Spain: New Elements in VAT Regulations Regarding E-Commerce (II)

Published on 26 July 2021

Following the news on VAT in relation to e-commerce, on 15 June the Spanish government modified the VAT regulations. As we mentioned in a previous article on the introduction of the single window environment with respect to distance sales, this is an attempt to facilitate and promote digital commerce by implementing measures reducing the administrative load associated therewith. Below is a brief summary of certain aspects of the VAT regulations.

Gustavo Yanes Hernández Tax Lawyer +34 91 319 96 86

Cases in which the supplier participates in an indirect manner in the transport of the goods are clarified: it is considered that the goods have been transported by the supplier or on its behalf. These cases arise when the vendor i) subcontracts, ii) assumes part or all of the liability, iii) invoices and collects transport fees, or iv) finally puts the client in contact with the transport operator. Let us recall that the requirement of who orders the transport is essential for the operation to be considered a distance sale.

Another significant issue is the accrual of VAT in this type of sale, that is, when the tax debt and the formal obligations associated therewith arise. Generally speaking, in the delivery of goods, VAT accrues when the goods are made available; yet the VAT regulations clarify that in this case, it will be the time at which the payment is understood to be accepted. According to EU regulations, such time of acceptance of payment is similar to the confirmation thereof, to the authorisation message or to a client payment commitment, whichever occurs first, regardless of the time at which the effective payment is made.

Finally, it is important to mention that the choice of the special regimen of the single window environment for distance sales is to be submitted in the Member State in which the company is identified and will take effect as of the first day of the calendar quarter following submission. For example, if the choice to opt in is submitted on 28 June, the regimen would be effective as of 1 July. With regard to voluntary withdrawal, this should be submitted at least 15 days prior to the end of the quarter before that in which the regimen is no longer used. For example, in order to stop its application in the first quarter of 2022, the final deadline for submitting a withdrawal request would be 15 December 2021. There are additional new elements that will be addressed in a third instalment tracking these important changes with regard to digital commerce.