It is an important period for electronic invoicing and there are new changes in the legislation that companies and individuals doing business in Italy will want to know about. These changes include process management and compilation methods. The legislation has only been in force for a few months but there are some updates that you’ll want to know more about. In this post, we will discuss the “estrometro,” the current obligations and methods of transmission for the e-invoicing requirement in Italy.


What is the estrometro?

The estrometro is a new document that allows the communication of data on cross-border invoices related to the supply of goods and services. It is used to manage operations performed and received to and from persons not established in Italy.


Who is required to produce the estrometro?

VAT holders are obliged to pay for services between businesses and final consumers. In particular, persons liable for VAT are required, according to Article 1, paragraph 3-bis of Legislative Decree no. 127/2015, to communicate data related to transactions regarding the supply of goods and services to and from persons not resident nor established in Italy to the Italian tax agency (Agenzia delle Entrate); therefore for those both within and outside the EU.


How data should be transmitted

The estrometro must be transmitted in XML format and in accordance with the technical specifications as established by the revenue agency (Agenzia delle Entrate), no. 89757 of 30/04/2018.

In some cases the communication of the estrometro is optional. For example, for operations for which a customs bill has been issued and for which electronic invoices have been issued to foreign customers or received from foreign suppliers according to the Interchange System.


How does the estrometro work?

E-invoices must be sent no later than the last day of the month following the date of the document issued, i.e. the date of receipt of the document proving the transaction (the date of receipt is the date on which the transaction was registered for VAT purposes).


What are the deadlines for the estrometro?

At present, the due date for the estrometro is monthly and, as usual, it must be sent by the last day following the day on which the invoice is issued or received. It is important to take these deadlines into account because, in the draft law on tax simplifications, there is a proposal to postpone the deadline to quarterly, but this has not yet been formalized.


What are the sanctions?

As reported by The Italian Times, if the data is incomplete or incorrect, the following penalties will apply:

  • €2 per invoice, up to a maximum of €1,000 per quarter
  • €1 for each invoice; in this case the penalty is reduced by half, for a maximum of €500 per quarter if it is issued within 15 days of the deadline


What data should be included in the esterometro?

  • Foreign sales: data of the foreign buyer/purchaser must be communicated
  • Foreign purchase: data of the foreign supplier/provider must be communicated
  • Document type
  • Date of document
  • Date of registration (only for purchases from non-residents)
  • Document number assigned by the supplier/provider provider
  • Taxable amount
  • VAT rate or non-taxable amount
  • Tax

Moreover, if necessary, the esterometro of the active cycle (i.e. all the operations that allow the sale of goods or services) may be replaced by generating e-invoices in XML format for communicative purposes only, i.e. by enhancing the “Recipient Code” field with the conventional value of seven Xs: “XXXXXXX.”

This means that the purpose of the e-invoice is to communicate foreign transaction data to the Financial Administration (the e-bill will not be delivered by the SdI to the recipient/client), so with the seven Xs, a tax code or a VAT number (eg a tax representative) existing in the Italian tax register should not be entered.

In cases where there is not a foreign tax identification number, the conventional value of 11 nines “99999999999” can be entered in the VAT field. It is not advisable to select the tax code field and enter the country code “IT;” otherwise this will activate Sdl controls.

Only the esterometro rules for DTR (data for invoices received), i.e. for intra-country acquisitions and for those made outside the EU, remain valid.


Esterometro 2019 in Italy: The response to n. 85/e of 27 March 2019

The Agenzia delle Entrate clarifies that, for the purposes of fulfilling the communication requirement of the esterometro, only the circumstance in which the subject is not established in Italy is relevant, regardless of the nature of the transaction.


  • the esterometro covers the supply of goods and services to and from persons not established in Italy, without further restrictions (always with the exception of customs bills and e-invoices through SdI).
  • Even if the buyer is a foreign final consumer without a VAT number, the taxable person, who is resident and established in Italy, will have to communicate the data of sales transactions made with that consumer.


In conclusion:

Companies have to follow the new regulations, and this implies a radical change in internal management processes. We also remind you that it is mandatory to keep the electronic invoice for at least 10 years.

This is why many B2B or B2C organizations rely on companies that can effectively control and manage these processes. This is especially necessary when there is a large number of outgoing invoices (and the increased management and costs that this requires).

Doxee’s e-invoicing numbers:

  • 7.5 million invoices daily, i.e. the maximum number of invoices handled in a single day
  • Doxee is able to handle about 20% of the Italian electronic invoicing traffic to the SDI (Interchange System)
  • 30 million e-invoices produced monthly
  • In the first quarter of 2019, a total of 82 million invoices were managed, including management of over 24,000 items of supporting documentation, with approximately 75,000 support messages sent