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VAT number and fiscal representation in Italy June 2016

Is VAT applied to charters in Italy?
Yes, VAT is applied to all charters that start in Italian waters.
Do I need an Italian VAT number if I charter in Italy?
Yes, you need to have a VAT number in each EU Member State where you intend to start charter activity.
How do I get a VAT number?
You must appoint a local fiscal representative unless the yacht owning company has registered offices in Italy. The fiscal representative will apply for a VAT registration number on behalf of the owning company.
Why do I need to appoint a fiscal representative?
The EU VAT Directive says VAT is due in the country where the charter starts (the ‘place of supply of the service’). If the owning company does not have offices in the country, there is no guarantee that the government will be able to collect the taxes due from the company. Non-resident traders must appoint an Italian company to act as their local representative regarding their fiscal obligations.
What does a fiscal representative do?
A fiscal representative acts as the local representative of the owning company. It guides the client and client’s representatives through the VAT process, managing filing obligations and compliances with the local tax authorities and provides operational guidance during the charter season. The fiscal representative is jointly and severally liable for any owning company VAT tax debts.