Spain - Draft regulations issued on mandatory B2B e-invoicing

Spain’s Minister of Finance issued draft regulations on 15 June 2023 (to be issued via a Royal Decree) that would provide guidance on how the new e-invoicing requirements in B2B transactions will operate (for prior coverage, see the article in the January 2022 issue of Indirect Tax News). In 2022, Spain’s parliament approved the draft law that imposes new e-invoicing obligations for businesses and entrepreneurs, with the legislation to become effective once regulations are published, i.e., one year from the date of publication for businesses with turnover over EUR 8 million and two years from that date for all other taxpayers

The regulations will make e-invoicing in B2B transactions (i.e., commercial transactions between entrepreneurs and self-employed individuals in Spain) mandatory, subject to exceptions for transactions involving persons that are not based in or established in Spain. They also will provide for the creation of a network of private platforms or a public system to be used for the submission of e-invoices; taxpayers will be able to elect to use a private or the public platform (the latter will probably be more appropriate for small businesses). The Spanish tax authorities will have to set up the public system to receive e-invoices in a standardised format where invoices can be validated and then made available to recipients.

Private platforms

Entrepreneurs/professionals that choose the private platform for e-invoicing must create a single point of entry for e-invoices by joining a private invoice exchange platform to receive and validate supplier invoices. They must also have software systems that will allow for the generation of e-invoices, certification of the authenticity of invoices and that there are digital signatures, be able to route the invoices to customers and to notify the Spanish tax authorities about the status of invoices. The regulations also set out formats for e-invoices. Further, the platforms (both private-to-private and private-to-public) will have to be interconnected, have transmission capabilities, allow users to read, download and print invoices, and certify that the process is accessible, accurate and unable to be altered. 

Recipients of e-invoices will be required to inform the invoice issuer about the status of the invoice, i.e., whether the recipient accepts or rejects the invoice and information on the full or partial payment of the VAT due. It should be noted that this measure does not apply to e-invoices issued under the public e-invoicing option.

Public platform

Entrepreneurs opting to use the public e-invoicing option will have to submit e-invoices in a designated format (“Facturae format”) and upload them to a specific platform. Access to the public e-invoicing option will be granted to any company or entrepreneur whose e-invoices are in the required format and contain the necessary information, such as the taxpayer identification numbers of both the issuer and the recipient. As noted above, interconnectivity with private platforms will be essential so that data can pass to and through both the public and private platforms.

Entry into force

If the Royal Decree is approved (which is expected before the end of 2023), it will become effective 12 months after publication in Spain’s official gazette. However, entrepreneurs with annual turnover exceeding EUR 8 million will be required to implement e-invoicing within one year after the decree is approved rather than one year after its effective date. For all other entrepreneurs and taxpayers, e-invoicing will not have to be implemented for 24 months after the decree is approved.

During the first 12 months, companies required to issue e-invoices will have to issue them in PDF format that so that recipients that are not yet required to receive e-invoices can read them, unless the recipient agrees to receive invoices in their original format.

Additionally, the obligation to report on the status of an e-invoice will apply to entrepreneurs with annual turnover of less than EUR 6,010,121.04 36 months following publication of the Royal Decree (48 months for other taxpayers). Until then, providing information on the status of e-invoices is voluntary.


Álvaro Gómez-Elvira
BDO in Spain

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