How to produce a Spanish invoice
Tax expert Susana Serrano-Davey explains the requirements for invoicing in Spain, and what to include on your Spanish invoice.
Invoicing in Spain may not always be like how you know it, says Expatica tax expert Susana Serrano-Davey. For starters, issuing credit notes as a negative invoice does not comply with Spanish legislation.
Most people who have been in business for a while believe they know all there is to know about producing a sales invoice. However, it is surprising to see how many companies do not meet the minimum requirements.
When invoicing in Spain, make sure you include the following information as a minimum:
- Full details of the supplier
- Full details of the customer
- Sequentially numbered reference which should follow the date order
- Amount chargeable for goods of services
- Breakdown of VAT if applicable
- Deduction for withholding tax (IRPF) if applicable
In addition to the information required by Spanish legislation, we recommend that you take the opportunity to state your terms and conditions on your invoice. Including method of payment and credit terms on each invoice ensures there is no confusion and helps achieve prompt payment.
When we say the full details of the customer and supplier, we mean the following information.
Personal details (for an individual not a company):
- First name and surname or last name
- DNI or NIE number
- Company name
- CIF number
- Mercantile details (ledger, book and page) of the registration of the company.
Should VAT be applied to all invoices?
No. If you trade within the European Union, and your clients are VAT registered in their country of origin, you may under certain circumstances not charge Spanish VAT on your supply. Always confirm with your accountant whether your supply of goods or services is subject to Spanish VAT. Should VAT not be applicable on your supply on European transactions, then your invoice must clearly make reference to the VAT article applicable for such treatment under Spanish VAT legislation.
The confusion over credit notes
Issuing credit notes as a negative invoice within the normal sequential system of a business is common practice, but in fact does not comply with Spanish legislation.
Current legislation states that credit notes should have the title of ‘Factura Rectificativa’. These correcting invoices should follow their own referencing system and not be part of the normal invoicing system.
If you issue a credit note to correct or eliminate an incorrect invoice, then the corrective invoice should be positive and simply be the corrected version of the original wrong invoice. Credit notes should also make reference to the original invoice to which they relate, whether to cancel it or simply correct it.
What documents will be accepted for tax purposes?
Unlike in the UK, only invoices or credit notes that meet the legal requirements are valid for claiming tax relief and VAT refunds. The following proofs of purchase are not acceptable for tax purposes:
- Delivery notes (Albaranes)
- Receipts (Tickets)
- Orders (Pedidos)
- Quotations (Presupuestos)
- Draft invoice (Factura Proforma)
Remember this when you are purchasing items for the business, as you can request invoices from all suppliers including supermarkets, restaurants, and other entities that usually give receipts. This is a legal requirement and you may ask for an invoice at the time of purchase, or request one at a later date by presenting your receipts.
Susana Serrano-Davey / Expatica
Expatica tax expert Susana Serrano-Davey is the founder and director of Rose & Clavel, an Anglo-Spanish chartered accountants based in Nueva Andalucia, Marbella. Her firm offers high-quality, professional and reliable accountancy services and innovative business solutions in English and Spanish.
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