The VAT number in Spain is an essential part of doing successful business within the Spanish Market. The Spanish market is the 5th biggest market in the European Union, and this makes for great opportunities for foreigners to get in on the action. This article will talk about the different aspects of the VAT number in Spain, the number you will get when you form a company in Spain. Topics that we will discuss are VAT registration, the Spanish tax system, NIF number, VAT purposes, VAT return, and the purposes of the Spanish VAT.
What is a VAT identification number?
In business, the VAT identification number is a one-of-a-kind identifier for sole proprietors, partnerships, and limited liability companies. If the Tax and Customs Administration considers you an entrepreneur for VAT purposes, they will need you to have this number.
The VAT identification number is a taxpayer reference code, and all kinds of organisations and clients can ask for it. You also use your VAT ID number when interacting with consumers, such as on invoices and websites. In a nutshell, you communicate this to your company’s external communications.
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How is VAT registration done in Spain?
The Spanish Tax System assigns each business that is incorporated a NIF number (número de identificación fiscal). This will be your company’s identification number. When you are about to get started with your business in Spain, you must get your NIF number.
To get this number you must register with your (local) branch of the Administración de la Agencia Estatál de Administración Tributaria (AEAT). The Spanish Tax Administration will assign you a NIF number after checking that your business is registered, has an address, deeds of incorporation, bylaws, and a variety of other formalities. It is recommended a Spanish lawyer handles your incorporation so you are compliant with all necessary corporate laws. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you want us to help you with the company incorporation.
What is the Format of the Spanish VAT number?
In Spain, the VAT identification number is known as “Número de Identificación Fiscal” (short form: NIF) and is required for EU commercial exchange. The Spanish VAT number was formerly known as the CIF number (Código de Identificación Fiscal). It is very common (and normalised) to refer to a business number in Spain as a CIF number.
Spanish VAT number is formatted as:
ES + Letter + 8 digits or ES + Letter + 7 digits + Letter
So what does it stand for:
- ES = country code
- Letter = type of entity (e.g. B for Sociedad Limitada)
- First two digits: stand for province company was registered
- Last five digits: random digits
- Last character (digit or number): control character
- Example: ESX12345678
When do you need a VAT number in Spain
In general, all firms and legal entities in Spain must be registered with the Spanish Commercial Registry and carry a Spanish VAT. The main reason for Spanish VAT registrations are:
- If you store goods in Spain, you must have a Spanish VAT number. This is true even if you are not making any sales and therefore never charging customers or clients for services rendered.
- If you are a foreign seller that imports more than 35.000 in sales, you must register for a Spanish VAT number.
- If your company operates within Spain, you must register for a Spanish VAT number even if the turnover does not meet the level of the threshold mentioned.
Is one of these scenarios apply to you? Obtain a VAT ID through the request form on our company formation page, and we will take care of all your Spanish tax registration formalities.
Documents required by the tax authorities to get the VAT
Various papers are needed in order to register the VAT ID. It’s a good idea to get them all at once rather than waiting for them one by one. You will get your VAT number during the incorporation of your company. The general documents you will need for the VAT registration are:
- The filled-in application form.
- A copy of a valid ID/Passport
- Proof of the deed of incorporation
If you would like the Spanish company to be under your home country’s holding company, you will need:
- VAT certificate
- Articles of Association and Bylaws
- Certificate of incorporation
Because every company formation has different aspects, we suggest contacting a company formation agent to get your VAT number to handle all the documentation for your company incorporation.
Paying taxes using your VAT number
Like in any other country in the world, your company will have to do certain tax returns. The tax office in Spain is known as the Hacienda, AEAT, and Agencia Tributaria. The tax office will ask you to pay various taxes in Spain, including revenue tax (VAT return) and corporate income tax.
Filing VAT returns
Each quarter, you must file a revenue account for VAT purposes. For the first year, it is recommended that this happens based on three.
Your VAT in Spain is used to report your taxable income and revenue tax. Typically, your VAT return in Spain is due four times a year, quarterly and one time annually. It is also possible that you need to file monthly VAT returns.
The regular value-added tax rate (IVA in Spanish) in Spain is 21%. However, there are also other rates which are 10% (for basic items like food and medical products), and 4% (for even more basic items like bread and books).
Filling corporate income tax
Corporate income tax in Spain is 25%. The corporate income tax filings have to be done after six months ending the financial year, within 25 days. So usually between 1 July and 25 July of the following calendar year.
The tax also has two advance payments during the first six months of the company’s tax year and the second before the end of the year.
Where can you find a company’s VAT number in Spain?
In general, every company with a commercial establishment in Spain must display their VAT number on invoices, letters and commercial documents. In the case of online business, it is necessary to have a national VAT number that anyone can find on your website or invoice. Spain’s tax authorities are strict about companies not displaying their VAT number, so it is important to get your company registered for this purpose.
Verifying VAT numbers
If you can’t find a company’s VAT number, or you want to verify a company’s VAT number. You can look it up at the mercantile registry if it is registered. There are also other websites that index VAT numbers of Spanish companies, so there are various options.
Frequently asked questions
Below, you can find some frequently asked questions regarding the VAT number Spain.
Are NIF and VAT the same?
No, NIF and VAT are different. The NIF is the Spanish taxpayer’s identification number as established by law. Meanwhile, the VAT number is a commercial identifier that only companies need to have. The NIF is sometimes called NIF-VAT.
How do I get a Spanish VAT number?
To get a Spanish VAT number, you need to register as a company in Spain. Registering as a company includes getting all the necessary documentation and formalities for your business purpose, including obtaining a vat number. We will provide all the information regarding this process after we have received your request.
Do I need a VAT number when I have sales in Spain, but I am in another country?
When you have distance sales of over 35.000 euro, the Spanish government requires you to have a unique identifier. The sale of goods or services to Spanish customers is illegal in excess of this threshold.
Do people in Spain also have a VAT number?
Citizens and residents in Spain have a NIF number, which functions as a VAT number. Non-residents in Spain that need a tax identification number will get an NIE number.
Can I get an NIE Number or NIF number when I am abroad?
Yes, via The Hague Apostille, you can get a power of attorney signed in Spain. Your lawyer, who will be your Spanish representative, can then take care of your Spanish company formation and sign you up in the trade register.
Save time getting your Spanish VAT number
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Disclaimer: Information on this page may be incomplete or outdated. Under no circumstances should the information listed be considered professional legal advice. We highly recommend seeking guidance from a legal expert if you lack extensive knowledge or experience dealing with any of the procedures outlined in these articles.
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