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eInvoicing in Italy
The use of eInvoices in public procurement in Italy is mandatory for ministries, tax agencies and national security agencies since June 2014. Since 31 March 2015, it is mandatory for all public entities. The use of eInvoices is based on the following legal instruments:
- Italian law number 244 of 24 December 2007, provisions for drafting the annual and longer term financial statements of the State (Finance Act 2008);
- Decree of 7 March 2008, identification of the Provider of the Exchange System for electronic invoicing and the relative attributions and duties;
- Decree of 3 April 2013, regulation on the issue, transmission and receipt of electronic invoices to be applied to public authorities;
- Decree law of 24 April 2014, n. 66. Urgent measures for the competitiveness and the social justice (art 25).
- Circular of the State General Accounting Office number 37 of 4 November 2013, First Operating Instructions for the implementation of the Regulation on the issue, transmission and receipt of electronic invoices to be applied to public administrations.
eInvoicing platform and eInvoicing management solutions
The Italian state offers the exchange system (Sistema di Interscambio) for eInvoicing processing. This system should process eInvoices before they can be transmitted to the public entities. There are multiple ways to submit an eInvoice to the government administrations through the Exchange system. These include:
- Certified Electronic Mail (CEM);
- the web – through the website of FatturaPA;
- the SDICoop – transmission Service;
- the SDIFTP Service;
- the SPCoop - transmission Service.
The different methods for submitting eInvoices have specific requirements, regarding the means of connecting to the eInvoicing platform and the eInvoice’s file size. Most economic operators use the solutions offered by major companies such as ‘Poste italiane’.
Approach for receiving and processing eInvoices
The Italian operating model for eInvoicing follows a single exchange hub named Sistema di Interscambio with which senders and receivers of electronic invoices can be supported by their own service provider. The Revenue Agency manages the Sistema di Interscambio with technology and operational support from Sogei, an IT provider owned by the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance.
Economic operators submit eInvoices following the FatturaPA format through the Sistema di Interscambio. The Sistema di Interscambio works as an eDelivery service, transmitting each eInvoice to the addressed administration based on an addressee identifier (Unique Office Code). Only formal controls are performed by the Sistema di Interscambio. Economic operators and public entities may make use of a solution provider for submitting/receiving invoices and control messages to/from the Sistema di Interscambio.
All the invoices are sent by the Sistema di Interscambio to the State General Accounting Department, responsible for performing audit functions on the financial administration of public institutions through inspection activities, for monitoring of public expenditure.
Each public administration chose the way they want to receive the invoices from the Sistema di Interscambio through one of the following means:
- Certified Electronic Mail (CEM);
- the SDICoop – Reception Service;
- the SDIFTP Service;
- the SPCoop - Reception Service.
Once received, the processing of eInvoices by contracting authorities is undertaken through an automation and integration process, which is normally proportional and varies according to the dimension of the contracting authority. The invoices are then archived digitally for ten years by the public administrations receiving the eInvoice. The Sistema di Interscambio does not archive invoices.
The Revenue Agency has put in place free services to support SMEs onboarding and facilitate the transmission and archiving of eInvoices. The Revenue Agency developed an APP for smartphones to allow SMEs to create and transmit eInvoices. They have further created videos to show how easy is to implement eInvoicing.
Status on the implementation of the European Standard on eInvoicing (EN)
From a legislative point of view, the Directive 2014/55/EU wiLl be transposed by the end of 2018.
The Italian government is currently developing the B2G eInvoicing infrastructure (Sistema di Interscambio) to make it compliant with Directive 2014/55/EU with the support of the eIGOR project, co-financed by the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) programme. Under the eIGOR project, translators have been developed for EN compliant eInvoices syntaxes to/from the FatturaPA syntax.
The Sistema di Interscambio will translate incoming EN compliant eInvoices to the FatturaPA syntax and forward them, together with the translated eInvoice and a translation report, to public administrations. Public administration will thus be able to process the translated invoice in the FatturaPA syntax, for which they are already equipped.
The Italian CIUS, developed under the eIGOR project, has been published for public consultation in September 2017, and is expected to be finalised in the near future. It will be compliant with the PEPPOL BIS 3.0 specification.
The Italian government has provisionally approved the transposition proposal of the directive and Italy will make use of the additional year, provided under the Directive’s provisions, to enforce the compliance to the directive by sub-central authorities. The technical regulations for this will be issued by the Revenue Agency. B2G eInvoicing for contracts below the EU threshold will remain mandatory under the new law.
There is a central solution in place to process the eInvoices for all contracting authorities, the ‘Sistema di Interscambio’. In addition, Italy received CEF funding for a project, translating EU syntaxes into national format/syntaxes. The existing Sistema di Interscambio will be able to use both the originals and the translated formats for eInvoices.
Italy is taking a step further in mandating eInvoicing also at the B2B and B2C levels. Italy is also currently investigating the use of PEPPOL as a potential transmission channel for eInvoices.
Use of Core Invoicing Usage Specifications (CIUS) at national level
The Italian Revenue Agency will mandate the use of the Italian CIUS in national legislation. Only one CIUS is expected to be in use.
As of January 1, 2019, eInvoicing will become mandatory for B2B and B2C among Italian operators. As for B2G, the invoices will have to be in the FatturaPA format, and will be transmitted via the Sistema di interscambio. EN compliant eInvoices may be accepted for domestic invoicing as a further development.
The biggest challenge for Italy remains to make stakeholders understand that implementing eInvoicing is not only a legal obligation but also an opportunity that will be beneficial to all transaction parties.
 The FatturaPA is the only type of electronic invoice that will be accepted by Public Administrations which, according to the Law, are obliged to make use of the Exchange System.
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Last updated: Feb 19, 2019 11:42