Answer: The Italian term “codice fiscale” is commonly transalted “tax code” or “fiscal code” or “tax number”. It is an Italian identification code. When referred to individuals, as opposed to entities, the codice fiscale is the result of a formula
applied to name, date and place of birth.
Italian tax code (codice fiscale) purposes:
It is mandatory to have an Italian tax code for a number of Italian activities such as to open an Italian bank account, to start an Italian court dispute, to buy or inherit a Italian property, to register a preliminary contract for a property purchase, to buy a mobile phone number, to apply for utility connection, to get an Italian mortgage, to rent an apartment for more than 30 days etc.
Italian tax implications:
Having an Italian tax code does not imply any tax duty per se. You are subject to Italian tax duties if you (i) own certain qualifying assets in Italy or (ii) if you are an Italian resident or (iii) if you earn an Italian taxable income.
How do you obtain an Italian tax code (codice fiscale)?:
The codice fiscale is assigned by birth to Italians and upon request to non Italians.
You can apply for free for your Italian codice fiscale through any tax office (“Agenzia delle Entrate“) in Italy or through an Italian consular office or Embassy.
As an alternative an attorney can apply for and obtain a tax code certificate on your behalf without need to deal personally with the relevant Italian tax authorities.
If you apply in person or though a representative the tax code certificate is issued on a same-day service basis.
Requirements to apply for an Italian tax code (codice fiscale):
If you are a citizen of the European Union or another country from which a visa is not required for a short-term visit, all you need is your passport to obtain an Italian tax code. If you are required to have a visa to visit Italy, even just for a short visit, then you need a visa also to apply for an Italian tax code (codice fiscale).
Tax code (codice fiscale) certificate compliance:
When you receive the Italian tax code certificate check it to make sure the information on it is fully consistent with the information on your identification document (e.g., passport). Typos and inconsistencies unfortunately are not uncommon, especially when foreign names are involved.
If you believe that you were already assigned a tax code, you can check it personally online through two simple steps, as follows: