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Spain E-Invoice

Updated: Feb 6

General Description


This paper summarizes the progress in e-invoicing process in Spain.


Introduction


The second stage of mandatory e-invoicing is initiated with the law “Creation and Growth of Companies (Law 18/2022, dated 28 September 2022)” that was published in State Official Gazette on 29 September 2022. The law mainly includes the mandatory use of electronic invoicing for B2B transactions (companies and sole contractors).


The law aims to promote the companies and prevent late payments in business transactions. By the new system it will be possible to know issuance and payment time of the invoices.


Background


In Spain, the e-invoicing process is defined and regulated by “Crea y Crece” Law. At current stage, electronic invoicing is already in place in Spain starting from 2015. The suppliers have already been sending invoices to the government in e-invoice format.


For the private sector, the companies must now adopt and transform their systems to be able to send and receive invoices in predetermined electronic format. If the government model is to be applied for the private sector, the technical requirements determined by the law should be considered in this process. With the e-invoicing system, the main objectives of the law are as follows:

  • to improve the control of Spanish Companies on invoicing process,

  • minimize tax evasion and

  • increase the productivity by transforming from manual processes to automated electronic processes.


In addition to G2B transactions, when all B2B transactions will also be realized over e-invoicing system, the effectiveness and efficiency of the system will be improved significantly. The use of electronic invoicing will result in significant advantages in business transactions of the company. Some of these advantages are listed in the following figure:


Advantages of E-Invoicing

Scope of the Law


The taxpayers that pay income tax, companies’ tax and non-resident income tax are subject to mandatory e-invoicing including some exemptions. On the other hand, foreign companies that registered in Spain only for VAT purposes are not within the scope of e-invoicing law.


The law enforces the use of electronic invoicing in all transactions between the companies and sole contractors. In the planned system, the recipients can request the copies of the invoices from the invoice issuer for a period of 4 years without any cost. In addition to business-to-business relations, the law also extends this requirement to certain transactions with individuals also. For instance, the companies are within the scope that provide utility services (electric, gas, water), electronic and financial services. For this obligation, the individuals should accept receiving electronic invoices. On the other hand, the travel agencies and retail activities are exempt from this obligation. The government has the right to extend the scope of obligations between companies and individuals depending on circumstances.


The companies should offer the capabilities to their customers for receiving electronic invoices. If they do not allow access, then they will have to pay penalties up to €10,000.


Details of Implementation and Timeline


With the current law, the details of B2B transactions have not been covered. A new law is to be published that defines the necessary architecture, the technical rules and regulations related with the new system, and the specifications for the e-invoicing solutions. The government will determine all these technical details, specifications, and regulations within 6 months. The timeline for e-invoice implementation is given in the following figure.


Spain E-Invoicing Timeline

Required Capabilities of E-Invoicing Systems


The invoicing systems are required to have following capabilities:

  • Guarantee the protection of the registered invoice data, its integrity, conservation, accessibility, and non-alteration.

  • Ensure the invoice is not modified after it is issued.

  • The registered data should be traceable, the administration can reach, and extract data whenever needed.

  • All operations on the system should automatically registered.

  • The system should produce automatic and instant reporting of all invoices register to tax authorities.

  • A new register should be generated for each new invoice.

  • Each register should include a “hash” or mark and a digital certificate.

  • Mandatory information should be included in each registry.

  • Sequential invoice numbering should be issued for each created invoice.

  • Invoices should contain an identity code and QR code.


Conclusion


Currently the technical details of B2B invoicing process have not been defined by the law yet. To develop the necessary architecture, the technical rules related with the new billing system and the criteria for electronic invoicing solutions should be officially published by the corresponding law. Currently as Melasoft, to finalize the e-invoicing solution for Spain, we are monitoring the developments regarding “Crea y Crece” Law. As the law is published, the details and obligations will be considered and the solution will be finalized.

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