Spanish VAT for foreign companies

Foreign companies wishing to offer their services or goods here in Spain are generally required to register for Spanish VAT here: known as IVA (Impuesto sobre el Valor Añadido).

Note that there is no registration threshold in Spain and you must register prior to starting your business activity.

This article covers:

  1. How do I register for VAT in Spain as a foreign company? What documentation is required?
  2. How long does it take to get a Spanish VAT number?
  3. How often do I need to file a Spanish VAT return? What are the deadlines?
  4. How do I pay VAT in Spain? 
  5. What if I don’t have a Spanish bank account?
  6. What is the VAT rate in Spain?
  7. I need an intra-community VAT number.

The VAT registration process is relatively straightforward. On presentation of all of the required documents at a local tax office in Spain, your company’s Spanish tax/ VAT number is issued immediately.

1. How do I register for VAT in Spain as a foreign company? What documentation is required?

We offer a VAT registration service to obtain a non-resident Spanish VAT code (NIF) for you. This involves registering the company with the Spanish Tax Office.

You will need the following:

A certificate produced by the Company Registry in the country where your company was incorporated.  This must state your company’s registered address and the current directors of the company.

A Power of Attorney document –  the draft provided by us, to be signed by your company director before a Notary. This allows us to obtain your Spanish tax code on your behalf and be the tax representatives of your company in Spain.

All documents should be legalised in your country with the Hague Apostille and translated into Spanish by a sworn translator.

We will provide the Power of Attorney documents in both Spanish and English so in the event that you can find a local Spanish-speaking Notary, there will be no translation necessary for these.

We can also provide a sworn Spanish translation service at this end for a reasonable charge. We offer this service for several source languages including English and French.

2. How long does it take to get a Spanish VAT number?

On receipt of the above documentation from you, we will normally obtain your Spanish tax number within 5-7 working days.

3. How often do I need to file a Spanish VAT return? What are the deadlines?

Autonomos and Spanish businesses registered for VAT will need to submit tax returns on a quarterly basis. However, if the business’ total sales in the previous financial year was over 6 million Euros then it is compulsory to submit monthly VAT returns.

A Modelo 303 form should be submitted by the 15th of the following month after the quarter period for positive returns, and by the 20th for negative/zero returns.

For Q4 VAT returns, these shoul be submitted by January 25th of the following year for positive returns, and January 30th for negative returns.

All VAT registered businesses will also have to complete Annual VAT returns – Modelo 390.

4. How do I pay VAT in Spain?

The Spanish tax office will only accept payments from Spanish bank accounts. There are two main methods to pay the tax due:

1. By providing the IBAN of your Spanish bank account – this is the simplest way to pay your tax due as the Tax Office will charge your bank account on the due date.

It is important that you leave at least 5 days before the deadline for the payment to process, and to have enough funds in the account to meet the payment; insufficient funds will mean the tax remains unpaid and possible penalty fees.

2. Alternatively, you can pay the tax due through your Spanish bank and obtain an NRC code (Número de Referencia Completo). This code is important as it acts as reference, linking your payment to the tax return.

Most Spanish online banking systems will allow you to pay tax this way. Once you receive the code, you can then supply this to us instead of your Spanish IBAN, and we will file your return online using our digital certificate.

5. What if I don’t have a Spanish bank account?

If you are a foreign company registered for VAT and do not have a Spanish bank account, we can pay the VAT due on your behalf at an additional service charge.

We will invoice you for the tax due prior to filing your return. Therefore you must make the full payment to us before the deadline so that we can pay the tax due on your behalf.

6. What is the VAT rate in Spain?

Standard rate: 21%

Reduced rates: 10% and 4%

Read more on rates and allowances here.

7. I need an intra-community VAT number

In Spain, this is a separate registration process and you will need to submit a Modelo 036 application online.

Your VAT number will need to be validated on the VIES system – the official database for checking the validity of VAT numbers issued by EU member states.

For online traders, such as those who sell goods on Amazon, registering on the VIES may be required in order to have full functionality of your seller account.

Our services

VAT Registration

Our current charge for the VAT registration of your company is 500 Euros.

This includes the following:

  • Drawing up the draft Power of Attorney and tax representation documents;
  • Obtaining a tax code (NIF) for your company;
  • Registering your company’s business activity with the Spanish Tax Office (Form 036).

VAT Tax Returns

We can submit the Modelo 303 tax return on your behalf. Our current charge per quarter is 160 Euros, on the basis that you send us your VAT data quarterly in spreadsheet format. As part of our service we will work together with you to optimise a format to present this data.

VIES Registration

We can help you submit the Modelo 036 form to register your business on the VIES. Please contact us for more details.

Make an enquiry

If you are interested in any of our services or require further information, please send us an enquiry here and we will be happy to assist.