Who can claim VAT refunds

Latest update: 12/12/2020

Entities established in a non-EU country may apply for VAT refund on purchases made in Italy in the course of their business if they appoint a VAT representative in Italy. The appointment of the tax representative must be recorded in an authentic instrument, registered private instrument or letter filed in the register held by the Revenue Agency’s office having jurisdiction over the representative’s tax domicile, or in a declaration of start or change of activity.

However, entities established in a non-EU country which has a reciprocity agreement with Italy (currently, Israel, Norway and Switzerland) may apply for a VAT refund without appointing a tax representative in Italy. The same option applies to those entities that, while established in another non-EU country, have joined the Mini one-stop shop (Moss) scheme, even if they have supplied telecommunications, broadcasting and electronic services to final customers within the territory of Italy. All these entities follow a special application procedure for VAT refunds.

Non-resident entities established in a non-EU country under conditions of reciprocity may claim VAT refunds on purchases and imports of movable property and services relating to the exercise of their business, art or profession, provided such VAT is deductible under the Italian VAT legislation.

 The right to VAT refund only applies if the activity performed by the applicant in his country of establishment is subject to VAT. In the case of totally or partially exempt activities, the applicant will be entitled to partial refund of input VAT, equal to the deduction percentage.