With the start of the new year, there are several changes regarding the data relating to the transactions completed with foreign counterparties.

Whether they are purchases or sales, their transmission to the Revenue Agency via the electronic invoicing format will be mandatory .

Therefore, there is a transition from the mass sending of data on a quarterly basis, which generally took place through the DTE or DRT block of the esterometer, to the transmission of individual XML files via the ES.

Here's what changes in 2022 in relation to electronic invoicing with foreign countries.

1. E-invoices with subjects not established within the territory of the State

As explicitly indicated in the 2021 Budget Law , starting from 2022 it is mandatory to communicate the data of transactions carried out abroad, using the electronic formulation path.

On this issue it is good to take into consideration some aspects:

  • the telematic transmission of data must be completed in full compliance with the terms for issuing the documents and invoices certifying the remuneration;
  • as regards timing, the electronic transmission of data must be completed by the 15th day of the month following receipt of the document certifying the operation.

Courtesy invoice for foreign customers: how is it sent?

How should you deal with cases in which the foreign customer does not have an Italian tax code? Since he cannot access the online service of the Revenue Agency , it is essential to send an analog copy of the invoice issued. In practice, it is also highly recommended to send the computer duplicate which, from a legal point of view, is valid exactly like the original, being identical.

2. Esterometer

What does the new esterometer consist of? In practice, it becomes mandatory to send an electronic invoice to the ES also for single transactions concluded with foreign countries, whether they are purchases or sales. Therefore, the obligation to communicate data to the Revenue Agency is registered using the XML format of electronic invoicing. However, it is necessary to examine the fulfillment, differentiating the active operations from the passive ones.

There is therefore an extension for the esterometer. At the beginning, the Maneuver had established the date of abolition of the communication in the face of cross-border transactions at the beginning of 2022. The electronic invoicing obligation will come into effect from July 2022.

It follows that until June 30, 2022, the first quarter meter must be sent by April 30 and that of the second quarter by August 22 (initially, by July 31, but a working extension has been granted).

Starting from July 2022, it becomes mandatory to send the transaction data to foreign operators through the ES within a period of 12 days from the conclusion of the transaction; as regards the sending of data relating to the receipts, everything still happens through the ES but by the 15th day of the month following that of receipt of the document certifying the execution of the operation.

3. Active operations

For the purposes of what is indicated in the new provisions relating to the communication of all cross-border transactions, starting from 2022, there is an obligation to use the XML path of the ordinary electronic invoice with reference to the analysis of the rules for issuing active transactions towards foreign countries within the terms for issuing invoices.

And for exports of goods to countries outside the European Union? Pursuant to the provisions of article 6 of the VAT Decree, the rules for carrying out transactions of an ordinary nature must be followed. This means that exports, understood as sales of goods, must be carried out with shipment or with delivery. If an invoice is issued or the payment of a deposit is completed, the transaction is considered concluded by the party benefiting from the payment. For exports documented by a customs declaration, for 2022 there is no obligation to proceed with their transmission to the ES. This is optional.

The situation changes, however, in the face of sales of goods that take place within countries belonging to the European Union: the operation is considered concluded once the transport or shipment to the recipient has begun. In the scenario in which the Italian seller issues a down payment invoice even before the transport or shipment of the goods, then the procedure is considered concluded with the date of issue of the invoice.

It should be noted, however, that since 2013, in the face of export of goods at an intra-community level, the payment of a deposit or 100% of the goods is not an indication of a successful transaction. It is up to the figure of the national seller to complete the invoice by the 15th day of the month following the one in which the transaction was carried out.

With reference to the invoice, it must be noted in the appropriate register, specifying the month in which the transaction was completed and in full compliance with the numbering order. Inside, the wording "non-taxable transaction" must then be indicated, indicating the reference standard. Whether this is of a national or community nature.

Up to this point, only the sale of goods and exports have been taken into consideration. What to say, however, in reference to the performance of services? To regulate them at an intra-community and extra-community level there is article 7-ter: the conclusion of the supply of a service is such when it is completed.

In the event of earlier payment of part of the requested amount or of the entire consideration, the provision of a service is classified as concluded, but only in reference to the amount paid and the date of payment.


Summing up, in relation to electronic invoicing and transactions with foreign countries, there is an effective increase in the number of subjects who are obliged to extend the lump-sum rates.

Our country's request to extend the application of the electronic invoice to VAT numbers was in fact approved first by the EU Commission and then by the EU Council. It should be remembered, in fact, that the latter apply the exemption for SMEs on the basis of what is enshrined in Article 282 of the Directive in the context of value added tax.

In defining the timing and criteria of the obligation in question, it will be up to our country to deal with regulating the rules also for flat rates with reference to the extension of the electronic invoice. During 2022, in all likelihood, the Delegation Law on Tax Reform will do nothing but standardize the rules in the field of invoicing for all those who have a VAT number. Only in this way, in fact, will it not be a mirage to tackle the scourge of tax evasion. At the same time, billing operations will be simplified for those who apply the rules of the Digital Tax Law in a fair way.

The Italian tax authorities would clearly benefit from this, because on the one hand it would optimize tax controls in the best possible way and the holders of a VAT number would see a strong reduction in the cost of printing and archiving invoices. The risks of running into errors during the analogical preparation of the various fiscal documents would, in fact, be significantly reduced.

Author: Stefania Tamberlani

Stefania Tamberlani


Stefania Tamberlani commercial, organizational and administrative hub of Arte e Informatica deals with relationships with customers and suppliers. He has a high level of knowledge in the configuration and management of the Joomla and PrestaShop platforms, from the configuration of payment methods to couriers, passing through the management of the catalog and orders.

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