned in Articles 23 and 25 of Presidential Decree No. 633 of October 26, 1972) and notifications of periodic VAT settlements (known as LIPE) referred to in Article 21-bis of Decree-Law 78/2010.

This serves as a draft statement available to certain taxpayers on their personal page on the Agenzia delle Entrate website. Taxpayers need to review and possibly add to it before confirming and submitting it, similar to the prefilled Form 730. The prefilled VAT return aims to simplify the legal requirements for taxpayers and improve their relationship with the tax authorities, thereby reducing the risk of tax evasion and avoidance, and increasing voluntary compliance.

Following the order of January 19, 2024, the Agenzia delle Entrate announced that the experimental phase has been extended to include transactions made in 2024. Therefore, the service is available to eligible users from February 12, 2024 onward.

Who can access the prefilled VAT return?

Those with VAT numbers—including traders, artisans, businesses, and professionals who fall under the categories defined by the orders of July 8, 2021, and January 12, 2023—are eligible to access the prefilled VAT return. This covers about 2.4 million taxpayers; in particular:

  • Taxable individuals who are established residents in Italy and submit quarterly VAT returns are eligible to access the prefilled VAT return. However, certain categories are excluded, such as those operating in specific sectors (e.g., publishing, sale of used goods, travel agencies) or those subject to special VAT regimes.
  • The January 12, 2023 order also included, among others, agricultural producers (or those engaged in related agricultural activities) and agritourism.

How to access the prefilled VAT return

The prefilled VAT return service is available on the “Fatture e Corrispettivi” (Invoices and Fees) portal where you can authenticate using SPID, your CNS, or your CIE. Once you have logged in, go to the precompleted VAT documents section, where you will find the “Dichiarazione annuale Iva” (Annual VAT return) section.

What’s new for the prefilled VAT return

For the 2024 prefilled VAT return, the Agenzia delle Entrate has introduced several new features outlined in Agenzia delle Entrate Decree 11806 dated January 19, 2024. These updates allow for the entry of additional data to more accurately process the VAT return. With these changes, the tax authority aims to further improve the service provided to taxpayers.

For instance, new fields allow offsetting percentages applied to product supplies for businesses under the special agriculture regime to be entered. They also allow users to specify whether VAT exceeding the ceiling was paid via Form F24.

In addition, both taxpayers and authorized intermediaries can download bulk files containing draft monthly VAT registers, monthly and quarterly summary statements, draft periodic settlement statements, and draft annual VAT returns.

Ensuring your business stays on top of changing tax regulations can be particularly complex. Tools such as Stripe Taxcan help you simplify tax compliance by automatically generating detailed reports that can be useful for filing tax returns.

Deadlines for the prefilled VAT return

Prefilled VAT returns for 2024 were due to be filed electronically by April 30, 2024. Once you have reviewed your prefilled VAT return and made any necessary changes or additions, it must be filed electronically.

Submissions made up to 90 days after the deadline are also valid, but a penalty of between €250 and €2,000 will apply unless the taxpayer makes a voluntary disclosure—a correction that means reduced penalties of varying amounts will apply depending on how quickly the correction is made.

If they have met the April deadline, taxpayers can also exercise their right to deduct VAT on purchases of goods and services based on invoices received by December 31 of the previous year.

What are the benefits of the prefilled VAT return?

The prefilled VAT return has played a strategic role in achieving the goals outlined in the Piano Nazionale di Ripresa e Resilienza (PNRR/National Recovery and Resilience Plan), particularly in simplifying tax compliance for businesses and professionals. It also has the following advantages:

  • Once the VAT transaction data is complete or integrated, the VAT registers can be validated. These registers will then be maintained by the Agenzia delle Entrate so that the taxpayers can benefit from the exemption from recordkeeping requirements for the relevant quarter.
  • Once validated, the draft periodic VAT return is also processed.
  • When validation is completed for all quarters of the year, the draft annual VAT return is also processed.
  • The system also allows users to export the drafts in XML format for import into their own applications or for comparison with data from their own registers.

The content in this article is for general information and education purposes only and should not be construed as legal or tax advice. Stripe does not warrant or guarantee the accurateness, completeness, adequacy, or currency of the information in the article. You should seek the advice of a competent attorney or accountant licensed to practice in your jurisdiction for advice on your particular situation.

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