What is a Codice Fiscale?

If you live in Italy very long, eventually someone will ask you for your Codice Fiscale. If you are anything like I was, you will have no idea of what it is or why anyone would need such a thing. Here is a short lesson in yet another piece of paperwork that will be important to you during your stay in Italy.

What is a Codice Fiscale?

A Codice Fiscale is an official Italian Document that is roughly equivalent to the U.S. Social Security Card. The number is issued by the Italian tax office in order to identify a resident of Italy (for both citizens and non-citizens) for taxation or other official purposes. The number is sixteen characters long and may have both letters and numbers in it. The card has a magnetic strip and the first and last name of the person to whom it was issued.

When Do I Use a Codice Fiscale?

The Codice Fiscale is required if you wish to open a bank account with an Italian bank; to sign up for the internet, gas or electric service; or even t0 enroll your child in an Italian school. I have even been asked for it when I made a larger purchase at Ikea.

How Do I get a Codice Fiscale?

Active duty service members will be issued a Codice Fiscale while going through inprocessing. Usually, the rest of the family will not be issued a Codice Fiscale unless you request one. If you think you might be in a situation where you need one, simply go to housing and ask them to help you. They will have one issued for you. The one catch is that you will have to have a soggiorno before you are issued the Codice Fiscale. If you do not have your soggiorno in hand, I have been told that housing will not help you with this. A Codice Fiscale is not mandatory. Usually if one person in a household has one, it will suffice. However, if you want to enroll your child in an Italian school, then it would be a good idea to get one for each household member.

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