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Codice Fiscale: How to Get a Fiscal Code in Italy
In Italy, the Codice Fiscale (Fiscal Code) is a unique identification number—actually a 16-character alphanumeric code—that is assigned to every citizen. Although its fundamental purpose is to facilitate compliance with the Italian tax code, the Codice Fiscale has numerous other uses as well. It functions in much the same way as a Social Security number in the U.S., as it is required in a wide range of situations for identity verification purposes.
If you do not have a Codice Fiscale, there are many types of financial transactions that you will not legally be able to conduct while in Italy. The good news, though, is that it’s a simple matter to obtain an Italian fiscal code card if you don’t already have one. Let’s take this opportunity to provide an overview of this identifier as it relates to the Italian tax code for foreigners and the process of getting your own Codice Fiscale.
What Is the Codice Fiscale?
Introduced in 1973, the Codice Fiscale is literally a 16-character code made up of letters and numbers. It is not randomly generated; the letters and numbers are derived from your personally identifiable information, such as the letters in your name, your birthdate, and the town or country of your birth.
You can find out what your code would be by using this online calculator.
Your fiscal code is your unique identifier for tax purposes, but simply having one does not necessarily mean you are required to pay taxes. However, if you will be staying in Italy for a significant period, you will find it very difficult to get by without a Codice Fiscale. Getting a Codice Fiscale is also a requirement for anyone applying for Italian citizenship.
Uses of the Codice Fiscale
While in Italy, there are many circumstances and transactions that require you to present your unique Codice Fiscale. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Opening an Italian bank account
- Shopping online in Italy
- Filing court papers
- Applying for a mortgage
- Getting hired for employment
- Renting a room or house (for 30 days or more)
- Obtaining a phone number
- Buying real estate
- Buying a car
- Purchasing utility services (e.g., gas, electricity)
It just takes a few steps to get your own Codice Fiscale.
Getting Your Codice Fiscale
Persons who are born in Italy are automatically assigned a Codice Fiscale. Non-Italians must go through an application process to obtain one. Luckily, the process is free of charge and reasonably easy.
- In Italy:
You can go to an Italian Revenue Agency office and fill out a form for a Codice Fiscale. At the office, you will be given a paper that has your official code for reference while you wait for your official card to be mailed to you. Please be aware that you’ll need to bring your passport with you (unless you’re a European Union citizen).
There are a few exceptions to this process. If you’re in Italy for employment or to reunite with your family, you should go instead to an immigration office (Sportello Unico per l’Immigrazione) to get a fiscal code. If you need to apply for or renew a residence permit, go to your nearest Police Headquarters (Questure).
- In America:
What if you’re not in Italy? Don’t worry—you can get your tax identification code by contacting the Italian American Citizenship Assistance Program for help with the process. Just give us a call at (305) 812-5512, or contact us online, and we’ll be glad to assist you.