Do you pay VAT when you shop in Italy?
Are you planning a trip to Italy and wondering about the VAT (Value Added Tax) rules? As a foreigner, it’s important to understand the VAT regulations in Italy to avoid any confusion or unexpected charges while shopping.
In Italy, VAT is applied to most goods and services at a standard rate of 22%. However, some items such as basic food products, books, and pharmaceuticals have a reduced VAT rate of 10%. Certain services also have a reduced VAT rate of 10%.
Usually, you do not need to add VAT to the price you see in stores or online shops. If there is a tag that shows that a book costs € 15, or a bottle of wine € 22 or a pair of shoes € 100, when you go to the register you will pay € 15, € 22 or € 100.
So if you go to supermarkets, restaurants, ice cream stores, clothes stores, enoteche, etc etc all the prices you see already include VAT.
However, if you are purchasing a service then in most of the cases you will need to add VAT to the total amount. For example, if you have to pay a lawyer or a private doctor, or an online course or similar they will indicate a certain amount to which you will have to add VAT (usually 22%), which will be shown in the invoice.
As a non-EU foreigner, you may be eligible for a refund of the VAT on certain goods purchased in Italy. Some shops, particularly luxury goods and high-end fashion boutiques, offer tax-free shopping for non-EU residents. In these cases, the VAT will be deducted at the point of sale and you’ll receive a tax-free form which you can present at the airport.
As in many other countries, there is no VAT on items sold in duty free shops of international airports, but you have to consider the (usual) higher price and the limits to the number of items you can purchase and carry with you.
In conclusion, VAT in Italy is applied to most goods and services at a standard rate of 22%, but certain items have reduced VAT rates. As a non-EU foreigner, you may be eligible for a refund of the VAT on certain goods purchased in Italy. Make sure to keep your receipts and VAT invoices and understand the rules of tax-free shopping to make the most out of your shopping experience in Italy.
We invite you to read the following guides