Please find below the most important clarifications contained in newsletter 3/E as of 2020 released by the Italian tax authority on the duty to electronically store and submit daily proceeds and those subsequently provided in order to cope with the epidemiological emergency from COVID-19.
Pursuant to section 2 (1) of the Italian legislative decree 127/2015 VAT persons carrying out transactions exempted from the duty to issue an invoice under section 22 of the Italian DPR 633/72, generally, are required to electronically store and submit data on daily proceeds.
The date of effectiveness of the duty to store and submit data on daily proceeds varies based on turnover:
- for taxpayers with a turnover of more than EUR 400,000 the duty is effective as of 1 July 2019;
- for all other VAT payers the duty is effective as of 1 January 2020.
However, this general duty was softened by the introduction of specific exemptions specified in the ministerial decree released on 10 May 2019. Hence:
- the transactions under section 2 of the Italian DPR 696/1996, already exempted from the duty to certificate proceeds through till receipt or tax receipt, save for exceptions (e.g. sale of vehicle fuels), are excluded from the duty to electronically store and subsequently submit proceeds; nonetheless, VAT payers may voluntarily provide for such electronic data storage and submission;
- further exclusions (with voluntary data submission) apply to: (i) lightening services for voting candles on cemeteries, (ii) public transport service for people, vehicles and luggage confirmed by travel tickets issued, (iii) international transactions performed on board ships, planes or trains during international transport (i.e. the place of departure and the place of arrival are located in two different countries). NB: It is hereby expressly specified that whenever different means of transport (e.g. buses) are used, the general rule continues to be valid;
- also transactions connected to those under section 2 of the Italian DPR 696/1996 and the so-called marginal transactions (i.e. proceeds or income below 1 percent of the previous year's turnover) are excluded.
Finally, the duty to electronically store and submit proceeds also applies to taxpayers using flat-tax scheme under the Italian law 190/2014, unless for operations which fall into the exempted activity.
2. TRADE DOCUMENT
Taxpayers, that are not exempted from the above duty, must issue a trade document for the sale of goods and the performance of services, unless they issue a regular or simplified invoice pursuant to section 21 and section 21-bis of the Italian DPR 633/1972.
The ministerial decree issued on 7 December 2016 identified the minimum requirements that must be specified on such document, including: (i) the description of services performed, (ii) the amount of total proceeds and the amount paid, (iii) the purchaser's tax code and VAT number in order for the trade document to be valid for fiscal purposes, if the purchaser requested such document before the time the transaction is carried out. Thereafter, on 28 October 2016 the Italian tax authority released decision no. 182017 setting forth the "Trade document layout".
The electronic storage and the subsequent issuance of a trade document must occur at the date on which the proceeds are paid in full or in part, or at the time of delivery of the goods or completion of the service performed, if such events occur before the payment date.
NB: VAT changeability based on the type of transaction carried out pursuant to section 6 of the Italian DPR 633/1972 remains unchanged.
This means that:
Transaction Issuance of trade document VAT liability Goods delivered and not paid Whenever consideration is not paid at delivery, the trade document is issued and an unpaid consideration is shown thereon. NB: no new trade document must be generated at final settlement (since VAT liability has arisen already). The seller may prove that payment was made by issuing a simple payment receipt or by specifying it directly on the trade document issued. VAT liability occurs at delivery of the goods: VAT relating to such transaction must be settled in the month in which the good is delivered (and the consideration is stored) Completed and unpaid service A first document on unpaid consideration is issued upon completion of the service; subsequently, a new document is issued upon payment and by making reference to the document previously issued VAT liability occurs at the time of payment: VAT relating to such transaction must be settled in the month in which payment occurs
generally, the duty to electronically store and submit data does not apply whenever proceeds are confirmed through (regular or simplified) invoice. This is true provided that the document is issued within the deadlines set forth under section 21 (4) of the Italian DPR or:
- within 12 days from performance of the transaction for VAT purposes, if an "immediate" invoice is issued (in such case no trade document is required);
- within day 15 of the month following the transaction in the event of deferred invoice, provided that such transaction is identified through adequate documentation (e.g. trade document, transportation documents, etc. ...).
The trade document is not subject to stamp duty.
