Spain: VAT e-commerce rules, update

Spain: VAT e-commerce rules, update

The Ministry of Finance issued a draft law to transpose two EU directives concerning the taxation—and specifically, the value added tax (VAT) treatment—of electronic commerce into Spain’s tax system.


The EU Directives on the taxation of electronic commerce concern certain obligations regarding VAT for the provision of services and remote (distance) sales of goods.

The directives are part of the VAT action plan as identified by the European Commission, and include measures regarding (1) supplies of goods that are acquired by the end-use consumers, generally through the internet and digital platforms and delivered from another EU Member State or a third country or territory; and (2) services rendered to consumers by entrepreneurs that are not established in the EU Member State but are subject to VAT.

These measures are intended to reinforce the principle of “taxation at destination” so that each EU Member State records the VAT imposed on the acquisitions of goods and services made by consumers within their jurisdiction—regardless of the place where the goods or services are provided or originated. This reflects the EC regulation on VAT for the growth of electronic commerce.

Regarding Spain, the first measures contained in Directive (EU) 2017/2455 (in general terms, simplification measures for sales of electronic services within the EU) were incorporated into Spanish legislation by Law 6 / 2018, of July 3, of the general state budgets for the year 2018 and by Royal Decree 1512/2018, of December 28.

The rest of the measures are incorporated into the Spanish tax system through the draft law (August 2020), and this would conclude the process of transposition of the EC directives for electronic commerce. On completion of the legislative procedures, the measures would have an effective date of 1 July 2021.

Read a September 2020 report (Spanish) [PDF 152 KB] prepared by the KPMG member firm in Spain

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