VAT guide for Spain

Get all the details on Spanish VAT rates, compliance and deadlines. Learn everything you need to know about VAT in Spain here.

VAT in Spain: All You Need to Know About VAT Rates and Compliance

Welcome to our in-depth guide on VAT (Value Added Tax) in Spain, designed for e-commerce sellers from Europe who are considering expanding their presence into the Spanish market. Grasping the nuances of Spain’s VAT system is pivotal for any business aiming to operate effectively and in compliance with the regulations set forth by both the Spanish authorities and the European Union. Herein, you will find vital information including VAT rates for different product categories, the registration process, filing deadlines, and other essential details.

VAT rates in Spain

Spain, as an EU member state, aligns with the European Union’s VAT directives but retains the right to determine its own standard VAT rate, subject to the EU minimum standard of 15%. As a VAT-registered seller in Spain, you must charge the correct VAT rate and remit this to the Spanish Tax Agency (Agencia Tributaria).

The primary Spanish VAT rates are as follows:

21%Standard VAT rateThe majority of goods and services, including electronics, household goods, and many other items.
10%Reduced VAT rateThe reduced rate of 10% applies to certain food items, some pharmaceutical products, passenger transport, hotel services, and admission to cultural events may qualify for a reduced rate.
4%Super-reduced VAT rateBasic foodstuffs, books (including e-books), newspapers, and some medical equipment.
0%Zero rateCertain products and services are exempt from VAT, but this does not allow for reclaiming input VAT as in other EU countries.

Spanish VAT Compliance: Filings & Registrations

Spanish VAT Number

For e-commerce vendors intending to penetrate the Spanish market, securing a Spanish VAT registration is often the starting point. This registration is a prerequisite for undertaking taxable transactions within Spanish territory.

How to register for VAT in Spain

The process for obtaining a VAT number in Spain includes:

  1. Form Submission: Complete and submit the relevant VAT registration forms. Non-EU businesses may be required to appoint a fiscal representative in Spain.
  2. Documentation: Accompany your application with necessary supporting documents, which might include proof of company incorporation, articles of association, and ID for the legal representative.
  3. Application Review: Submit the full application to the Spanish Tax Agency, which can take several weeks to process.
  4. VAT Number: If the application is successful, the business will be issued a Spanish VAT number.

Where to register for VAT in Spain

VAT registration in Spain can be completed through the electronic office (Sede Electrónica) of the Spanish Tax Agency, accessible here.

How to submit Spanish VAT filings

VAT returns must be filed periodically and it’s important to meet the deadlines to avoid fines. The process is as follows:

  • Electronic Filing: VAT returns are filed electronically through the Spanish Tax Agency’s online system.
  • Submission and Payment: Ensure all VAT returns and payments are submitted before the deadline. The standard VAT return periods are monthly for large businesses and quarterly for SMEs, aligning with the reporting period guidelines.
  • Annual VAT Summary: At the end of the year, businesses may also be required to submit an annual VAT summary.


VAT-Related Fines in Spain

Compliance with VAT rules is critical, as non-compliance can result in various fines:

Infraction TypePenalty DescriptionFine Amount / Penalty
Late FilingFiling a VAT return after the due dateFixed fine plus a percentage of the VAT due
Late PaymentPayment made after the official due dateInterest charged on the outstanding VAT amount
Incorrect FilingErrors or inaccuracies in reported VATFines based on the magnitude of the error
Failure to RegisterConducting taxable transactions without VAT registrationFines and may include interest on the unpaid VAT
Record Keeping ViolationsNot maintaining adequate VAT records as per the lawCase-dependent fines, but could be substantial



How long do I need to keep records?

Businesses must keep VAT records for a minimum of four years in Spain.

Threshold for VAT registration in Spain

Spain has the following VAT registration thresholds:

  • For resident companies, there is no threshold; VAT registration is mandatory from the first taxable sale.
  • For EU distance sellers, a threshold of €35,000 exists, after which you must register and charge Spanish VAT.

Please note that these rates and thresholds are liable to change and should be verified with current legal requirements or via consultation with a tax professional.

Navigating through Spanish VAT regulations and the associated administrative processes can be challenging for businesses unfamiliar with the local tax environment. As such, many e-commerce businesses benefit from the support and guidance of a skilled tax advisor or a VAT compliance service provider to manage their VAT obligations in Spain effectively, understanding the importance of accurate reporting period and intra-community transactions.

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Any questions?

Do you have inventory stored abroad because you sell through Amazon FBA, for example, or use a European fulfillment center? Then you need an European VAT registration in that country! Save yourself the paperwork and let us apply for your VAT registration.

Where can I use the VAT registration?

You can use the VAT number for any business purpose. For example, when selling through Amazon,, Shopify or another platform. The number is also valid if you are going to do business locally that requires a European VAT number.

If you have a VAT registration abroad, you will also have to file VAT returns there. How often and when to do so, depends on the country. It can be monthly, or quarterly.

We understand that you don’t feel like doing all the VAT administration. So leave it to us: link your sales accounts to Staxcloud, so we can always accurately file your European VAT return. Then you won’t spend any more time on VAT returns.

July 1, 2021, the One Stop Shop went into effect, also known as the One-Stop Shop system. Do you sell more than €10,000.- across borders every year? Through this new regulation, you declare your VAT of all the countries in which you do business at once. If you have all your stock in your country of residence, you no longer need a VAT number in those other countries. In the One Stop Shop declaration, you declare every cross-border sale within the EU.

That involves quite a bit of math. Especially if you sell through multiple platforms! We’ve come up with something on that: you can link all your sales channels (Amazon,, Shopify and more) to Staxcloud. This way you always have all your VAT data at hand, and within 5 minutes you have your One Stop Shop declaration arranged. Staxcloud does the calculations, and our Staxxers handle the declaration further. Handy right?

A tariff is a tax on imported goods, and the tariff number, also called a tariff code or HS code, gives customs officials more information about what kind of item is being imported. The standard code is a six-digit number, but some countries have codes of 8 or 10 digits.

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Dealing with VAT

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Vat consult for e-commerce

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Janine Bouwmeester

VAT consultant