VAT Exemption for Financial Services in the Banking Sector – The Italian Approach

For more than 20 years, starting with the judgment in SDC (Case C-2/95), the Court of Justice of the European Union has provided guidance on the correct interpretation of the EU VAT provisions related to exempt financial (in particular, “related to payments”) services supplied to banks and financial institutions. The principles established at the EU level have been adopted by the Italian tax authorities. In this article, the authors first illustrate the historical evolution of the matter, and then seek to suggest a possible application of the consolidated principles in order to extend the exempt treatment to the current economic scenario, which is characterized by increasing fragmentation and complexity of fintech services.