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Standard VAT rate: 21% (Sept 2011)

Reduced VAT rates: 10% pharmaceuticals, passenger transport, admission to cultural and entertainment events, hotels, restaurants

Reduced VAT rates: 4% foodstuffs, medical, books

Italy has said that it will raise its standard VAT rate by 1% to 22% on 1 July 2013.

The increase has been much debated since it was announced in December 2011 as a 2% VAT rise.  Since then, the reformist government of Mario Monti has made great strides in economic reforms and expenditure cuts.  It had hoped to eliminate the need for an increase altogether.

The Italian VAT rate was last raised by 1% to 21% in September 2011.  This was at the height of one of the recent Euro currency crisis, as was driven by financial markets’ requirements for concrete measures to demonstrate Italy’s resolve to tackles its huge debt mountain.

Should you register for Italian VAT?

Importing goods into Italy, although if the client is already Italian VAT registered then they supplier may not charge Italian VAT

  • Buying and selling goods within Italy if the supplier and customers are not Italian company with a VAT registration (reverse charge applies).
  • Provision or acceptance of intra-community supplies, or receipt of goods as acquisitions from other EU states.
  • Sales to individual consumers over the internet, subject to the Italian distance selling registration threshold.
  • Storing goods in a consignment warehouse in Italy for supplies in Italy of the rest of the EU.
  • Charging admission fees to live events or exhibitions in Italy.
  • E-commerce transactions with Italian consumers on the web.
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