Vat benefits for sale of “anti-Covid-19” goods: clarifications from Financial Administration

The Financial Administration, with Circular No 26/E of 15 October 2020, has provided any clarifications about the VAT benefits for sales of goods necessary for the containment and management of the epidemiological emergency from Covid-19.

Article 124 of Law Decree No 34/2020 establishes that for sales of goods listed in the 1st paragraph apply:

  • an exemption VAT regime, with right of deduction, if carried out by 31 December 2020;
  • a 5% VAT rate, if carried out from 1st January 2021.

According to Financial Administration, to benefit of this facilitation regime, the sales of goods listed must have “healthcare purposes”. When the same good can be used in other areas than healthcare, the sale purpose must be inferred from the nature of the purchaser and his sector of activity.

The Circular confirms the generalized scope of application of the provision:

  •    from a subject point of view, the benefit may apply to “any transferor and purchaser, as well as marketing stage”;
  •   from an objective point of view, the VAT regime is applied to onerous and free sales and transaction ancillary, which have as object the goods listed by the article. It is applied to the provision of services, ex Art. 16, par. 3 of Presidential Decree No 633/1972, too.

The Tax Authority, answering the questions presented, specifies that:

  •  the definition of “thermometers” must include any device for measuring body temperature, therefore also thermoscanners;
  •  the definition of “detergents” includes only hand products with disinfectant power, excluding, therefore, those that are limited to the removal of dirt;
  •  the definition of “masks” includes surgical masks, Ffp2 and Ffp3, regardless of hospital use. It is specified that the definition also includes surgical masks “authorized by derogation” by the ISS and INAIL. Refillable masks are also included in the definition, i.e. they can be reused because they are equipped with an interchangeable filter (even if they are sold individually they can be the object of the benefit), in compliance with the technical characteristics to be certified by the competent authority as DM or DPI. Instead, commercially available masks produced without compliance with the technical requirements are excluded;
  •  the wall dispensers for disinfectants and the “standing” ones, which have anchoring elements, are among the goods object of the facilitation;
  • the words “in liters”, referring to hydroalcoholic solutions, should be understood as a unit of measurement. Therefore, not only the packages greater or equal to one liter but also those with a lower volume are included in the facilitation (the same is also true for the disposition “peroxide at 3 percent in liters”);
  •  the definition “instrumentation for diagnostics for COVID-19” includes oximeter (pulse oximeters and oximeters), as well as serological tests.


Chiara Migliore