Michaela Merz

Italy: VAT Warehousing – pending decree issued

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VAT warehouses: according to the Ministerial Decree dated 23 February 2017 financial guarantee is due upon certain conditions

Abstract: in the Official Gazette dated 17 March 2017 it has been published the text of the Decree of the Ministry of Finance, which clarified relevant contents, practicalities and formalities regarding financial guarantee for withdrawal of goods introduced into a VAT warehouse from non-EU, as well as relevant exemptions.

The Law Decree n. 193/2016 amended the rules concerning the withdrawal of the goods from the VAT warehouse.

With specific reference to the withdrawal of those goods introduced into a VAT warehouse following an import from non-EU Countries, for a subsequent sale/usage in Italy, starting from April 1, 2017, Italian VAT will still be accounted through the reverse charge mechanism (i.e. through a self-invoice) provided that a financial guarantee is provided to the Italian tax authorities, unless specific exemptions apply.

In this respect, the Ministerial Decree, dated 23 February 2017, published in the Official Gazette on 17 March 2017 defines the relevant contents, practicalities and formalities regarding the drafting and submission of such guarantee.

In particular, it has been clarified that certain taxpayers deemed to be “reliable” are exempted from this obligation. A taxpayer is deemed to be “reliable” if the following conditions are met:

  • the Annual Vat return has been properly submitted in the three years preceding the withdrawal of the goods from the VAT warehouse;
  • VAT payments, if due, have been executed;
  • No definitive notice of assessment acts, resulting still unpaid, have been notified in respect of issuance and registration of non-existent transactions;
  • There are not known criminal proceedings or judgments for crimes related to the criminal tax law and bankruptcy law.

The subject that withdraws the goods shall self-asses under his responsibility the above mentioned conditions through a self-certification, to be provided to the VAT warehouse keeper before the withdrawal. The self-declaration is valid for one calendar year. The VAT warehouse keeper shall submit the self-declaration to the Italian Tax Authorities, in order for them to carry out the relevant checks.

Once the above mentioned conditions and formalities are met, the subject that proceeds with the withdrawal accounts for Italian VAT through the reverse charge mechanism (it must be registered in Italy for VAT purposes to do that).

In the event that the above mentioned conditions are not met, the subject withdrawing the goods may continue to account for VAT through the reverse charge mechanism only in case it provides a financial guarantee (issued by an authorized intermediary or by its parent Company – upon certain conditions- according to a specific wording provided for by the Italian VAT law) , in favor of the competent Tax Office. The guarantee must cover the amount of VAT for a period of six months from the date of the withdrawal.

Finally, the Decree states that the reliability requirements also exist if (i.e. there is no need to provide the financial guarantee):

  • the subject who proceeds with the withdrawal is the same that put the goods into free circulation with introduction into the VAT warehouse (since it is already required to submit the guarantee upon introduction into the warehouse);
  • the person is an authorized operator within the meaning of Settlement no. 952/2013 / EU, or he is exempt according to the art.90 of Presidential Decree no. 43/1973.

Finally, the Resolution No. 35/E dated 20 March 2017 has provided some clarifications about the possibility to benefit from the plafond for “usual exporters” at the time of withdrawal of goods from the VAT warehouse.

In particular, in the case of withdrawal of goods from VAT warehouses for a subsequent sale/usage in Italy, following to a domestic sale with introduction into the VAT warehouse (in that case, VAT should be paid to the tax authorities), taxpayers may benefit from the usual exporter relief, provided that the relevant conditions are met.

In that scenario, the usual exporter must submit the declaration of intent for each withdrawal indicating as the recipient of the latter the VAT warehouse keeper. Moreover, he must proceed with the electronic filing of the declaration of intent to the Italian Tax Authorities to get the relevant receipt. The declaration, together with the tax authorities’ receipt, must be then provided to the VAT warehouse keeper, that shall electronically check its contents to the Tax Authorities’ website.

For further information, please contact Davide Accorsi, Senior Manager PwC Milano on +39 02 91605708 or davide.accorsi@it.pwc.com.

 

Bildquelle: Carl Philipp Asekai von Mainaschaff  / pixelio.de

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