How to claim VAT refunds
Latest update: 12/12/2020
Non-EU entities must submit Form VAT 79, prepared in Italian or English, on paper to the Revenue Agency - Centro Operativo di Pescara - via Rio Sparto, 21 - 65129 Pescara.
The application can be submitted by:
- hand delivery
- express courier.
The following documents must be enclosed with the form:
- originals of invoices or import documents
- the certificate issued by the country of establishment certifying the applicant’s status as a taxpayer.
For more information, please contact the following telephone numbers
- 848 800 444 (cost of the call: local per minute charges)
- 00 39 06 96668933 (line for non-residents — the cost depends on each phone operator’s rates)
Can the applicant submit the VAT refund application through a third party?
The taxpayer may be represented by a third party having a specific power of attorney (Decision No 110/E of 28 November 2016). No additional documents need to be submitted.
Can payments be made to third parties?
The taxpayer may appoint a third party to collect on his behalf the refund due pursuant to Article 38-bis2 of Presidential Decree No 633 of 1972, by means of a specific authorisation to collect payments (Decision No 110/E of 28 November 2016).
Information to be included in the refund application
The following details are required:
- surname and first name, or business name
- the address of the place where the activity is carried out, or the postal address to which communications must be sent
- email addresses and telephone number
- description of the applicant’s economic activity
- applicant's VAT registration number in the country of establishment, domicile or habitual residence
- refund period
- bank account details, including IBAN and BIC codes
- list of invoices and import documents relating to the VAT for which refund is claimed.
The following documents must be enclosed with the application
- original invoices
- proof of their payment
- the certificate issued by the tax authority of the country of establishment certifying the applicant's VAT registration and start date. The certificate is valid for one year from the date of issue and can be used for all applications submitted during this period.
What are the refund thresholds?
- For quarterly applications, EUR 400 or the equivalent amount in national currency
- For annual applications, EUR 50 or the equivalent amount in national currency.
Deadline for claiming a refund
Applications must be submitted by 30 September of the calendar year following the reference year. Only quarterly and annual applications are allowed.
What is the time limit by which the tax authority must complete the refund procedure?
The assessment of the application must be completed within 6 months from receipt of the application. This term is extended to up to 8 months if the Revenue Agency requests additional information.
Payments are made within 10 working days from approval of the application.
Is there any extra refund in the event of late refund of VAT?
After 180 days from the application, interest of 2% per year is due. No interest is due if the applicant fails to provide any additional information requested within 1 month or failed to enclose the required documents with the refund application.
The limit on the number of refund applications that can be submitted in a year is five refund applications per year.
All communications with tax authority, including requests for additional information, are made by email. Refund refusals are also sent by mail.
In case of error
How to correct errors in the refund application
Non-resident entities established in a non-EU country under conditions of reciprocity may submit an amending application by the deadline of the original refund application.
What are the rules for incorrect applications?
If the refund was not due, the Revenue Agency will issue a recovery order.
In this case, the entity that has received the refund must pay it back within 60 days of receiving the order. An administrative penalty of 100% to 200 % of the amount unduly refunded will be charged (Article 38-bis2(11)of Presidential Decree No 633 of 1972).
Pending repayment of the refund not due and payment of the penalty, any further refund to the entity concerned is suspended up to the same amount (Article 38-bis2(12) of Presidential Decree No 633 of 1972).
In which cases will the applicant’s EU country not send a refund application?
Entities established in a non-EU country cannot apply for VAT refund if there is no reciprocity between Italy and their country of establishment.
Can the refund be granted to non-EU businesses without reciprocity agreements?
Entities established in a non-EU country may apply for VAT refund on purchases made in Italy in the course of their business if they appoint a VAT representative in Italy. The appointment of the VAT representative must be recorded in an authentic instrument, registered private instrument or letter filed in the register held by the VAT office with jurisdiction over the representative’s tax domicile, or in a declaration of start or change of activity.