by Tommaso Fonti, LL.M. and Andrea Belvedere, International Tax Department

servizi_logistica_integrata_BacciardiThe Italian Revenue Agency, in its reply to question no. 96 of 27 March 2020, clarified the nature of the integrated logistics services, specifying that they are generic services and not services related to a property, in any case in which the client does not enjoy the right to use exclusively, in total or in part, the property itself or the area of the logistics warehouse in which the goods are stored.

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The Italian Revenue Agency upholds the principle of law already affirmed by the Court of Justice of the European Union in its judgment relating to Case C-155/12 and, subsequently, incorporated in Article 31-bis of EU Regulation no. 282/2011, according to which the provision of services relating to immovable properties are those which are characterized by the use, arrangement, management, exploitation or valuation of the property.

Consequently, in the absence of the aforementioned right of use for the client, the integrated logistics services must be qualified as generic services and must be subject to Italian VAT only if the client is resident or established in Italy, according to the territoriality rule set by Article 7-ter of Presidential Decree no. 633/72 (B2B rule).

The corresponding Italian VAT must be paid by the Italian client through:

  1. the so-called reverse charge mechanism pursuant to Articles 46 and 47 of Law Decree no. 331/93, where the provider of the integrated logistics services is a EU operator;
  2. the issue of a self-invoice pursuant to Article 17, paragraph 2, of Presidential Decree no.633/72, where the provider of the integrated logistics services is a non-EU operator.

In the light of the above, Italian companies should carefully analyze the integrated logistics service contracts in force with foreign providers of such services, in order to properly qualify the services received from the VAT point of view and, therefore, to identify the correct invoicing methods for the same.