If you are running your own business or working as a self-employed professional in Spain, invoicing is an essential part of your day-to-day operations.
Invoicing is not only a means to receive payment for your products or services but also a legal requirement under Spanish tax regulations. As a result, it's important to ensure that your invoices contain all the necessary information and comply with the relevant regulations to avoid any legal issues or delays in receiving payment.
In this guide, we will provide you with a comprehensive overview of invoicing in Spain, covering everything you need to know to create and issue invoices that are compliant with Spanish tax laws.
We'll also explain what information must be included in your invoices, how to issue invoices correctly, and the different types of invoices that are recognized in Spain.
What is an invoice and why should you issue one?
In Spain, an invoice is known as a "factura". A factura is a legal document that outlines the details of a transaction between a buyer and a seller. It typically includes the products or services purchased, the quantity, price, payment terms, and any other relevant information such as taxes or shipping fees.
The use of invoices is mandatory in Spain for accounting and tax purposes. According to Spanish tax regulations, invoices must include certain information in order for them to be valid.
Businesses in Spain use invoices to bill their customers for goods or services provided. This includes any type of business that sells products or services, such as retailers, wholesalers, contractors, and freelancers. Invoices may also be used in situations where payments are due at a later date or where there are multiple transactions between parties.
Overall, an invoice is a crucial tool for businesses in Spain to ensure they are properly compensated for their products or services, while also providing a clear and transparent record of transactions for all parties involved.
What information must be contained on a Spanish invoice?
Under Spanish law, all invoices must contain specific information for them to be considered legal.
For an ordinary (Complete Invoice) the following is required:-
You can see the official information on what invoices must contain from the tax authorities.
What are the different kinds of invoices in Spain?
In Spain, there are different types of invoices, and these vary in terms of their functions and formats. This means that not all invoices are the same and they do not necessarily have to include the same information.
Below we list the main types of invoices in Spain.
Simplified Invoice (Factura Simplificada)
In Spain, the simplified invoice is a popular invoice used for ordinary buying and selling transactions. It contains less information than a complete invoice but is still legal and recognized by the Invoicing Regulation of 2013. The main difference is that it only includes the fiscal data of the issuer, not the receiver.
Simplified invoices do not require the VAT tax quota, a breakdown of the consideration, or a detailed description of the operation. They are typically used for transactions under 400 euros including VAT, but there are exceptions where they can be used for transactions up to 3,000 euros.
You can find out more about simplified invoices from Spain's tax agency, Agencia Tributaria.
Complete Invoice (Factura Completa)
In Spain, a Factura Completa (Complete Invoice) is a standard invoice that includes all the mandatory legal information required for buying and selling goods or services. This information includes the name and tax ID number of both the buyer and seller, the date of issue, a description of the goods or services provided, the price, VAT rate, and the total amount payable.
Most businesses will issue invoices using this invoicing model.
Proforma Invoice (Factura Proforma)
A Factura Proforma (Proforma Invoice) in Spain is a preliminary or estimated invoice that is issued by a seller to a buyer before the actual goods or services are delivered. It provides details such as the description of the goods or services, their quantity, and their price.
A Factura Proforma is usually used for customs purposes to determine the value of goods for import or export. It is not considered as a final invoice and does not generate any tax liability or require payment by the buyer. However, it is an important document that helps the buyer to make decisions about the purchase and prepare for payment.
Corrective Invoice (Factura Rectificativa)
In Spain, a corrective invoice is known as a "Factura Rectificativa". It is an invoice issued by a supplier to correct errors or omissions in a previously issued invoice.
A Factura Rectificativa is used to make adjustments to a previously issued invoice, such as correcting an incorrect amount, adding or removing items, or changing the VAT rate. It is also used to issue a credit note to the customer if the amount paid on the original invoice was incorrect.
The Factura Rectificativa must contain all the mandatory legal information required for invoices in Spain, as well as a reference to the original invoice that is being corrected. The correction must also be clearly indicated on the invoice, with an explanation of the reason for the correction.
It is important to note that a Factura Rectificativa should only be issued in the case of an error or omission in the original invoice, and not for any other reason. It is also subject to the same legal requirements as a standard invoice in Spain.
Recapitulative Invoice (Factura Recapitulativa)
In Spain, a recapitulative invoice, also known as a summary invoice, is a document used to summarize all the transactions made between two registered businesses (those that have a VAT number) within a given period of time.
It is mandatory for businesses that have exceeded a certain threshold of intra-community operations to issue a recapitulative invoice on a regular basis (usually on a monthly or quarterly basis) to report all the sales and purchases of goods and services made with other registered businesses in the European Union.
The recapitulative invoice must contain information such as the VAT identification number of both the supplier and the customer, the date and amount of each transaction, the description of the goods or services supplied, and the applicable VAT rate.
The purpose of the recapitulative invoice is to facilitate the reporting of intra-community transactions for VAT purposes, and to ensure that businesses comply with the relevant tax regulations.
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