How To Create an Italian tax code – Codice Fiscale

The codice fiscale or Italian tax code which some Italian shopping and travel web sites require before certain operations can be carried out has caused a number of readers problems when they want to pay fines, buy tickets to museums in Florence, Venice and Rome and shop online in Italy.

Online stores or online ticket sales services based in Italy may request a codice fiscale tax code before any purchase can be made.  No codice fiscale, no ticket to the Doges Palace in Venice, or interesting wine from a producer in Italy.

At the end of this article, you’ll also find instructions on how you might be able to recover a lost officially issued codice fiscale.

What is the Codice Fiscale?

The Codice Fiscale is an alpha numeric code which is assigned to all Italians at birth.  Anyone who comes to live and work in Italy will need this code.  I have one, even though I am not Italian.

If you are not Italian, or not resident in Italy, you will not have one of these codes.  This means you may not be able to use Italian websites which request the codice fiscale before you can buy things like advance tickets to Italy’s museums and other tourist attractions, such as the Doge’s Palace in Venice.

If you need a real codice fiscale, you will also find instructions in this post on where to go to get one.

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Codice Fiscale

The Italian Codice Fiscale tax code

Before explaining how to use an online system to create a codice fiscale, be aware that if you ever need a real codice fiscale, the one you create using the system mentioned here may not be 100% accurate.

Problems can occur if more than one person has a similar name and surname, was born on exactly the same date and in the same ‘comune’.  OK, so these situations are going to be rare, but I thought I should mention this – just in case.

Note, again, that the code you create with this system is not official – to create a real codice fiscale you need to come to Italy, get up early and go stand in a queue – see below.

Note too, if you are in Italy and you try to use the codice fiscale you create with the system below as a legal tax code, you may well end up with a visit from Italy’s police – be warned.

Incidentally, I used the system below to calculate my own codice fiscale and the result was exactly the same as my actual official Italian codice fiscale code – but this is not always the case.  As I mentioned at the start of this ‘how to’, I have a codice fiscale because I live and work in Italy, even though I am not Italian.

Information on how to obtain an official codice fiscale follows the unofficial codice fiscale creation section.

Now, if you just want an unofficial codice fiscale to use on some Italian online store or other, here is how you can do it:

Codice Fiscale Creation Instructions

Remembering that this process will not create an official Codice Fiscale (Yes, In know I keep repeating this – if I don’t, you may forget, and moan), first of all, you will need to go to this site: http://www.paginebianche.it/codice-fiscale (The link will open in a new window/tab, so you can refer to instructions which follow.)

You should see a screen which looks something like this:

A Unofficial Codice Fiscale Calculator

A Unofficial Codice Fiscale Calculator – by Pagine Bianche

Now, here are instructions on how to use the tax code calculation system.

First, enter your:

  • Nome = First Name (from your passport) – Mark 
  • Cognome = Surname – Jones
  • Sesso = sex – select Femmina, if you are a woman, or Maschio, if you are a man.  Femmina may be selected at first.

Ignore the ‘Se sei nato in Italia‘ box, unless you were born in Italy.  Instead, do this:

  • Click on the greyish ‘Se sei nato all’estero‘ box.  Yes, it does look as if it will not work, at first glance, but it does.
  • It will present you with a choice of countries.  Choose yours – you will need to know the Italian name for your nation.  ‘Gran Bretagna’ = Great Britain, ‘Stati Uniti’ = United States, etc, etc.

Enter your Data di Nascita – Date of Birth

  • First box – Giorno=day – select a number eg 21
  • Second box – Mese=month – select a month eg Aprile (April)

Months in Italian and English

Gennaio – January
Febbraio – Feburary
Marzo – March
Aprile – April
Maggio – May
Giugno – June
Luglio – July
Agosto – August
Settembre – September
Ottobre – October
Novembre – November
Dicembre – December

  • Third box – this is where you select the year you were born.

Next, click on the ‘Calcola‘ button.  Again, note that this does not create an official Codice Fiscale, as has already been pointed out more than a few times.

Below the form you have completed you should see your very own, unofficial, codice fiscale

Your unofficial Codice Fiscale should look something like this: JNS JHN 67B02 Z404Z – 6 letters, then numbers and letters.

Make a note of the code.

