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Spain VAT guide 2024

VAT compliance and reporting rules in Spain 2024

Below is summary of the major rules provided under Spanish VAT rules (LIVA (Law 37/1992) and VAT Regulations). Plus adoption of the EU VAT Directive. Check our country VAT guides for other jurisdictions.

Our VAT Calculator & VAT Filer products on a single platform, VAT Calc, are unique in that they come with all of this included out-of-the box for Spain and scores of other countries around the world.

Spanish VAT country guide

Highlights Local term Impuesto sobre el Valor Añadido (IVA)
VAT Rates - standard 21%
VAT Rates - reduced 10%; 4%; 0%
Rates news Food and domestic heating temporary VAT cuts
VAT number format ES X12345678
Registration threshold Nil for Spanish resident and non-resident businesses.It is possible to backdate a VAT registration. €10,000 for pan-EU digital services and goods OSS return. Intracommunity acquisitions €10,000
VAT Group No. Limited regime
VAT recovery foreign businesses Yes, but requires reciprocity agreement for non-EU businesses
Fiscal Representative Required for non-EU (except UK, Norway). No shared liability.
Currency Euro €, January 1999
Administration Introduction Spain introduced VAT/IVA on 1 January 1986 on its joining the European Union
VAT laws LIVA (Law 37/1992) and VAT Regulations; Also EU VAT Directive which takes supremacy as part of EU membership
Tax Authorities Agencia Estatal de Administración Trubutaria (AEAT), part of Ministry of Finance and Public Administrations
VAT Rates Standard rate 21%
Rates news Food and domestic heating temporary VAT cuts
Reduced rates 10%: residential and hotel accommodation; some foodstuffs; water services; passenger transport; live events; conferences and similar trade fairs; construction. 4%: books and ebooks; basic foodstuffs; social housing; medicine
Zero-rated Exports and intra-community movements of goods; commercial seagoing transport and related support services; certain gold supplies; 
Exempt Education; financial services; health and social welfare; letting immovable property; betting and gambling; welfare services
Scope of VAT Scope of VAT Provision of domestic taxable goods and services; EU imports; intra-community acquisitions; Distance selling of goods B2C (OSS or IOSS); receipt of services or goods via the reverse charge
Time of supply Goods & Services (general rule) Goods: when provided to the customer. Services: when performed. Advanced payments: when paid except for intra-community supplies; 
Reverse Charge Same as general rule for goods and services
Continuous  Services Ongoing supplies when price due
Imports Time of importation. Postponement in VAT return permitted on application for certain businesses
Goods on approval and return There are no special rules so generally when invoice issued or should have been issued. Otherwise, at the time of delivery of goods and provision of services. Advanced payments subject to VAT at time of receipt of funds.
Registration VAT registration threshold Nil for resident and non-resident businesses. Taxpayers will also be provided a tax email account to receive tax notices (dirección electrónica habilitada) which practically will require VAT agent to access. .€10,000 for pan-EU digital services and goods OSS return. Intracommunity acquisitions 10,000
Voluntary VAT registration N/a as no VAT registration threshold
VAT number format VAT number international (NIF and 'ES):  ES X12345678 ;   NIF number X12345678 (domestic only). Number includes 1 character according to legal structure or non-resident; 1 control character; 7 numerals
VAT Group No. Financial, economically or ownership (50%) companies can voluntarily join in group without single VAT identity with either: simplified with consolidated return; extended with cost sharing options. But VAT still due on intra-group invoices
Non-residents Limited obligation to register due to extensive use of reverse charge. Exceptions: intra-community supplies; IOSS or OSS for distance selling from third countries
Fiscal Representative Required for businesses from non-EU states unless their country has a mutual assistance agreement (e.g. UK and Norway). Fiscal representatives are not jointly and severally liable for client's VAT except on 13th Directive reclaims. IOSS B2C import VAT registrations requires 'Intermediary' for non-EU, and does not share client's VAT liabilities.
Digital Services Spain participates in the EU single  One Stop Shop (OSS) VAT return for digital, telecoms and broadcast services. This was formerly the MOSS regime until 30 June 2021
Pre VAT registration costs Permitted for set-up and preparation costs
VAT Invoices Issuance At time of supply. But at least by 16th of the end of the VAT reporting period in which time of supply. This is to coincide with the VAT return to declare the VAT due
Content Date; unique sequential invoice number; supplier VAT number; VAT of customer if Spanish; name and address of supplier and customer; description, quantities etc of goods or services; gross, net and VAT amounts; VAT rate; explanation if exempt supplies
E-invoices SII near real time transaction reporting
2026 Proposed B2B mandatory e-invoicing
2026 Certified invoicing software
Simplified invoices Less than €400 (inc VAT); Less than €3,000 for hospitality, car maintenance; people transport. Simplified invoice may exclude customer details and VAT amount. Not allowed for reverse charge with non-resident or intra-community supplies
Self-billing Yes with agreement between supplier and customer. Requires AEAT notification if non-resident from country without reciprocity agreement (eg US)
