Prepared by Andrea Werner Beilin and Arcangelo Vitelli
The Italian tax authorities, answering to a ruling request proposed by PwC TLS Avvocati e Commercialisti, confirms what was proposed by the Applicant, simplifying the procedures related to the signature and submission of tax returns by an authorized intermediary.
The Ruling reply no. 619, published on 23 December 2020, comments on the procedures for submitting and archiving tax returns submitted by qualified intermediaries pursuant to article 3 of Presidential Decree no. 322/1998.
In particular, the Italian tax authorities confirmed that the so-called “AdE signature” affixed at the time of authentication of the file to be transmitted to the Italian tax authorities, complies with the procedures set forth by art. 3, Presidential Decree no. 322/1998.
Accordingly, the qualified intermediary will not be required to sign the tax return forms.
Previous tax authorities’ clarifications concerning the signing of the tax returns
Previously, the Italian tax authorities, by means of several Ruling replies (most recently, Ruling reply no. 518/2019) clarified, inter alia, that:
- the intermediary’s signature, included on the front page of the tax return, precedes the electronic submission and, therefore, it is not required after the submission of the tax return;
- the tax return sent must be signed only by the taxpayer and not also by the intermediary, who signs it in advance;
- the persons in charge of the transmission of the tax return shall keep, also in electronic format, for the period provided for by article 43, Presidential Decree no. 600 of 29 September 1973, a copy of the tax return transmitted. Such copy should not necessarily include the signature of the taxpayer since such signature is an essential element of the “original” return retained by the taxpayer itself and not by the qualified intermediary (in this sense, see Resolution letter no. 298/E of 18 October 2007 and Circular letter No. 6/E of 25 January 2002);
- the storage of tax returns by the qualified intermediary can be made in hard copy or electronically. However, as these are tax relevant documents, digital storage implies to follow the provisions of Ministerial Decree of 17 June 2014 and Legislative Decree no. 82 of 5 March 2005 (Digital Administration Code or “C.A.D.”).
Procedure proposed with the Ruling
In view of the above, the Applicant, by means of the aforementioned ruling, has proposed the following procedure for the transmission and storage of the tax returns:
- the Applicant releases to the client (also cumulatively) the commitment to transmit electronically to the tax authorities the data contained in the tax return at the time of the engagement;
- the Applicant fill in the tax return on a compliant model using a specific software;
- the Applicant signs the declaration exclusively through the procedure of authentication of the electronic file by means of an electronic signature based on the certificate issued by the Italian tax authorities (the so-called “Ade signature“)
- the Applicant submit the tax return through the telematic channels made available by the Italian tax authorities;
- within 30 days following the deadline for submitting the tax return, the Applicant shares with the taxpayer:
- a copy in .pdf format of the tax return transmitted, by ordinary or certified electronic mail (without a handwritten signature); and
- a .pdf copy of the return receipt issued by the Italian tax authorities;
- the Instant shall keep a copy of the tax return sent on electronic media, in compliance with the rules on electronic storage.
In this respect, the Applicant asked for confirmation of the validity of the so-called “Ade signature” to comply with the obligations set forth in article 3, Presidential Decree no. 322/1998.
Ruling reply no. 619/2020
The Italian tax authorities, by Ruling reply no. 619/2020, confirmed that the so-called “AdE signature” (i.e. the electronic signature based on the certificate issued by the tax authorities) affixed at the time of authentication of the file to be transmitted to the tax authorities, complies with the procedures currently in use to comply with the obligations set forth in Article 3, Presidential Decree no. 322/1998.
Consequently, the Italian tax authorities clarified that neither the signature of the intermediary nor the one of the taxpayer is required on the tax return to be stored by the qualified intermediary.
For a deeper discussion, please contact:
PwC TLS Avvocati e Commercialisti
PwC TLS Avvocati e Commercialisti