Monday, 26 September 2022 16:24

VAT in Spain – all the necessary information

Spanish VAT Spanish VAT pixabay

VAT in Spain was introduced in 1986 when Spain joined the European Union. Although tax rules in the European Union are generally structured, each Member State has the option of setting VAT procedures and rates, but these must first be accepted by the European Commission.

Spanish VAT is administered by the Agencia de Administración Tributaria.

VAT rates in Spain

The standard rate of VAT is 21%. It applies to products and services not covered by the reduced rates, i. e. the zero rate of 4% and 10%. For example, we find the standard tariff among such services as Internet access, water and energy consumption, fuel, and cosmetics.

The exemption from VAT applies, inter alia, to education and health services. The rate of 4% is for certain foods, medicines, books, newspapers, services, and social housing. 10% VAT applies to certain transport services,

medicines for animals, cattering, bars, restaurants, and hotels.

What is NIF?

The Spanish VAT identification number is Número de Identificación Fiscal, NIF for short. In order to receive it, an application must be made to the Spanish tax authorities. To do so, however, you will need a local tax representative. This is a formal requirement which cannot be circumvented in any way. This representative is needed at all times. He will help to pay the taxes.

What is the NIF?

In Spain, there are three options for VAT identification numbers. Each of them consists of 9 characters and one or two letters. They can appear at the beginning, at the end, or at the beginning and end of a number. Spain’s VAT code is ES. Verification of this number is very easy in any country of the European Union.


A VAT declaration for foreign entities is not everything. They may be obliged to submit Intrastat statistical reports. They concern the scale of trade between countries within the EU. The reporting threshold is 400,000 Euro per year when it comes to importing or exporting goods. This type of report must be submitted by the twelfth day after the end of the reporting period.

When is a VAT invoice issued?

VAT invoices in Spain must be issued at the time of supply of goods to non-taxable persons. If the customer is taxable, they may be issued up to the sixteenth day of the month following the date of delivery of the goods or services. VAT invoices in Spain must be archived for four years.

How to get support in settling VAT in Spain?

It is worth using the help of experts from an accounting company that specializes in VAT issues in Europe. It does not have to be a Big Four company, why overpay for services? One of the companies worth recommending is Intertax. The company also runs an information service where you can get more information on VAT in Spain at