Have VAT Italy (IVA) refunded

The sales tax in Italy is called “Imposta sul valore aggiunto” and amounts to 22%

VAT refund (IVA) in Italy: A comprehensive guide

The refund of VAT (Imposta sul Valore Aggiunto, IVA) in Italy can be important for many companies and private individuals who do business or make purchases in Italy. This guide provides an overview of the most important steps and requirements for successfully applying for a VAT refund.

What is the IVA?

The Imposta sul Valore Aggiunto (IVA) is the Italian sales tax levied on the sale of goods and services. The general tax rate is 22%, but there are reduced rates for certain products and services, such as food and medical equipment.

Who can apply for an IVA refund?

Both companies and private individuals from EU member states and third countries can apply for a refund of IVA if certain conditions are met. This includes

  • The applicant may not carry out any taxable transactions in Italy.
  • The goods or services purchased must be used for business purposes.
  • The invoice must be properly issued and contain all the necessary information.

Conditions for reimbursement

Proper invoices: Invoices must contain the buyer’s full address, VAT identification number, a consecutive invoice number and a detailed description of the goods or services purchased.

Minimum amount: The minimum refundable amount varies, but is usually 50 euros per invoice. However, there may be exceptions depending on specific regulations and the products purchased.

Deadlines: The application for reimbursement must be submitted by September 30 of the year following the year in which the invoice was issued.

The reimbursement process

  1. Registration
    Companies from EU member states must register for IVA reimbursement via the electronic portal of their home country. This portal forwards the application to the Italian tax authorities. Companies from third countries must submit the application directly to the Italian tax authorities.
  1. Application
    The application must contain all relevant invoices and, if applicable, further evidence. It is important that all documents are complete and correct in order to avoid delays.
  2. Examination and decision
    The Italian tax authorities will examine the application and inform the applicant of their decision. If approved, the refund amount will be transferred to the specified bank account. This process can take several months.

Frequent challenges and tips

  1. Language barriers: Since applications and communication are often made in Italian, it can be helpful to hire a local tax consultant or a specialized service company.
  2. Documentation: Make sure that all invoices and receipts are well organized and complete. Incomplete or incorrect documents can lead to delays or rejections.
  3. Adhere to deadlines: Make sure you meet all deadlines to ensure a successful refund.


Recovering VAT in Italy can be a complex process, but it can be done successfully with careful preparation and compliance. By utilizing the right resources and services, businesses and individuals can ensure they receive the reimbursement they are entitled to and reduce their costs.

For further information and specific advice, we recommend that you contact an experienced tax advisor or use the official information sources of the Italian tax authorities.

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