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What is the Spanish Value Added Tax (VAT) and how it Works, types of transactions subject to VAT in Spain.

Given the proximity of the mandatory submission of the quarterly and annual Spanish VAT returns, we would like to dedicate a few lines to a tax that is governed by one of the most complex legislations existing in Spain. The tax advisers at Arcos & Lamers Asociados would like to explain that VAT in Spain is a so-called indirect tax, as it depends indirectly on economic capacity or, to be more precise, on the consumption of goods and services. Typology of transactions subject to VAT in Spain.

This Spanish tax is levied on the following three categories of transactions: 1) The delivery of goods and the performance of services by entrepreneurs and professionals in the exercise of their activity. 2) Intra-community acquisitions of goods which, as a rule, are also carried out by entrepreneurs or professionals. 3) Imports of goods, either by an entrepreneur, a professional or a private individual. General operation of the Value Added Tax in Spain. In the application of the tax by entrepreneurs or professionals, two different aspects can be distinguished:


1. They charge the purchasers of the goods or beneficiaries of the services with the appropriate Spanish VAT, which they are bound to pay to the Agencia Estatal de Administración Tributaria (A.E.A.T.), the Inland Revenue in Spain. 2. Their purchases are charged with tax which they can then deduct in their periodical self-assessments. Each assessment specifies the Spanish VAT charged to the customers, deducting from the latter the VAT paid to suppliers on their purchasers and acquisitions; the resulting amount can be either positive or negative. Put simply, a positive result must be paid to the Treasury, whereas a negative result, as a general rule, will be compensated in the next self-assessments. General and special systems. According to the economists and tax advisers of our Spanish law firm in Marbella, Arcos & Lamers Asociados, there is a general and special systems for this Spanish tax (VAT). The general system applies whenever none of the special systems is applicable or when they can be waived or are excluded. A)

Farmers and stockbreeders are charged under the special system of agriculture,

stockbreeding and fishery or under the simplified system, barring exclusion or waiver. B)

Industrialists and wholesale traders pay VAT in accordance with the general

system, unless they are allowed to pay under the simplified system. C)

As a general rule, retails traders meeting the necessary requirements must pay their

tax in accordance with the equivalence surcharge system; otherwise they will normally pay under the general system. D)

Entrepreneurs of the services branch can pay Spanish VAT under the general

system or, to a lesser extent, under the simplified system. E)

Professionals, artists and sportspeople pay in accordance with the general system.

More information on our firm’s services of a fiscal nature can be foud here. Previous blogs with additional information on the said Value Added Tax in Spain can be found here:


Taxes: deduct the VAT charged on petrol invoices Important modifications of the VAT law in Spain

Changes in the VAT law to avoid fraud in dation in payment. The Government raises the general VAT rate from 18% to 21% Do you wish to set up a business in Spain? Do you intend to emigrate to Spain and start a new activity? We offer legal, tax and accounting advices to companies as well as private individuals, residents and non-residents in Spain. Do not hesitate to contact one of the professionals or our firm Arcos & Lamers Asociados.


What is the spanish value added tax (vat) and how it works, types of transactions subject