VAT registration in Spain

  • Last update: 23.02.2024
  • Published: 21.07.2023
  • Read in: 5 min

VAT in Spain, much like in any other European Union country, is an inevitable aspect for anyone conducting business within the nation or selling goods and services to Spanish consumers. Understanding the applicable laws related to VAT in Spain is essential to avoid potential sanctions and penalties.

Furthermore, foreign entrepreneurs operating in Spain may find themselves obliged to register for VAT at some point, resulting in the issuance of a VAT number. This number enables them to fulfil their tax obligations, including filing VAT returns in Spain and settling VAT. The registration process itself can be complex for many, necessitating the assistance of a tax representative. Therefore, in the following article, we have focused on this aspect to shed light on the matter and provide clarity.

VAT registration in Spain

From the following article you will find out about:

  • What are the applicable VAT rates in Spain?
  • When is it mandatory to register for VAT in Spain?
  • How does the process of obtaining a VAT number in Spain look like?
  • What are the required documents to register for VAT?

The source of Spanish VAT regulations

In Spain VAT rules are set mainly by the Spanish VAT Directive called Ley del Impuesto sobre el Valor Añadido, which translates to Value Added Tax Law.

VAT in Spain

In Spain, the standard VAT rate is set at 21%, and there is a reduced VAT rate of 10%. Moreover, the country applies a super reduced VAT rate of 4% and a rate of 0%.

For detailed information on which goods and categories of services fall under each VAT rate in Spain, you can find more in our article – VAT Spain 2023.

When is it necessary to register for VAT in Spain

Similar to any European Union country, businesses are obliged to register for VAT in Spain in the following situations:

  • Importing goods into Spain.
  • Purchasing and selling goods and services within Spanish territory.
  • Selling goods and services from other EU countries to consumers in Spain.
  • Warehousing goods in Spain.

Moreover, like in other European Union Member States, businesses are obligated to register for VAT in Spain and account for their sales locally once their sales exceed the Intra-Community distance sales limit of €10,000, starting from the transaction that surpasses the threshold. The alternative for that, that allows to omit the local registration, is choosing the VAT OSS procedure which allows to account the EU sales collectively.

Also, keep in mind, that along with the introduction of distance sales limit, the national threshold do not apply any longer apply. Consequently, the Spanish VAT registration threshold is no more. The distance selling limit applies to the whole EU B2C sales by one company.

Registering and assigning a VAT number in Spain - how does the process look like?

Non-EU entrepreneurs seeking to become VAT taxpayers in Spain must enlist the services of a tax attorney to carry out the VAT registration process. The tax attorney is mandated to represent the company at the Administración de la Agencia Estatál de Administración Tributaria (AEAT), the authority responsible for VAT registration and settlements in Spain.

Do you need to register for VAT in Spain?

Do you need to register for VAT in Spain?

Leave it to Taxology specialists! Just like settlements, issues related to declarations or VAT OSS and VAT EU! Let us know what exactly you need!

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VAT Spain, vs. the N.I.E. number

It is worth mentioning that individuals from foreign countries who wish to register for VAT in Spain must first obtain an N.I.E. number (Número de Identificación Extranjeros). This number serves as the Spanish equivalent of the TIN number and is essential for non-Spanish entrepreneurs engaging in various activities, including business operations.

Spanish tax authorities

The State Tax Administration Agency, known as Agencia Estatal de Administración Tributaria, is the Spanish tax agency.

You can reach them via mail at Av. de Selgas, 1, 46800 Xàtiva, Valencia, Spain.

For online access, their website is, and they can be contacted by phone at +34 91 554 87 70.

Should you require assistance with VAT registration in Spain, feel free to schedule a free consultation with us to discover how we can support you throughout the process.

Spanish VAT number

In Spain VAT number issued for foreigners is called the NIF (Número de Identificación Fiscal). It consists of 11 characters, starting with the prefix ES followed by 9 digits. However, it is worth noting that in certain situations, the first and last digits can be substituted with letters.

VAT in Spain - Documents required for registration

VAT law is governed by both European Union regulations and national legislation. However, it’s important to stress that the EU sets the “framework” within which each national authority operates, allowing them to establish their own specific VAT rules. As a result, certain aspects, such as document requirements, may vary from one country to another.
For obtaining a Spanish VAT number and undergoing the VAT registration process in Spain, apart from the VAT registration application, additional documents need to be submitted, including:

  • A copy of the company’s memorandum or articles of association.
  • An apostille and pre-approved copy of the identity card, certified by a public notary and the court.
  • Confirmation of registration for EU VAT and entry in the company register.

It is crucial to note that both the memorandum of association and the confirmation of registration in the company register must be translated into Spanish.

Non-resident VAT registration

Keep in mind, that if a company is registered outside the EU, they will have to perform a non-resident VAT registration, which requires appointing a tax representative. Also, do not mistake this term with a Spanish fiscal representative, as a fiscal representative is a person who represents the EU residents.

Obligation to file VAT returns

Apart from VAT registration, VAT taxpayers must ensure not only the accurate filing and timely settlement of their VAT returns but also the correct reporting of Intrastat statistics once the thresholds are exceeded.

It should be noted that the deadline for filing annual VAT returns in Spain is the 30th of the month following the accounting period. As for monthly and quarterly returns it is the 20th day of the month following the accounting period. The only expections are the 4th quarter, for which the deadline is for submitting the VAT return is January 30, and January in the case of monthly returns, for which the return should be submitted on the last day of February.

VAT registration in Spain - Summary

In Spain, the standard VAT rate is set at 21%, while reduced rates of 10%, 4%, and 0% are applicable in specific cases. Registration for VAT purposes is required when entrepreneurs exceed the CSTO sales limit of EUR 10,000 and import goods to Spain, trade in Spain, conduct selling in Spain and selling goods into Spain from other EU countries to Spain, and at the same time do not decide to use the VAT OSS procedure.

The VAT registration process in Spain is rather complex, requiring the involvement of a tax representative. It takes place at the Spanish tax office – Agencia Estatal de Administración Tributaria (AEAT), and the NIF identification number consists of the prefix ES followed by nine digits.

Moreover, entrepreneurs aspiring to get VAT number in Spain must submit essential documents for registration, including a VAT registration application, a copy of the articles of incorporation or memorandum of association, an apostille and pre-approved copy of an identity card, and confirmations of registration for EU VAT and entry in the company register.

Spanish VAT Compliance

If you require VAT registration service in Spain, you can rely on our team of proficient VAT Compliance specialists to handle the entire process for you. We are pleased to offer support in various VAT-related areas, including settlements, VAT returns, VAT OSS, and VAT EU. Don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with us, where you can tell your exact requirements, and rest assured, we will take care of everything else!

If you are looking for more knowledge about VAT in the EU member states, check out our articles about: Latvia, Malta, Lithuania, Finland, Portugal, Hungary, Germany and France, or see our texts about VAT registrations in: Austria, Germany, France, the UK or Italy.

Michał Doruch Michał has been dealing with VAT settlements, registrations, and filings in European Union member states and the United Kingdom for over 10 years. He also covers issues related to VAT OSS, Intrastat reporting, and direct customer support. Michał has been associated with Taxology since March 2021.