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Spanish VAT Compliance – Rates & Registration

If a company not established in Spain is providing ‘taxable supplies’ of goods or services in Spain, it may have to obtain a non-resident VAT registration. In accordance with the EU VAT Directive, foreign traders are legally obligated to register for VAT in certain circumstances in order to report taxable transactions and declare VAT that must be charged.

It is important that all businesses with any commercial activity in Spain assess their compliance obligations and register prior to commencing taxable transactions if applicable.

What you need to know

There are various scenarios that would trigger an obligation to register for VAT in Spain. Some of the most common examples are:

  • Importing goods into Spain from outside the European Union.
  • Buying and selling goods in Spain (excluding domestic reverse charge).
  • Selling goods from Spain which are delivered to customers outside of Spain (business or private customers).
  • Acquiring goods in Spain from another EU country (Intra-community acquisitions).
  • Holding inventory in Spain for sale, distribution or consignment.
  • E-commerce sales of goods to consumers, subject to Distance Selling VAT registration thresholds.
  • Organising events in Spain where attendees or delegates must pay admission.

If you are currently, or plan to conduct any of the above (or similar) transactions in Spain, you should contact us immediately for a complimentary consultation.

Spanish VAT Rates, Number Formats & Thresholds

VAT Rates VAT Number Format Distance Selling Threshold Intrastat Threshold
21% (Standard) ESX12345678 € 35,000 € 400,000 (Arrivals)
4/10% (Reduced) € 400,000 (Dispatches)
VAT return periods

Monthly or quarterly

Annual returns


EC Sales Lists frequency


EC purchase lists


Other reporting requirements


Extended reverse charge

Services provided by a non-established to a VAT registered customer in Spain are subject to the reverse charge and the customer accounts for the VAT. Please contact us if you would like details of how the extended reverse charge applies in Spain.

Fiscal Representation

A business established in a country outside the EU must appoint a tax representative to register for VAT in Spain.

Contact us for a complimentary consultation.

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