3. SALE OF FUELS
Please find below an overview of the entry into force of the duty to store and submit proceeds for each type of distributor selling fuel or gasoline used as vehicles fuels to final consumers:
Obliged entities Legal effect of new rules Implementing provisions Modes of data submission Highly automated fuel dispensers 1 July 2018 Measure no. 182017/2017 adopted by the Italian Customs and Monopoly Agency Electronic services on the Portale Unico delle Dogane Fuel dispensers that distributed more than 1.5 million litres in 2018 1 January 2020 Measure no. 182017/2017 adopted by the Italian Customs and Monopoly Agency Electronic services on the Portale Unico delle Dogane Fuel dispensers that distributed more than 1.5 million litres in 2018 1 July 2020 Measure no. 182017/2017 adopted by the Italian Customs and Monopoly Agency Electronic services on the Portale Unico delle Dogane Other fuel dispensers 1 January 2021 Measure no. 182017/2017 adopted by the Italian Customs and Monopoly Agency Electronic services on the Portale Unico delle Dogane
Note: the duty to store and submit daily proceeds is postponed to 1 September 2020 for fuel stations that in 2018 distributed a total of fuel and gasoline used as vehicle fuels of more than 1.5 million litres. For all other distributors such duty shall continue to be effective as of 1 January 2021. In the light of the Coronavirus emergency, it was necessary to revise this calendar in order to meet the industry operators' requests. (Italian tax authority, protocol no. 171426 as of 22 April 2020)
Pursuant to section 1 of the ministerial decree as of 10 May 2019, there is no duty to electronically store and submit proceeds if fuels other than vehicle fuels are sold.
4. UNCOLLECTED PROCEEDS: MEAL VOUCHERS, RETURNED AND CANCELLED GOODS
A trade document must be issued whenever a good is sold or a service is performed, regardless of whether the proceeds are collected and, hence, irrespective of the date on which VAT is chargeable.
In the event of alternative services to canteens, the serving of food and drinks (provision of service) to customers as owners of meal vouchers, against delivery of a voucher, is remunerated subsequently by the company that issued the voucher and VAT is chargeable on such date (voucher is redelivered), unless an invoice that certifies the transaction has been issued previously.
Hence, upon receipt of a meal voucher, a service provider must:
- store the proceed uncollected in full or in part;
- issue a trade document.
Upon storage, data must be submitted. According to the technical specifications contained in decision no. 182017 as of 28 October 2016, valid until 30 June 2020, even the amount of proceeds uncollected in connection with meal vouchers must be submitted.
By doing so, there may be a mismatch between data on proceeds submitted and on tax settled in the same month. NB: In the event of a tax assessment the Italian tax authority will bear in mind that any such data mismatch may be attributable to such issues.
As of 1 July 2020, further to the amendments to the technical specifications adopted by the Italian tax authority through decision no. 1432217/2019, data on daily receipts submitted to the Italian tax authority shall contain more detailed information in order to reduces such mismatches to a minimum and to solve these critical issues. Please note that this new file may be used voluntarily as of 1 March 2020, and in concomitance with the one already in use until 30 June 2020.
As regards goods returned and cancelled, the following clarifications are provided:
- the elements required to connect the returned or cancelled goods to the transactions specified on the documents proving the original purchase must be provided, and, hence, more specifically, the identification code of the document proving the original transaction, if the customer exhibits it at the time of returning the goods (the customer may exhibit to the seller even other elements that confirm the purchase occurred i.e. POS receipt/returnable bottles);
- during tax assessment controls the Italian tax authority must always be enable to reconstruct the events of each single business transaction and that the same is in perfect compliance with the amount of proceeds submitted and the records made.
5. RETAIL METHOD OF VAT SETTLEMENT FOR PROCEEDS
Generally, the new rules on electronic storage and submission of proceeds do not replace the provisions previously in force. Consequently, the retail method of VAT settlement continues to be legitimate: such method is indeed expressly provided for under the technical specifications on the functioning of electronic data acquisition devices.
In such cases, the trade document to be handed out to the purchaser may contain the letters "VI" (Ventilazione IVA) instead of the VAT rate of the good sold.
6. TAX CREDIT
Under section 2 (6-quinquies) of the Italian legislative decree 127/2015 a percentage contribution on the relevant expenses incurred is granted in 2019 and in 2020 in order to encourage:
- the purchase or
- the adjustment
of technological devices used to electronically store and submit daily proceeds.
Such contribution is granted as a tax credit for the purchase/adjustments of new and used models of devices, provided that they are compliant with the provisions currently in force.
Even those who incurred expenses for the purchase or the adjustment in 2019 and in 2020, but become owners later and only potentially (i.e. leasing) are entitled to such contribution. The lessor is not entitled to such contribution.
The tax credit amounts to 50 percent of the expenses incurred, which are to be considered as follows: (i) without VAT, if VAT is deducted; (ii) including VAT, if VAT is not deducted. The amount is recognized up to a maximum of EUR 250 in the event of purchase and up to EUR 50 in the event of adjustment.
The tax credit may be used:
- by offsetting taxes pursuant to section 17 of the Italian legislative decree only (tax code: 6899): hence, it can be neither sold nor reimbursed;
- as of the first periodical settlement of VAT following the month in which the invoice on the purchase or the adjustment of the devices is recorded, i.e. if the VAT person is exonerated from such duty by law, following the month of purchase/adjustment and of the payment made.
