The Italian tax code (“codice fiscale”) is the document of identification of individuals (newborns, foreigners, residents abroad) and entities other than individuals in all their relationships with the Italian public authorities and administrations. This document is required in order to obtain the Italian Health Card (Tessera Sanitaria), the “Residence permit” (Permesso di soggiorno), and also to undersign any kind of contract (loan, sale and purchase, bank account, rent, employment, household utilities, etc.,) or to start a business activity, to deduct medical expenses, to buy a mobile phone, or for billing purposes in general, and much more.
1) What the Italian tax code is and how to obtain it
The Italian tax code (in Italian “codice fiscale” = “fiscal code”) is the document of identification of individuals and entities other than individuals in all their relationships with the Italian public authorities and administrations.
The tax code, which is similar to a credit card, is issued by the Inland Revenue Agency and consists of sixteen alphanumeric characters, which express the personal data of the subject such as last name, first and second name, sex, place and date of birth.
This document is required in order to obtain the Italian Health card (Tessera Sanitaria), the “Residence permit” (Permesso di soggiorno), and also to undersign any kind of contract such as, for instance, loan, sale and purchase, bank account, rent, employment, household utilities, etc., or to start a business activity, to deduct medical expenses, to buy a mobile phone, or for billing purposes in general etc., and much more. Therefore, it is very important to have a tax code.
With regard to infants, following the registration of birth by the parents at the municipality of interest (registers of the resident population), thanks to a telematic systems that provides information to the Tax Registry Office, the Inland Revenue Agency will automatically send the tax code of the newborn to the address of the applicant. This happens in most of the municipalities. In some other the parent will have to go personally to the Inland Revenue Agency bringing with him/her the documents released by the hospital after the birth and those issued by the municipality after the registration of the child, and personally ask for the release of the tax code of the newborn.
The tax code and the certificate of granting of the tax code are issued in favor of foreigners applying for entry into the territory, for employment and family reunification, by the “Sportelli Unici per l’Immigrazione” (One-stop-shops for immigration).
In addition, police headquarters (“Questure“) can issue the tax code to foreign citizens who do not have one as it is required for the issuance/renewal of a residence permit.
4) Residents abroad
Citizens (or foreigners) residing abroad who need the tax code can ask the Italian diplomatic or consular representation in the country of residence, for it. To request a tax code at a consular office you will need to complete a special form and show an identification document.
In addition to the above, the request of the tax code can be submitted before any office of the Inland Revenue Agency, using the AA4/8 form that you can find here.
5) Required documents
In general, when requesting the tax code the applicant (Italian citizen or EU-citizen) must simply exhibit a valid identity document.
identity card issued by the municipality of residence; or
passport (and Visa if required), or another document with a photograph of the applicant that is recognized as valid by the Italian authorities;
attestation of identity containing a photograph of the applicant issued by the diplomatic or consular representation of Italy in the country in which the applicant is a citizen.
Children may get the tax code through the request presented under the same conditions as described above by the parent.
At the Inland revenue agency’s website (www.agenziaentrate.gov.it) it is possible to find all the information related to this matter and download an “application for a tax code, notification of change of details and requests for a tax code card/duplicate of the national health system card” written in English, that you can also find here.
7) Copy of the tax code in case of need
In case of need (theft, damage, etc.), it is possible to request a copy of the tax code either following the same procedure for the first request or by consulting the website of the Revenue Agency. There it is necessary to indicate the number of the tax code or complete personal data and, for reasons of safety, some data concerning the income tax return filed in the previous year. It is also possible to request a duplicate via telephone by calling the Inland Revenue Agency.
As for citizens living abroad they may request a copy of the tax code from the Italian Consulate in the country of residence.