How to Obtain the Codice Fiscale: the Italian Tax Code

Doing any activity in Italy needs several legal requirements. The Codice Fiscale is a mandatory element, let’s discover what is it.

What is a Codice Fiscale, and how is this tax code composed?

The Italian Codice Fiscale (CF) is a tax identification number, tax number, or fiscal code, assigned by birth to Italians and upon request to foreigners.

It is issued by the “Agenzia delle Entrate” (the Italian Revenue Agency) and is an alphanumeric code, that represents the individual’s name, gender, date, and place of birth. Codice Fiscale is similar to the National Insurance Number issued in the United Kingdom or the Social Security Number (SSN) in the United States Of America.

When is it useful to have this code? 

It comes in handy when dealing with public offices (e.g., for employment, tax payments, health card applications, or school enrollment for children). Additionally, it is required for activities like purchasing a mobile phone SIM card, buying a house and opening a bank account, or obtaining a receipt for a private medical examination.

How is fiscal code determined?

It is a unique alphanumeric code consisting of 16 characters that identify an individual in their relations with public institutions and administrations. The regulations governing the method of calculating the tax code are contained in a Decree of the Ministry of Finance dated 23 December 1976.

Here’s how the code is determined:

Surname and Name: The first six characters are derived from the individual’s surname (three letters) and first name (three letters) using specific rules, including the use of consonants and vowels.
Date of Birth and Gender: The next five characters encode the individual’s date of birth and gender, including the birth year, month, day, and a code for the municipality or country of birth.
Final Control Number: The last character is a control character used to verify the correctness of the information and is calculated based on a special algorithm.
It’s important to note that while there are websites that can generate your tax code, the only valid fiscal code is the one issued by the Tax Agency. Using a code generated by other sources could be deemed fraudulent. Therefore, it’s essential to obtain your fiscal code through official channels, such as the local tax office or the Italian Consulate if you live abroad.

The Italian tax code plays a crucial role in various activities, such as:

When do you need a Codice Fiscale?

  • To open a bank account
  • For purchasing, selling, and renting properties
  • To sign an employment contract
  • For freelance work
  • To sign utility contracts
  • For filing tax returns, paying taxes, and getting refunds
  • To access the health system (SSN)
  • To buy motor vehicles
  • For entering into HP/Finance Leasing contracts

If you ever need to verify the correctness of a tax code, there are many free tools available online that can help you do so by entering the alphanumeric characters and using a special algorithm to generate useful information for verification purposes. You can also use these tools to generate a tax code from the date and place of birth, but the only fiscal code legally valid is the one issued by the Italian Revenue Agency (Agenzia delle Entrate).

What is this blue card called “Tessera Sanitaria“?

When registering for the Regional Health Service in Italy, a blue card with the printed tax code is sent to your home, the name of this card is Tessera Sanitaria.

“Tessera Sanitaria” is a blue card with the printed tax code that represents the Italian Health Insurance Card, which is a personal document issued to all individuals entitled to the benefits of the National Health Service (SSN). It replaces the old green card that only contained the data of the tax code. The Tessera Sanitaria is equipped with a microchip and allows secure access to online services in compliance with data protection regulations. When registering for the Regional Health Service in Italy, this card, with the printed tax code, is sent to your home. It is an essential document for accessing healthcare services, and it is necessary for various activities such as:

  • obtaining medical treatment;
  • accessing specialized care;
  • and receiving health assistance in Italy.

It is valid throughout Italy and grants the holder the right to obtain health services abroad (EU). The card serves as the European Insurance Card (T.E.A.M.), guaranteeing health assistance in European Member States, Norway, Iceland, and more.
Practically, the Tessera Sanitaria is a plastic blue card, similar to a bank debit card, and includes Braille characters for the blind on the front.

The card is valid for a certain period and must be renewed as per the regulations of the National Health Service. Foreign citizens legally residing in Italy can also obtain the Tessera Sanitaria by enrolling in the National Health Service and paying an annual fee.

The utility of a Codice Fiscale. Why should you need it?

Codice Fiscale is a government identification number which is required for a wide range of crucial activities in Italy, such as:

  • Opening a bank or a postal account;
  • Signing and registering a Preliminary Contract for a property purchase;
  • Buying or inheriting a real estate property;
  • Buying or registering a vehicle;
  • Obtaining an Italian mortgage;
  • Signing a contract of leasing/rent for an apartment for a stay longer than 30 days;
  • working or getting a job;
  • signing contracts with utility companies (for example gas, water, internet, phone company, etc.).

For these aforementioned reasons, it is a very crucial element for a foreigner with some interest in Italy and an indispensable part of Italian life.
The fact of requesting and obtaining it doesn’t mean alone that the foreigner will owe any tax to the Italian Revenue Agency.

It will become necessary to pay taxes when the individual owns qualifying assets in Italy or after becoming an Italian resident with a taxable income.

Application requirements for the Italian Codice Fiscale:

  • E.U. members and Italian dual citizens must present a valid passport copy;
  • Non-E.U. members and those who require a VISA to travel to Italy must present a valid passport and visa.

Besides the application process, dealing with the Italian government can be challenging and bureaucratic. Starting from the long lines at the Revenue Agency to the language misunderstanding for non-Italian speakers (also considering that very often the Agency employee doesn’t speak English and isn’t eager to use any time for explanations or clarifications). Feel free to contact us to do it on your behalf.

Double-check the paperwork

It is always a good practice to double-check the elements of the Codice Fiscale paperwork and be sure to verify their accuracy. Sometimes mistakes can and do happen, so be sure that your code matches the information on your passport before using it for any operations.

Obtain it with a Representative Lawyer

For these reasons, is always suggested to ask a professional Lawyer to request it on the foreigner’s behalf, to make the process smooth and without his client’s presence in Italy. Avoid spending time, and money on flights and accommodations, besides the big efforts and stress, especially for foreign people new to Italian bureaucracy.

Opting for professional representation can streamline and speed up the process, eliminating the complexities and pitfalls associated with handling it independently. This approach helps bypass lengthy queues at public offices and reduces the risk of filing errors.

We are highly experienced in dealings with the Italian bureaucracy and assisting foreigners in their legal interests in Italy, mainly in Sardinia, offering a professional and friendly way to assist you in beginning your life in Italy.

If you buy with our assistance as lawyers or agents, we will provide you with the Italian fiscal code service at no additional cost.

Contact us TODAY!