All businesses whether they be B2B or B2C must submit invoices through a government gateway if they are trading in Italy.
Italy has always been a pioneer when it comes to electronic invoicing and introduced e-invoicing across its public sector organisations in 2015. In 2017, private companies in Italy have had the option to submit invoices electronically via the official exchange system, Sistema di Interscambio (SDI).This was completely voluntary, and adoption was relatively low despite tax incentives on offer, and so in January 1st 2019, use of this system became mandatory for B2B and B2C transactions.
This means that Italy has the first clearance e-invoicing model in Europe and they are hoping this will help to close a 35 billion euro tax gap. All invoices must be in the XML schemas published on the SDI website. Failure to issue an invoice, or issuing an invoice that does not meet this format results in a penalty equal to between 90-180% of the associated VAT amount. Issuing a purchase invoice to a client without adhering to mandate requirements results in a penalty equal to 100% of the associated VAT amount.
This raises several challenges. Will your shared service centre know how to read an XML and assign the right tax code? Will your VAT integration document for intracommunity acquisition or reverse charge be formatted correctly? Do you have correct and updated information from your customers in order to issue electronic invoices in the first place? Does your business potentially need a specific solution just to deal with this new regulation despite Italy potentially only being a small part of your business?
How can automation support?
Robotic Process Automation can provide an answer.
Rather than building new infrastructure, implementing new software and retraining staff, RPA can be used to navigate the existing systems and software you have in place, gather the information needed and input it into the correct file. It can even be used to then submit this invoice via the SDI portal, saving you significant time and reducing replication of work.
The other major benefit of using RPA in this way is that it ensures standardisation of the process, which means businesses can be assured that their invoices will always meet the required format and will not incur any fees.
To find out about other processes where RPA could make life easier…why not download our free whitepaper?