Spain to implement electronic tax filing

Written by: Eva Poyatos, GTM Governance, EMEA

The Spanish Tax Agency, Agencia Estatal de Administración Tributaria (AEAT), is working to expedite a new tax process as part of a national strategy to avoid tax fraud. The AEAT is planning to implement a system by January 2017 to electronically handle their Value Added Tax (VAT). This new system will require that invoices issued and received be registered.

While the implementation date is set for January 2017 the government is working to bring this date forward. A Royal Decree has been drafted for the modernization, improvement and boost of the use of electronic means in the VAT management, which modifies the current Regulation 1624/1992 on VAT management.

Under the new process, all invoices issued and received by those companies falling under the scope of the Royal Decree will be required to be report the invoices through the Sede Electrónica of AEAT Web page. This electronic reporting will be mandatory for companies that report a monthly VAT return, in accordance with article 71.3 of the Spanish VAT Regulation 1624/1992. However, it will also be an option for those companies who report a quarterly VAT return.

Those who report their invoices electronically to the Tax Agency will be exempt from filing further VAT forms. These are form 347 (Operations with third persons), form 340 (Informative declaration for exporter, based in article 36 of the Regulation 1624/1992 on VAT management) and form 349 (Intra-EU operations declaration).

Importers and exporters will be able to provide their transactional information immediately, on an ongoing basis, through a web service or for those who have very few transactions by filling a web form. The information to be provided will be the date of issue, date of the operation, VAT registration number of the consignee, VAT base, quota, etc. to the import and export SAD number and date of acceptance. Information that goes beyond the standard invoice will be collected by the AEAT. In terms of delivery dates, intervals are short so it will require coordination between various departments and will also require some companies to complete some IT development as the information will be required by the AEAT within 4 days from the invoice issue or received date.

The information reported electronically by a company will be visible to its suppliers and clients where there is a declared VAT book and a cross-check VAT book. The information provided by two related operators (supplier/client) included in this new process will be matched, allowing the AEAT to find discrepancies, improve the information and detect fraud.

Some aspects of the new system will mean a complete change in business practices for many companies and a potential change in the relationship with their clients and suppliers. It will be interesting to see how this develops once it is implemented. In general, the impression is that more and more companies will opt to provide this information electronically and use this new process, but at the moment there is much to consider in order to get the new requirements implemented.

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