Retention of invoices Four years. Requires notification to AEAT if stored outside Spain and may only be kept electronically with easy access for AEAT
FX rules VAT amount must be shown in €. Conversion rate on day of invoice per European Central Bank of Spanish Central Bank
Invoice corrections Credit notes with full or simplified details permitted, including invoice number of original invoice and explanation of correction. Limit of four years to change an invoice.
Compliance Right to deduct Excluded: entertainment; samples; travel and hotel if not allowable for corporate income tax; food and drink
Call-off stock Following 2022 EU Quick Fixes, Spain has introduced call-off stock simplification, allowing movement of goods to Spanish customer's site without foreign VAT registration. Goods held by supplier in warehouse where eventual customer is not yet known (B2B or B2C) requires Spanish VAT registration (Consignment Stock)
Reverse Charge - B2B Goods: when supplier non-resident, reverse charge applies for Spanish and non-Spanish customer. Services: applies when customer Spanish VAT registered - if customer not VAT registered supplier must Spanish register. Domestic reverse charge on: carbon trading; construction; waste; mobile phones; computers & tablets; games consols; gas & electricity; certain gold;
Cash discounts Invoice issued with discounted price as taxable base.  A credit note and new invoice is required if the customer fails to take-up the early or cash payment discount.
Bad debt relief Yes if customer liquidated or overdue more than 12 months (6 months for small enterprises). Debt must exceed €50 (since 2023)
Import VAT deferment Yes for large enterprises (greater than €6m turnover) and others on application only. Import VAT settled via VAT return so no cash payment. Only via monthly VAT returns - so residents only
VAT warehouse VAT and customs warehousing is provided for in Spain.
Supply & install Treated as supply (with reverse charge for non-residents) unless cost of materials exceeds 40% on contract. In which case supply of goods
Use and enjoyment services Updated in 2023, in accordance with VAT Directive, Spain has applied Spanish VAT obligations to range of services supplied from outside EU including which triggers local VAT registration: supply of staff; consulting; data; copyright; advertising; financial services; digital services; telecoms; broadcasting 
Capital goods adjustment period Movable property: four years. Immovable property: 9 years
Non-residents VAT recovery EU businesses with no Spanish registration may reclaim Spanish VAT suffered via local tax office 8th Directive claim online. Minimum €400 per quarterly claim and €50 for final annual claim. Non-EU may reclaim via paper-claims 13th Directive if reciprocity agreement (UK; Norway; Canada; Israel; Monaco; Switzerland; Slovenia; Hungary)
VAT on Digital Services Spain follows the EU VAT on digital services regime, introduced in 2015. This includes participation in the One-Stop-Shop (OSS) single EU VAT return (formerly MOSS until 30 June 2021)
Live events
Distance selling threshold for goods Nil. Following the EU ecommerce VAT package reforms from 1 July 2021, local Spain VAT must be charged on all sales by non-Spanish EU e-commerce sellers shipping from within the EU.  Imported distance sales not exceeding €150 liable to Spanish sales VAT with  IOSS return option
Cash accounting scheme Yes for resident businesses only on application if annual turnover does not exceed €2m
VAT registered cash tills No legal requirement
Statute of limitations Four years for tax assessments. Up to 10 years for fraud.
VAT Returns Frequency Quarterly. Monthly for resident large businesses (over €6,010,121.04 turnover) or on monthly refund regime. Not permissible for intra-community supplies or importers. Annual return of all taxpayers by 30 Jan of following year. Spain has extended to all taxpayers in 2021 the pre-completed VAT returns.
Filing method Electronic
Deadlines (inc payments) 20th of month following reporting period. (30th if complying with SII reporting) 1 Feb for Q4 VAT returns. Annual return (except if on SII live invoice reporting). Non-resident no longer need to make payments via Spanish bank account
VAT credits May be rolled over to next return. Possible to request refund in final reporting return of the year. Some exceptions for resident taxpayers on Special Schemes.
Corrections Via following return for overpayments of VAT with corrective letter. Corrective return where underpayment of VAT
Non-residents All on quarterly VAT returns only
Other filings Monthly intrastat by 12th of month following. Threshold of €400,000 for dispatches and arrivals.  EU Sales and Acquisitions List (ESAL) monthly with VAT return with sales of goods and services to non-Spanish EU VAT registered businesses. Monthly €50,000 turnover threshold; otherwise quarterly submissions.  Immediate Information System (SII) live reporting by XML files of issued sales, purchase, intra-community and capital invoices and information in VAT registers/ledgers within four days of issuance
Penalties & interest €100 for late return (€200 if AEAT-prompt issued); €20 per missing invoice; other fines up to €20,000. 5% to 20% penalties on late VAT payments. Penalties for undeclared errors from 15% to 150%. SII penalty of 0.5% for missed transactions with min €300 up to max of €6,000 per reporting quarter
B2C Distance Selling returns Spain participates in the One-Stop-Shop pan-EU VAT return for distance selling, introduced in July 2021.


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