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Italy – National Practice: Circular n. 12/E of 24 March 2015 on VAT Warehousing arrangements

By May 29, 2015July 10th, 2021No Comments

The Italian Tax authority provided detailed information with the aim of clarifying some aspects of the VAT warehousing regime …

The Italian Tax authority provided detailed information with the aim of clarifying some aspects of the VAT warehousing regime:

  • In the tax base related to extraction of a good from a VAT warehouse have to be taken into account also the supplies of services connected to the insertion of goods and custody;
  • The supplier applies the reverse charge to the transfer of goods between different VAT warehouses whether the supply implies also the transfer of property from a depositary to the other;
  • The “light fiscal representative” could be used also by Non EU taxable persons with the purpose to fulfil the VAT obligations connected to the extraction of goods from the warehouse that are non-taxable (exportation or IC supply);
  • The supplies of services related to goods in custody within the VAT warehouse are deemed to be carried out without the physical introduction of the good in the warehouse, it is only necessary to register the extraction of goods in the account registers (charge and discharge).

The Agenzia delle Entrate implemented the principles settled by the ECJ in judgment C-272/13 case Equoland:

-> “It could indeed be argued that, since the imported goods were not physically placed in the tax warehouse, the VAT was due upon importation and that, therefore, payment under the reverse charge mechanism constitutes late payment of that VAT. […] a belated settlement of VAT, in the absence of attempted evasion or detriment to the budget of the State, constitutes merely a formal infringement that cannot call into question the taxable person’s right to deduct. In any event, such belated payment cannot be equated with evasion, which presupposes, first, that the transaction concerned, notwithstanding compliance with the conditions laid down by the relevant provisions of the Sixth Directive and the national legislation transposing it, results in the accrual of a tax advantage the grant of which would be contrary to the purpose of those provisions and, secondly, that it is apparent from a number of objective factors that the essential aim of the transaction concerned is to obtain a tax advantage”

Referring to penalties of 30% provided by article 13 of DLgs. 471/97, the Agenzia delle Entrate assumes that their application complies with the principle of proportionality considering the loss of revenues and the importance of the violation. In any case the amount of the penalty should be modified after the evaluation of the conduct of the taxpayer.


Prof. Paolo Centore