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14 December 20232 minute read

Italian Tax Authority clarifications on tax treatment of NFTs


The Italian Tax Authority released Circular Letter No. 30/2023, which provides several clarifications on the taxation of crypto-assets and NFTs for income tax and VAT purposes, in accordance with the OECD “Crypto-Asset Reporting Framework”, the “MiCA” regulation and the VAT Committee.

As clarified by Italian Law No. 197/2022 (i.e., the Budget Law 2023), a crypto asset qualifies from a tax perspective as “a digital representation of value or rights that can be transferred or stored electronically, using distributed ledger technology or similar technology [...]”.

Under this concept, pursuant to Article 67. par. 1, let. c-sexies) of the ITC:

  • crypto assets and NFTs are taxed for income tax purposes at the time of disposal, retention or exchange of the NFTs (already issued);
  • the exchange between crypto assets having the same characteristics and functions is not relevant for income tax purposes;
  • the capital gain or loss generated is subject to taxation (at the rate of 26%) if it exceeds Euro 2,000 in the relevant fiscal year.

On the other hand, the taxation of NFTs for VAT purposes must be determined on a case-by-case basis as outlined by the VAT Committee in Working Paper no. 1060/2023.

Indeed, the VAT treatment of NFT transactions depends on the nature attributed to them, as supplies of goods or services. It follows that, if at the time of the disposal of an NFT:

  • the supply relates only to the NFT, such a transaction qualifies as a supply of services by electronic means pursuant to Article 7 of the EU Regulation No. 282/2011;
  • the supply relates to the NFT and its underlying asset (a good, service or right embedded in the NFT), the VAT rules applicable to the supply of the underlying asset will apply.


Key takeaway

In line with the EU framework, the Italian Tax Authority has clarified that the VAT regime for the supply of services by electronic means may apply to the supply of NFTs. However, whether the parties are interested in purchasing NFTs as well as their underlying assets, a case-by-case basis analysis still need to be carried out.


Reference: Trattamento fiscale delle cripto-attività. Articolo 1, commi da 126 a 147, della legge 29 dicembre 2022, n. 197 (legge di bilancio 2023)