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VAT in Spain

VAT Guide for EU countries within Europe

VAT in Spain

Whether you’re a European or non-European company, establishing certain activities in Spain may mean you need to register for VAT. You can use a fiscal representative or tax advisor to draw up your VAT, Intrastat and ESL returns with total peace of mind in Spain.

If you deal with companies in Spain, you may be able to claim a Spanish VAT refund.

Here you can find the specifics of VAT regulations in Spain, which work alongside the harmonised framework of the EU as explained in our guide to intra-Community VAT obligations.

Basic information

EU membership 1986
ISO code BE
VAT introduced in Spain 1986
VAT name in Spain Impuesto sobre el Valor Añadido (IVA)
VAT ID format in Spain ESX99999999 / ES99999999X
Territories with special status in Spain Ceuta, Melilla, Canary Islands

VAT rates in Spain

Standard VAT rate 21 %
Reduced VAT rate (1) 10 %
Reduced VAT rate (2) 4 %
Super reduced VAT rate n/a
VAT parking rate n/a
Zero VAT rate no

Thresholds triggering VAT reporting obligations in Spain

Intrastat threshold at introduction 400 000 EUR
Intrastat threshold on dispatch 400 000 EUR
Distance selling threshold As of 1st July 2021, the threshold is EUR 10,000 for all intra-Community distance sales.

Reporting frequency in Spain

Intrastat declaration monthly depending on threshold
EC Sales List (ESL) declaration monthly
VAT returns monthly, quarterly depending on threshold/for certain services, annually, annually depending on threshold/certain conditions
Reporting currency EUR

VAT-related penalties in Spain

Failure to file a VAT return Penalty of 5% of the amount of VAT due in case of delay not exceeding 3 months; Penalty of up to 20% of the amount of VAT due in case of delay exceeding 12 months.
Late payment of VAT Penalty of 5% of the amount of VAT due in case of delay not exceeding 3 months; Penalty of up to 20% of the amount of VAT due in case of delay exceeding 12 months.
Failure to report ESL/DEB Penalty of EUR 60 to EUR 3,050 (including incorrect deposit).

Useful links on VAT in Spain

Tax Authorities in Spain Tax authorities
Ministry of Finance in Spain Ministry of Finance
Check a VAT number in Spain Check a VAT number
EU VAT Guide EU VAT Guide
Spain is the 5th largest economy in the European Union. Today, it has a diversified economy, thanks in part to the rapid growth of industry.
In less than twenty years, Spain has become a major industrial and agricultural power, but the bulk of its activity is based on the services industry, particularly banking, telecommunications and all activities related to tourism.

Spanish VAT regulations are based on Law 37/1992, of 28th December 1992 and Royal Decree 1624/1992, of 29th December, as well as on the European Union directives on intra-Community VAT.

All taxable persons, due to the nature of the operations they carry out on Spanish territory, must register with the tax authorities. It is in the interest of these taxpayers to appoint a tax representative in Spain.

The current VAT rates in Spain are as follows:

  • Standard VAT rate: 21 %
  • Reduced VAT rate (1): 10 %
  • Reduced VAT rate (2): 4 %
  • Super reduced VAT rate: n/a
  • VAT parking rate: n/a
  • Zero VAT rate no

Certain transactions in Europe may require registering for VAT and filingVAT returns in Spain:

To check if your activities involve VAT obligations in Spain, use our VAT simulator or contact us.

When do e-traders need to register for VAT in Spain?

In Spain just like in other European Union countries, e-traders must register for VAT:

  • when the overall threshold of EUR 10,000 for Intra-Community distance selling is exceeded and they have not opted to pay the VAT in Spain via the One Stop Shop,
  • or when they hold a stock of goods in Spain and must report the stock supply transactions.

What are the VAT obligations for e-traders in Spain ?

In addition to VAT registration, e-traders must:

  • Apply the defined VAT ratesin Spain: standard rate (21 %), reduced rates 1 and 2 (10 % and 4 %).
  • Declare stock transfers between marketplaces‘ storage platforms, as well as the supply translactions for these stocks.
  • File periodic returns (VAT returns, intrastat, ESL), to ensure their VAT compliance in Spain.

> Learn more about the VAT & e-commerce regulations and the VAT regime for logistics platforms in Europe.

Why identify yourself to VAT in Spain?

You may need a VAT number in Spain to fulfil your tax obligations in this country. Indeed, certain activities such as sales, purchases and subcontracting operations may require VAT identification. To check if your activities require VAT identification in Spain, use our VAT simulator or contact us.

VAT Spanish is named Impuesto sobre el Valor Añadido (IVA)and the VAT numbers in Spain have the following structure: ESX99999999 / ES99999999X.

How do I get a VAT number in Spain?

The administrations in charge of in Spain VAT are the following: Tax authorities, Ministry of Finance.

Registering for VATis a relatively simple formality compared to setting up a company, but in addition to obtaining a VAT number in Spainyou’ll need to file periodic VAT returns to ensure your VAT compliance. Which is why we recommend foreign companies use a fiscal representative or tax advisor.

Companies with a VAT number in Spain must complete and submit VAT returns in Spain detailing all taxable income (sales) and expenses (costs), with the following periodicity: monthly, quarterly depending on threshold/for certain services, annually, annually depending on threshold/certain conditions.

Failure to comply with the deadlines imposed by the Spanish authorities for the deposit and payment of VAT will result in the payment of penalties . For this reason, it is recommended that foreign companies use the services of an agent or a tax representative.

These penalties are defined as follows in Spain:

  • Penalties for failure to file a VAT return in Spain: Penalty of 5% of the amount of VAT due in case of delay not exceeding 3 months; Penalty of up to 20% of the amount of VAT due in case of delay exceeding 12 months.
  • Penalties for late payment of VAT in Spain: Penalty of 5% of the amount of VAT due in case of delay not exceeding 3 months; Penalty of up to 20% of the amount of VAT due in case of delay exceeding 12 months.

In addition to VAT returns, companies may be required to provide the Spanish authorities with Intrastat & EC Sales List returns:

  • Intrastat returns enable the Spanish authorities to compile foreign trade statistics.
    Companies must file these Intrastat returns as soon their turnover reaches the threshold.
    Intrastat threshold at introductio n in Spain (400 000 EUR HT/an)
    – Intrastat threshold on dispatch in Spain (400 000 EUR HT/an).
    Failure to comply with the deadlines imposed by the Spanish authorities for the filing of these Intrastat returns wil incur a penalty payment for the company.
  • The sales summary returns (EC Sales List or ESL) or purchases (EC Purchases List or EPL) in Spain are for tax purposes.
    Failure to comply with the deadlines imposed by the Spanish authorities for the filing of these ESL returns wil incur a penalty payment for the company.

In principle, a non-resident company in Spain can recover all or part of the VAT incurred on its expenses.

There are three different scenarios:

  • The company, whether it is established within the European Union or not, is already registered for VAT in Spain, or is obliged to register for VAT in Spain. In this case, it must apply for a VAT refund via the periodic VAT return filed in Spain, according to a periodicity:monthly, quarterly depending on threshold/for certain services, annually, annually depending on threshold/certain conditions.
  • The company is established within the European Union, is not registered for VAT in Spain and is not required to do so. In this case, a VAT refund should be requested via the tax authorities’ electronic portal in the country where the company is established.
  • The company is not established within the European Union and is not required to register for VAT in Spain. In this case, they must use the services of a fiscal representative to carry out what is required by the Spanish authorities on their behalf.
    > Learn more about our VAT recovery services.


*This information is subject to change without notice.

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