Now you can whiz off to acquire an unlocked Apple iPhone, buy a ticket to the Doge’s Palace Venice, or order something from an online shop based in Italy which asks you for a codice fiscale..

If You Need an Official Codice Fiscale – Read This

PLEASE NOTE: The system mentioned on this page does not produce an official Italian Codice Fiscale.  If you need an official Codice Fiscale, then you must go to the offices of the Agenzia Delle Entrate.  There is more information, in English, on the Italian Agenzie Delle Entrate website: Health and Tax Code Section.

To get a real codice fiscale, you will need an identity document.  A passport, or birth certificate for young children, will be enough.

Update September 2014: It is now possible to obtain a Codice Fiscale via the Italian consulate in London. Instructions on how to do this can be found here. Your Codice Fiscale will take between one and a half and two months to arrive. In Italy, if you are lucky, you can get one in a morning.

Other Italian consulates and embassies around the world may also offer a similar codice fiscale creation service.

Get there Early

The offices issuing the codice fiscale are usually open from 8am in the morning until 1pm in the afternoon.  It is a good idea to get there at opening time – or you may have to come back the next day.  In the bigger Italian cities, queues are likely to be long meaning that a morning off work is advisable.  If you tell your Italian boss where you are going, he or she will understand.  Many companies in Italy will help you with the creation of a codice fiscale, and may even go do the queuing for you.

The codice fiscale serves in Italy as both a tax and health code.

Have You Lost Your Official Codice Fiscale?

At some time in the past, maybe you came to Italy and worked for a while, as an English teacher, perhaps. If so, you were probably issued an official Italian codice fiscale. Years later, you want to purchase something online from Italy and you cannot find your Italian tax code. It happens.

In this case, first of all try to find some official documentation which may contain your codice fiscale – you may find it on utilities bills, mobile phone contracts or old tax documents. If however, you cannot unearth your long lost Italian codice fiscale, here’s something else you can try.

First of all, use the system described on this page to re-create your codice fiscale and then visit Italy’s official codice fiscale checking system which is here: Verifica codice fiscale di persona fisica o di soggetto diverso da persona fisica – the page is in Italian but it’s not hard to use:

  • Enter the codice fiscale you want to verify in the box next to where it says ‘Codice fiscale’.
  • Then enter the security code – codice di sicurezza – in the box next to the words “codice di sicurezza”. You may find the security code a little hard to read, so several attempts may be necessary.
  • Finally, click on ‘invia’ – submit, and the system will check your codice fiscale. If all goes well, you will see a message like this:

La verifica per il codice fiscale <the codice fiscale you are checking> ha prodotto il seguente risultato:

CODICE FISCALE VALIDO

The words “Codice Fiscale Valido” indicate that the code you are checking is valid. Well done, you have found your old Codice Fiscale tax code. The only problem is that the official system does not tell you the name of the person who holds the verified code. You can be around 99% certain that the person is you though.

I hope all this information helps.  And you might find this post:  How to Avoid Fines while Staying in Italy useful too – assuming you’ve arrived here before being fined, that is.

If you have problems, let me know and I will try and help you.

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Comments

    • says

      Hi Sup,

      You probably can use it, but remember it is not official.

      As far as I know, the only checks carried out regard only whether the codice is correct. Basically, you could invent an identity & create an Italian tax code. But you’d probably only want to do this if you are doing something which is not legal, maybe.

      Best,

      Alex

      PS Don’t go ott with the gambling ;)

  1. Chris says

    Hi Alex,

    Thanks very much for all the info — hugely helpful.

    I’m an American here in Italy for 6 months (legally), and there’s a company that might want to use to pay me for some work. They asked about a fiscal code. Do you have a sense that more simply-generated code may work in this situation?

    Thank you!

    • says

      Hi Chris,

      If you are going to be paid for working for a company in Italy, you will need an official codice fiscale.

      The code that can be generated by the system mentioned here is not official, as has been pointed out many times.

      If you are here legally, you should be able to obtain an official tax code easily enough.

      Cheers,

      Alex

      • Chris says

        Thanks Alex,

        I’m here in a student visa, and if it takes a long time to get the code (for Americans), that’s a problem. My question was more, if someone was to use my unofficial fiscal code to pay me, what mechanism kicks into place? Does that make me liable for taxes, is the unofficial code enough so that they can deduct taxes on the payment, etc? What particular problems, if any, could result?

