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How to get a codice fiscale (Italian Tax Code)

You’ve heard of a codice fiscale but what is it or how to get it? Do you even need one? Well if you’re going to be living and working in Italy, chances are you definitely need one. Read on to find out more!

What is a codice fiscale?

A codice fiscale is the Italian version of a National Insurance number (NIN) in the UK, or a Social Security Number (SSN) in the USA. It is an alphanumeric identification code used to identify citizens (both Italian and foreign) in Italy for tax or legal purposes. It simply translates to mean fiscal code or tax number.

Who has a codice fiscale?

All Italians are automatically assigned a codice fiscale at birth. Foreigners who live and work in Italy are entitled to receive one upon request. It will not cost you any money: it is free to obtain a codice fiscale. And don’t worry, it doesn’t automatically mean you’ll be subjected to Italian taxes!

Do I need one?

If you are a foreigner living in Italy you will need a codice fiscale if you wish to:

  • open a bank
  • be able to work
  • sign a lease for a flat or buy a property
  • buy a car/scooter
  • pay bills such as a mobile phone contract, gas, electricity etc
  • buy concert tickets online
  • online shopping in Italy.

So yes, pretty much anyone moving to Italy to live and work will need to obtain one.

There is one exception I can think of: au-pairs. It is not necessary for au-pairs to get a codice fiscale as they live with a family and get paid in cash so don’t need to open a bank or sign a lease. There is no harm in them getting one though and it may come in handy if they wish to get a phone contract or do online shopping.

How to get your codice fiscale:

It is actually relatively easy to get a codice fiscale! You can apply in 2 ways: either before you move to Italy, or once you arrive in Italy.

Whichever one you will choose, you will need to go onto the Agenzia Entrate website first and download and fill out this application form. Click here for instructions on how to fill out the form.

I advise you to apply PRIOR to you moving to Italy as opposed to leaving it until once you get to Italy as it will be one less thing to sort out when you arrive. You can apply by heading to the Italian Consulate in your home country.

If you apply in Italy, you’ll need to head to the nearest tax office (Agenzia delle Entrate).

Whether applying in your home country or in Italy you will need to bring the following documents with you to the Consulate/tax office:

  • your passport
  • your visa if you require one to enter Italy
  • photocopy of your passport
  • completed application form

Check the opening times before you go though, as they are usually only open in the mornings! When you’re inside, take a ticket and wait for them to call your number. They’ll be able to give your codice fiscale printed on a paper in about 5 minutes!

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