In the event of failure to store or failure to submit data or in the event of storage and submission of incomplete or untrue data,
- a penalty equal to 100 percent of the tax owed for the relevant amount of proceeds not submitted or stored (section 6 (3) of the Italian 471/1997) applies. The minimum penalty for each breach is EUR 550. The penalty applies to each single daily receipt not stored or submitted. NB: Aggregation of amounts (section 12 of the Italian legislative decree 472/1997), whereby the penalty for the most serious breach applies, increased by an amount varying from 25 percent to 50 percent, in the event of several breaches with more than one action that tends to adversely affect the tax base, could reduce this effect;
- in the event of four different breaches on various days, the licence or authorization to carry out operations or to carry out business may be suspended from 3 days to 1 month. If the total amount of proceeds in dispute exceeds the sum of EUR 50,000, a suspension varying from 1 month to 6 months is ordered.
NB: as to the precise documentation of the transaction and the proceeds connected therewith, storage and submission form one single duty. Hence, penalties may apply not only to a taxpayer that correctly stored data, but did not submit them (even though to a different extent), but also to a taxpayer that regularly submitted such data, upon untrue data storage.
In any case, no multiple penalties apply: in the event of an illegitimate behaviour as regards the storage and submission of proceeds, however, one single penalty only shall apply pursuant to section 6 (3) and section 12 (2) of the Italian legislative decree 471/1997.
A voluntary correction of errors (against payment) pursuant to section 13 of the Italian legislative decree 472/1997 is possible. NB: in such case no aggregation of amounts is possible, since this legal instrument, which requires discretionary evaluations, cannot be applied by taxpayers.
Please note that data on daily receipts must be submitted electronically to the Italian tax authority within twelve days from transaction performance, as provided for under section 6 of the Italian DPR 633/1972. The duty to daily store data on proceeds and the deadlines for periodical VAT settlement payments remain unchanged.
Please note that during the first six months from the effectiveness of the duty, the above mentioned penalties do not apply if data on daily proceeds is submitted electronically within the month subsequent to the one in which the transaction occurred. The VAT settlement deadlines remain unchanged. Furthermore, it was clarified that the omitted electronic submission of proceeds relating to the second half-year 2019 may be regularized without any penalty, provided that the relevant data is submitted by 30 April 2020 (Italian tax authority, decision 6/2020).
8. CLARIFICATIONS BY THE ITALIAN TAX AUTHORITY FURTHER TO THE OUTBREAK OF THE EPIDEMIOLOGICAL EMERGENCY FROM COVID-19
In newsletter 8/2020 the Italian tax authority provided further clarifications on the scope of application of the tax provisions contained in the Cure Italy decree. As to the issues addressed therein, please be advised as follows:
As already specified, the electronic storage and submission of proceeds (and the issuance of the trade document connected therewith) form a single duty for the purposes of correct documentation of the transaction and the relevant proceeds. Hence, such duty can not be suspended due to the counter-party's need to receive a document to be used for various purposes, including tax purposes.
In order to simplify things for taxpayers, once proceeds are stored and a trade document is issued, the (non-concomitant) submission of proceeds may be suspended and is legitimately postponed to a subsequent moment (e.g. non-availability of network connection and/or connectivity problems of the device).
Even the duty to provide for one single monthly submission of data on proceeds under section 2 (6-ter) of the Italian legislative decree 127/2015, currently effective for business operators with a turnover of less than EUR 400,000 that do not use an electronic data acquisition device or the Italian tax authority's web procedure yet, and continue to issue till receipts or tax receipts, is suspended.
Similarly, the 60 days deadline set forth for electronic submission of proceeds generated by the vendor machines may be suspended. Hence, if a vendor machine operator is unable to electronically submit data on proceeds within 60 days from the previous data submission - because the technician entrusted with data recording at the distributor's master system is unable to provide such recording due to the health emergency - such data recording and submission may be carried out in a subsequent moment.
NB: if a business does not carry out any activity (i.e. because it is shut down further to an order by the authorities or for other reasons in connection with natural disasters), no other transaction relating to the data storage/submission must be carried out, taking into account that, as specified in the technical specifications enclosed to the decision no. 182017 as of 28 October 2016 adopted by the Italian tax authority's CEO "December 2019 9.0 version": <<If operations are shut down due to weekly closure, Sunday closure, vacation, closure due to extraordinary events, seasonal operations or in any other event in which submission is interrupted (unless due to technical defects of the device), the electronic data acquisition device will create and submit a single file containing all data (with zero amounts) relating to the interruption periods during which the merchant did not provide for daily closings at the first subsequent submission or at the latest submission made>>.
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