        Thanks again for your help –

  2. Sean says

    Hi I’m planning on an extended stay in Rome and hoping to rent an apartment from an Italian and non tourist agency. I think I’m going to need a codice fiscale, but was unsure of the time frame and difficulty of acquiring it. Incidentally I’m an eu citizen. Can you help?

  3. deo says

    Hello, I hope this tip will allow me to buy a mixer from an online shop in Italy. Especially if it costs near 1000 Euros ;-) Has anybody done anything similar….large purchase using the tip above?

  4. Karen says

    I created one of this codes in order to register to the Adidas Site as I wish to purchase an item and deliver it to my family who is living there. they ask me for the code in the billing page. will something bad happen to my family member if the codice is fake? will they check for something?

    also what is C.A.P. and Città

    • says

      Hi Karen,

      Technically, you need a real code created in Italy but online stores and traffic offence fine collection agencies tend to request these codes so you can pay fines or purchase certain items. It’s not right but that’s the way it tends to be. There should be an option to tell systems you are not Italian so you will not be asked for one of these codes.

      Will you cause problems for a family member by using a fake code? Very hard to tell but I have not heard of problems – but this does not mean they do not exist. If you want to play it safe, try to order the items from another site, Adidas in the UK or Ireland perhaps, and get the goods sent to Italy. You may have to make phone calls/send emails to achieve this but you can be certain it won’t cause problems for anyone.

      C.A.P. is postcode, something like 20123 and Città is town or city using the name in Italian, so not Rome, but Roma.

      Best,

      Alex

  5. Gordon says

    Hi,

    I just found your site while trying to make a purchase on an Italian site that requires a codice fiscale. I am surprised at how much personal identifying information is contained in them. Is there any concern in Italy regarding the privacy violation inherent in this? In the U.S., at least, knowing someone’s name, birthdate, and place of birth can be sufficient for complete identity theft. There is no way I would give that to a web site. Fortunately for me, my C.F. would not be so specific, but native Italians ought to be up in arms!

    • says

      Hi Gordon,

      In answer to your question, no, nobody in Italy worries about the privacy implications of the codice fiscale – being asked for it as part of the online shopping process is considered perfectly normal in Italy. However, bricks and mortar stores do not ask every single customer for this codes. I’ve no idea just why Italian websites ask for the codes and simply do not understand why Italy expects non-residents to have one of these tax codes anyway. In my opinion, it’s downright ridiculous. That’s the way it is though.

      So far, native Italians are not up in arms – they moan and groan but then put up with the silly Italian red tape.

      Best,

      Alex

  6. george says

    I want to buy a coffe machine from an online shop,the seller does not send to Greece,i will buy it online and a friend of me will send it to me,is it ok to use this code?I dont want to make problems to my friend.

    • says

      Hi George,

      Using the code shouldn’t cause problems for your friend unless he is Italian and in Italy – in which case, he could use his own codice fiscale code and perhaps pay too. These codes should only work when used with the correct personal information – some web sites may reject codes which are not correct. Another problem may be that the seller may only send an item to the same address as given on a credit card but, from my experience, some sites will allow buyers to purchase presents for others. This depends on the ecommerce system in use.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,

      Alex

  7. Roni says

    Hey. Your article is very helpful!
    I studied in Italy a year ago and have issued an official code from the agency (yes woke up early and all…)
    I am back now in Rome and want to regain it. If I generate via the website I will get the same one? Or should I contact the university I attended to ask them? I am back to Rome for work so need my real code.
    Thank you
    Roni

    • says

      Hi Roni – you should get the same codice fiscale but I recommend you look for your official code. You should have received a credit card sized plastic card with your codice fiscale on it or else you may find it on other official documentation.

      Alternatively, you can use the system described on this page and then visit the official codice fiscale checking system: https://telematici.agenziaentrate.gov.it/VerificaCF/Scegli.do?parameter=verificaCf to check if it’s the same as the official one. Enter the codice fiscale, then the rather hard to read security code – Codice di sicurezza – and click on ‘invia’ – submit.

      But do try to find the original.

      Best,

      Alex

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