Electronic invoicing in Italy was first promoted through the Finance Act of 2008 (Italian Legge 24 December 2007, no. 244), which established the issuing, transmission, storing and archiving of invoices issued with the public authorities (B2G) in electronic format, with the aim of simplifying the process for invoicing and registering tax operations.
The following year, in 2009, the Agencia delle Entrate was identified as the administrator of the Sistema di Interscambio (SdI) and Sogei as the party responsible for its technical management. In 2013, the rules for the issuing, transmitting and reception of electronic invoices were established, along with the operation of the Italian exchange system, in the Decree of 3 April 2013, no. 55.
Meanwhile, in 2012, the transposition of Directive 2010/45/EU was carried out through Decree-law of 11 December 2012, no. 216, which, among other matters, established that Italy would accept all systems to guarantee the integrity and authenticity of electronic invoices, such as electronic or digital signatures, EDI, and other management controls that guarantee traceability between an invoice and the delivery of goods or services.
Lastly, the Italian government introduced mandatory B2G eInvoicing in June 2014 for suppliers of the public administrations and government offices, and in January 2017, it introduced optional B2B transactions.
Italy’s invoicing model also requires the storing of electronic invoices in electronic format, which is optional for paper ones and those “created electronically” but used in paper. Similarly, specific requirements related to the retention of electronic invoices and other relevant tax documents were established. It was also established that, if the invoice is subcontracted, it must clearly specify that it is issued on behalf of the company.
The Italian government's FatturaPA project includes an interchange system, an XML format and an error checker. It also has a series of solutions for SMEs, including a free electronic invoicing service. Furthermore, it authorises their complete management for the Chambers of Commerce and the National Council of Accountants.
There are also initiatives such as SICOGE, run by the General Office of accounting, and which numerous local entities have signed up for; SIDI, for electronic invoices issued to state schools; and the “Accompagnatoria elettronica FACILE” services, developed to be used by towns with a population of between 3,000 and 10,000.
As of 1 January 2019, e-invoicing will be mandatory in commercial transactions between companies (B2B). This requirement, which is the defining moment for eInvoicing in Italy and the first B2B requirement in Europe, will be brought forward to 1 July of this year for companies in the oil sector and subcontractors of public administration suppliers and services providers.
The passing of the Disegno di Legge di Bilancio 2018, which addresses these circumstances, as well as speeding up the deployment of eInvoicing in the country, will make it possible to prevent tax evasion, improve administrative flexibility and help to simplify the bureaucracy involved in the payment order cycle.
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SERES has written a White Paper on “Electronic Invoicing in Europe” which sets out in detail the progress that is expected for eInvoicing in Europe (Albania, Germany, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Norway, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Romania, Serbia, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine).
It is the perfect guide to understand what your company is facing if it wants to use eInvoicing globally.