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Invoicing, IRPF and IVA

Autonomos invoicing Spanish companies have to include IVA (VAT) and will have an amount deducted from the invoice for IRPF for income tax.

First things first. All automos are required to to be registered for and so must charge IVA (Impuesto sobre el valor añadido) - the Spanish VAT or sales tax on their invoices. Unlike other countries there is no minimum threshold for VAT so all invoices will need accounting for VAT. You will need to submit a quarterly IVA return (Modelo 300 or Modelo 310 from the Agencia Tributaria or Hacienda). The site is recommended as an information source - it's a site for translators, but they have very good discussions on the practicalities of being autonomos and tax and business.

VAT/IVA number

The VAT/IVA number for your invoices is the same as your as your NIE. I still haven't received a IVA certificate so I presume that one is not needed. For international sales (you need to register on the exporters register), your IVA number is ES- followed by your NIE.

Eg ES-X1234567M

What VAT/IVA rate to apply

The standard rate of IVA in Spain is 16% 21% and for most people selling goods and services this will be the rate to apply.

For non-essential foodstuffs or items for the production of food the rate drops to 7% 8%.
"Examples of products attracting the reduced rate of 7% 8% include food products used for human or animal consumption, water, veterinary products, products to be used in the production of food, seeds and fertilisers."

For basic food staples (bread, milk etc) and magazines/books the rate drops to 4%.

On your invoice you will need to show the ex-VAT number, the VAT rate and the total.

Selling to Spanish companies - IRPF and autonomos

There is a big different in terms of invoicing compared to the UK, As an autonomo, if you are selling to a Spanish business you will have to indicate the level of IRPF (Impuesto sobre la Renta de las Personas Físicas) that should be withheld by the customer.

This amount for IRPF varies but I believe it is 7% for the first 3 years and 15% there after. Essentially this is withheld by your customer and paid to the tax office by them on your behalf.

For example, if you have done €1000 of work your invoice will say something like:

  • Net total €1000
  • IVA €160
  • IRPF at 7% €70

You will be paid €1000+160-70 = €1090. You have to pay €160 to for IVA to the tax office leaving you with €930 net.

Selling to other EU countries

In other EU countries, assuming you are selling to a VAT registered business (and you should check this), you can invoice without VAT and without IRPF. If you are selling to a consumer you have to charge IVA. You will have to declare the sale in a modelo 349 each quarter which means you will need to have a valid VAT number of the company you sold to. To complete the Modelo 349 you'll need to download the Agencia Tributaria's own software which is not particularly intuitive to use.

In addition, if you have more than 30% of your sales are to non-Spanish companies you will need to complete a quarterly modelo 130 and pay the IPRF yourself on the basis of the invoiced work.

If you are selling goods or service there is a requirement to complete modelo 349 on the Agencia Tributaria website for recording intracomunitaria transactions

Buying from other EU countries

If you are registered on the exporter list then you will have an international VAT number and so will be able to buy goods from businesses outside Spain without paying IVA.

You will have to record the import on the IVA form (Modelo 300) in the same slightly quirky way you have to for the UK - that it you claim the purchase as both a sale and expense effectively giving you zero VAT.

Links - advice on IRPF and invoices - discussion of invoicing - discussion of IRPF on invoices - discussion of IRPF for work carried out for businesses outside Spain

In Spanish but very useful: - discussion of VAT registration

Previous article: Letter after not submitting IVA Next article: Modelo 300 - VAT form

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