Italy: Is a Last-Minute Moratorium on E-Invoicing Fines on the Horizon?
February 12, 2019
There is no doubt that the roll out of the Italian clearance e-invoicing mandate has kept the e-invoicing market and local taxpayers on their toes. Compliance with the mandate’s legal and technical requirements is not an easy task to fulfil. Consequently, taxpayers of different sectors of the economy as well as different stakeholders of the e-invoicing supply chain affected by the mandate, have continuously tried to find a way to extend the period given to adapt to the new reality.
As explained in previous posts, the Italian government provided taxpayers with a “rolling grace period” during 2019 to try and meet the needs of different sectors of the Italian economy.
Now, seven weeks into the new e-invoicing regime, news of requests for a relaxation to the framework keep arriving, but now in the form of a “moratorium on the application of fines for non-compliance”. The new request was presented by the Consiglio Nazionale dei Dottori Commercialisti e delgi Esperti Contabili – CNDCEC (the National Chartered Accountants and Accountancy Experts Council) to the Ministero dell’Economia e delle Finanze – MEF (the Ministry of Economy and Finance) and to the President of the Agenzia delle Entrate, the Italian tax authority.
So, what does this request for a moratorium mean?
In a nutshell, the request asks for a delay in the date for when non-compliance leads to a fine. As a general rule, most e-invoices must be issued and transmitted to the exchange system (SDI) at the time of the transaction. Non-compliance with the requirement equals sanctions in the form of fines. However, the grace period given for taxpayers to adapt to the mandate means that transactions concluded in January can be transmitted to the SDI for clearance at the latest by the end of the tax liquidation period (i.e. by 16 February in the case of taxpayers who are subject to a monthly liquidation period) and they would not be fined for issuing and clearing the invoice late.
The new request for a moratorium asks for a further delay before a fine would be due for late transmission to 16 March. So, if the request is approved, then an e-invoice documenting a transaction that occurred in January, could possibly be transmitted to the SDI by 16 March without fines*.
The problem is amplified given the short period remaining until the first liquidation period of the year ends on 18th of this month (16th is a Saturday). It remains to be seen if the Italian government can react in time and provide clarity to the situation, or if they are at all inclined to agree with the request.
Find out more about the request submitted by the CNDCEC: http://www.cndcec.it/Portal/News/NewsDetail.aspx?id=59191b35-a4ce-4de7-a7af-4645ed19d773
*The proposal includes the delay of other deadlines to comply with other fiscal obligations that fall outside the scope of this present article.
Francisco de la Colina, Legal Counsel, Sovos TrustWeaver
Francisco de la Colina is a lawyer working on the regulatory analysis team at Sovos TrustWeaver.