Letters of intent: Submissions to Customs still on paper

Article 20 of the Legislative Decree on tax simplification (Legislative Decree No. 175/2014, in force as of 13 December 2014), transfers the obligation to inform Inland Revenue of the data included in the letter of intent to the so-called 'frequent exporter' (a party that, under certain conditions, may carry out transactions without paying any VAT).

As highlighted by Assonime with Circular No. 13/2015, since the aforesaid term has by now elapsed, in theory, frequent exporters should not be obligated to submit the paper copy of the letter of intent to Customs.

Nonetheless, the affixed timing for enforcement of the new rules (only for transactions carried out with Customs) has not been complied with, and dealers must still abide by the obligation to submit a paper copy of the letter of intent to Customs. The date from which Customs shall no longer request the paper copy of the letters of intent shall be communicated by the Customs Agency, as anticipated in note No. 46452 on 20 April 2015.

Among the other implementation issues related to the new rules by Assonime is that of submitting just one letter of intent for different transactions, up to the available plafond. This possibility had already been accepted by Inland Revenue through its decision No. 38 on 13 April 2015.

Also in this case, due to the many ascertained filling in errors, the Customs Agency communicated in its note No. 46452 on 20 April 2015, to have postponed the ability to use letters of intent for different transactions to a later date.

The procedures allow frequent exporters to monitor the progressive use of the plafond, but they will only be effective once filling in errors by exporters are reduced. It is therefore still necessary to send a letter of intent for every single customs transaction.

A positive change is the ability to submit the estimated transaction value in the letter of intent to Customs, instead of the precise value (as was the case in the first phase of implementation of the new rules).

However, the value of imports amounting to the VAT taxable base under article 69 of Presidential Decree No. 633/72 may only be calculated following the customs inspection, since it includes further items such as duties and insurance expenses of the asset.

Therefore, a precise correspondence between the value of the transaction shown in the letter of intent and that effectively calculated at Customs is no longer requested.

Thus, the letter of intent form has been amended, compared to that approved by way of the decision of 12 December 2014, foreseeing the ability to mention the estimated value of the transaction for VAT purposes.

In this respect please note that, as clarified by the Customs Agency with its note No. 17631 on 11 February 2015, the effective amount of the plafond used is that resulting from the customs declaration (the so-called 'bill of entry') linked with the letter of intent.

Sonia  Piazzoni
Technical update

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