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by LDP | Sep 18, 2020 | newsletter

COVID 19 – Clarifications on soaps and disinfectants – VAT exemption



The answer n. 370 of September 17, 2020, the Inland Revenue clarifies one of the doubts related to the VAT exemption on the so-called “anti covid-19 goods” (article 124 of the Relaunch Decree converted by Law 77/2020).



Soaps and sanitizing gels classified as cosmetic products are not “hand disinfectants”; therefore, they do not benefit from the anti-covid19 VAT exemption, but they are charged at the ordinary rate of 22%.

Among the goods temporarily exempted from VAT until 31 December are “hand disinfectant detergents”.

Gel and soaps are classified as Medical Surgical Devices (Pmc) only if they comply with the prescriptions of dpr 392/98 and are authorized by the Ministry of Health: only then they can boast the title of “disinfectants”. Similar products, although with disinfectant properties, but which have not been authorized are marketed as cosmetics and can be designated as “sanitizers”, but not “disinfectants”.

The Inland Revenue concludes that only products that can legally be defined as “disinfectants” enjoy the exemption, while those sold as cosmetics are subject to VAT 22%, regardless of the intrinsic properties of the product. To orient themselves in the distinction between disinfectants / detergents / sanitizers the consumer must verify that there is a clear indication: only if the package bears the words “medical surgical treatment” the product is exempt from VAT. The clarification comes as opportune as ever because the facilitation will not exhaust its scope at the end of the year: remember that from 2021 for anti-Covid19 goods today exempt will apply the 5% VAT rate.


LDP remains at your disposal for any further information or in-depth study of the above topics.

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