Spanish VAT rates and VAT compliance

Spanish VAT rates

Spain sets the level of its VAT rates. It does follow some broad rules in this area set by the EU (e.g. the standard VAT rate must be above 15%). These VAT rates should be used by providers of taxable services when selling their goods.

The current rates are:

Spanish VAT Rates

Rate Type Which goods or services
21% Standard All other taxable goods and services.
10% Reduced Some foodstuffs; water supplies; certain pharmaceutical products; some medical equipment for disabled persons; domestic passenger transport; intra-community and international transport by road, rail and inland waterways; some social housing; some renovation and repair of private dwellings; agricultural supplies; hotel accommodation; restaurants and catering services; some social services; domestic waste collection; some soft drinks; bars, cafes, night clubs and alcoholic beverages sold therein; take away food; cut flowers and plants for food production; some supplies of new buildings; some construction work on new buildings; admission to sporting events (amateur sporting events only); treatment of waste and waste water.
4% Reduced Some foodstuffs; some pharmaceutical products; some medical equipment for the disabled; some books (excluding e-books); certain newspapers and periodicals; some social housing; some social services; some construction work on new buildings.
0% Zero Taxation of some gold coins, ingots and bars; intra-community and international transport by air and sea.


Spanish VAT Compliance

Once registered for Spanish VAT, you will have to start following the local rules in a number of aspects. This includes:

  • Issuing invoices with the disclosure details outlined in the Spanish VAT Law.
  • Electronic invoices with proper signature, authenticity and agreement by the recipient.
  • Maintenance of accounts and records, which must be held for at least 10 years.
  • Correct invoicing of customers for goods or services in accordance with the Spanish time of supply VAT rules.
  • Processing of credit notes and other corrections.
  • Use of approved foreign currency rates.

What is the tax point for Spanish VAT?

The tax point (time of supply) rules in Spain determine when the VAT is due. For imports, it is the time of importation. For goods, it is considered as the point of transfer of title. Any VAT due should then be declared in the subsequent VAT return. The tax point for Spanish services is when performed, or on an accruals basis as ‘enjoyed’.

Click for free Spanish VAT info