My new commercialista

I have been wanting to find a commercialista (accountant) in Florence for a long time. I know that I need a Partita IVA (VAT account) to establish a company here and bill in Euros. I asked around to find a commercialista and finally felt confident with a referral I received from a good friend. I immediately called him last Friday to set up an appointment. After our brief conversation, I felt pretty comfortable to hire him as my commercialista and planned to see him this morning.

I took a taxi to his office near Piazza Sovanorola, which to me is on the other side of town and too far to go on my bici (bike) with the temperatures hovering around 3C (37F) and wind that hits my face like a sheet of ice when I'm standing still. It was worth the 10 Euros to be in a warm car that picked me up at my place and dropped me off in front of the building where my commercialista has his office.

I arrived ten minutes early, so I waited outside with my hands wrapped tightly around my waist to not let any air under my coat. I couldn't see a bar in sight, so I felt obligated to stay close to the building. I called Alessandro on the phone to pass the time. He told me to just go up anyway instead of waiting in the street where the sunlight was not shining.

I stood at the portone (front door) of the building and was stumped. I saw the name of my commercialista listed at the top, but near the campanelli (buzzers), his name wasn't there. A man was entering the building and I could've just followed him, but instead I asked him if he knew which campanello was the right one for my commercialista.

He looked with me and said it was probably the one under his campanello as the office of my commercialista is directly below his office. The helpful man, who turned out to be an architetto (architect) took the ascensore (elevator) and by the time I was buzzed in to the building and entered, he was gone so I had to take the scale (stairs).

I arrived to the second floor, where I was told to go, and entered the office with the open door. A woman with bouncy blonde hair greeted me after looking me up and down with a smile. She told me to sit down in the hall where chairs were lined up against a wall. After a few minutes of sitting alone trying to get warm, the commercialista called me to follow him into his office.

He had white hair, but seemed younger than his hair made him look. He was quite dynamic and talked to me in a booming voice that drowned out all the sounds in the office. His kind demeanor made me like him immediately.

When he asked me to explain what I needed, I felt as if I had to be as succinct as possible. I told him that I wanted to get a Partita IVA because I work as a programmatrice Web (Web programmer). He asked me questions about how much I plan to earn in a year, and I explained that because I work freelance, I can't even speculate: it's usually either feast or famine.

He explained a type of Partita IVA for new businesses that I could get, but one caveat is that I would have to not exceed 30K Euros a year. Supposedly, I'd only be paying the government any IVA that I collect from what I invoice; however, my deductions must be kept to a minimum. No deductions would be even better since it would make the process even simpler for me.

He told me that I should obviously wait until next year to get the Partita IVA. I asked him how much it would cost me to work with him and he said, "Mi pagherai una sciocchezza. (You'll pay me a silly amount.)" I wondered what that would be: 200 Euros or 2,000 Euros a year?

He stood up to go and get photocopies of my documenti (documents) and when he returned, he said that he'd be in touch with me in a few weeks. He also said that I need to go to INPS (Istituto Nazionale della Previdenza Sociale) to sign up because I'll also have to add 4% to my fatture (invoices) and pay them too. He made it sound very simple, so I'm hoping it will be.

I think I had other questions, but somehow they weren't coming to me. I hurriedly put my coat and scarf on and shook his hand. I didn't even get his biglietto da visita (business card) and felt almost pushed out the door. It wasn't until I was downstairs that a few of the questions came to me, but it was too late.

As soon as I got back home, I started working again. I feel a bit of pressure to make more money now to pay for my new commercialista. Without having an amount to bounce around in my head, I'm left to imagine a high amount. When I talk to him the next time, I hope to get some range from him that's smaller than the one I'm thinking of.

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