How to challenge a tax assessment

Latest update: 12/12/2020

Taxpayers who wish to challenge a decision issued by the Revenue Agency regarding the assessment of the taxes they must pay may lodge an appeal with the competent Provincial Tax Court, which is indicated in the communication received together with information on how to appeal.

A standard fee(IT), which varies depending on the value of the dispute, based on the amounts provided for in Article 13(6-quater) of Presidential Decree 115/2002(IT), is payable before the proceedings are brought before the Tax Court.


The taxpayer may also submit a request to the Agency’s Office to review all or part of the elements and data contained in the decision (Ministerial Decree No 37 of 11 February 1997(IT)).

The request for review will not suspend the period within which the sums due must be paid or the time limit for lodging an appeal.

How to file an appeal

Notifications, communications and documents relating to the tax process are filed electronically in accordance with the rules laid down in Ministerial Decree No 163 of 23 December 2013(IT).

The application must contain the elements set out in Article 18 of Legislative Decree No 546 of 1992(IT). The taxpayer must notify the Office that issued the act by certified email (PEC) within 60 days of the date of receiving the document. The 60-day period is suspended between 1 August and 31 August.

If the value of the claim does not exceed EUR 3 000, the taxpayer can bring legal proceedings without technical assistance. In this case, the application may also be served in paper form either by delivery to the Office, by registered mail (without envelope and with acknowledgement of receipt) or by a bailiff.

However, for disputes with a value of more than EUR 3 000, representation by one of the lawyers identified in Article 12 of Legislative Decree No 546 of 1992(IT) is compulsory. The value of the dispute is equal to the amount of the tax contested with the deduction of interest, penalties and other ancillary amounts, whereas if the contested act relates exclusively to penalties, the value is determined by the sum of those penalties.


Where the value of the claim does not exceed EUR 50 000, the appeal will involve an opening stage when an attempt is made to settle the dispute without going to court.

The appeal may contain a mediation proposal whereby the taxpayer asks the Office to reassess the amounts due.
The Office may accept, even partially, turn down the proposal or suggest mediation.
Mediation concludes by the signing of an agreement between the Office and the taxpayer and involves the application of penalties at a rate of 35 % of the minimum laid down by law.

Opening court proceedings

After the appeal has been served on the Office, the taxpayer must open proceedings by filing the appeal and the documents he or she wishes to submit as evidence with the Provincial Tax Court, together with a copy of the contested act. This activity must take place:

✔ for disputes with a value not exceeding EUR 50 000, if no mediation has been concluded, within 30 days of the expiry of the 90 days provided for mediation after receipt of the appeal by the Office.
✔ for disputes with a value of more than EUR 50 000, within 30 days of the date of serving the appeal.

The proceedings must be filed electronically via the Tax Justice Information System (SIGiT), which is accessed from the Tax Court website(IT).

The application and the documents can only be lodged directly with the Tax Court if the taxpayer can bring an action without legal representation and the appeal is served in paper form.

Payment pending an initial hearing

Even in the event of an appeal, the taxpayer must pay the sums claimed in the contested act.

For disputes subject to the mediation procedure, payment of the sums is suspended for 90 days, within which time the proceedings must be concluded.

Suspension of the contested act

Taxpayers may apply to the court for suspension of payment if they consider that the contested decision may cause them serious and irreparable damage (Article 47 of Legislative Decree No 546 of 1992(IT)).

The request

  • is included in the appeal or
  • submitted in a separate document. The request must be served to the other parties and lodged with the Tax Court secretariat.

Any suspension granted by the court is lifted by publication of the judgment at first instance.

Handling of the dispute

The dispute is dealt with by the judges in closed session, i.e. without the parties being present.

Both the Taxpayer and the Office may request that case should be discussed at a public hearing.

Costs of the proceedings

The unsuccessful party is ordered to pay the costs of the proceedings (Article 15 of Legislative Decree No 546 of 1992(IT)).

Courts and tribunals following the court of first instance

After the Provincial Court judgment, an appeal may be brought before the competent Regional Court.

The appeal is brought in the same way as an appeal to the Provincial Tax Court and must be lodged with the secretariat of the Regional Tax Court within 30 days of proposing the appeal.

Judgments delivered on appeal may be appealed before the Court of Cassation on the grounds laid down by law (Article 360 of the Code of Civil Procedure(IT)).

An appeal on a point of law must be signed, on pain of inadmissibility, by a lawyer registered in the appropriate register, with a special power of attorney.

More detailed information can be found in the Disputes and settlement measures(IT) section.