Spanish VAT returns
Quarterly or monthly Spanish VAT returns must be completed by non-resident companies who are trading with a valid Spanish VAT registration. These provide details of their taxable supplies, and indicate the amount of VAT due to the Spanish tax office.
How often are Spanish VAT returns required?
The frequency of VAT reporting in Spain depends on the level of trading
- Quarterly VAT returns – sales below €6m for goods in the previous year
- Monthly VAT returns – sales above €6m for goods in the previous year
- Annual VAT returns – to be completed by all VAT registered businesses
However, in practice the tax authorities will apply their judgement.
What Spanish VAT can be deducted?
As well as declaring the Spanish VAT on any sales, the VAT return also lists VAT on purchases (inputs) that can be offset against the sales VAT due. This includes import VAT. Non-resident companies are allowed to reclaim such input VAT on the same basis as any resident company. Examples of VAT deductions include:
- Restaurant, hotel and travel costs if for the purposes of business
- Conferences and seminars
- 50% of parking costs
- Business gifts and entertainment are not allowable
- Import VAT
- VAT on the purchase of goods for resale
- VAT on capital expenditure
What are the reporting deadlines for Spanish VAT returns?
Spanish VAT filings are due on the 20th of the month following the period end. Annual tax summaries are due on the 30th January in the following year.
Any Spanish VAT due must be paid at the same time.
Where are Spanish VAT returns filed?
When a company first registers for VAT in Spain, it will be allocated to the tax office nearest its fiscal representative. They will submit the filings to their tax office. Filings are done online.
Spanish VAT penalties
Fines for non-compliance are severe in Spain, ranging from 20% to 200%. There may also be interest fines on late VAT payments, typically 5% per month overdue. This can then rise to up to 20% after one year’s delay.
How are Spanish VAT credits recovered?
If the purchase (input) VAT exceeds the sales (output) VAT, then there is a surplus – known as a VAT credit. In principle, this is due back to the VAT registered company. Usually, the business may apply through the final VAT return of the tax year. Often this will trigger a VAT audit.