What is the tax code? (Codice Fiscale)

The tax code identifies every person when dealing with the Italian Public Administration and in relations between the Italian Public Administration and other public or private entities. 

For individuals, the tax code is a sixteen alphanumeric characters: surname (three letters); first name (three letters); date of birth and gender (five alphanumeric characters); common (or state) of birth (four alphanumeric characters); check character (one letter). 

For legal entities (businesses, foundations, etc.), the tax code is an eleven-digit number.

The tax code has the following characteristics–it is: 

  • similar to a social security number
  • free to obtain
  • unique for the holder
  • does not imply any tax duty
  • does not expire

However, if you change your legal name, or acquire a new legal name, you might be asked, or required, to get a new Italian tax code.

Having an Italian tax code (Codice Fiscale) is mandatory for many activities, including:

  • starting to work (signing an Italian employment contract or working as a freelancer)
  • enrolling in an Italian school
  • opening a bank account
  • applying for a mortgage with an Italian financial institution
  • renting or purchasing real estate
  • gaining access to and benefits from the Italian medical system
  • signing utility contracts
  • getting an italian mobile phone number
  • filling out tax documents, paying taxes and receiving applicable refunds.

Anyone born in Italy is automatically assigned a tax code. Non-Italians must go through one of the following application processes:

If you are not in Italy?

If you’re not in Italy, apply for the tax code at the Italian Embassy or Consulate in your country of residence. 

The tax code can be issued for specific purposes (such as fulfilling a specific administrative or legal procedure in Italy). It cannot be issued for unspecified or future needs.

Note that it is important to check the policies of each consulate in advance, because the request form and the documents required might be different.

Keep in mind that the processing time is longer than if you would have applied in Italy (in Italy, it is immediate).

However, non-EU citizens can delegate an Italian lawyer to request the tax code on their behalf at the competent Italian Office.

If you are in Italy?

If you are in Italy, you will need to visit one of three offices, depending on your reasons for applying:

Apply at theSportello Unico per l’immigrazioneif you are entering the the country for employment purposes or to reunite with your family.

Apply at any tax office (Agenzia delle Entrate) if you are entering for any other purpose.