Logo Guide to Business in Spain

Legal framework and tax implications of e-commerce in Spain

The main legal and tax issues to take into consideration regarding e-commerce, digital economy and privacy are discussed in this Chapter.

In Spain, as in neighboring countries, e-commerce-related activities are currently the object of specific regulation. In transactions involving e-commerce, regard should be had to the legislation on distance sales, advertising, standard contract terms, data protection, intellectual and industrial property, and e-commerce and information society services, among others. Apart from these specific laws, it is also necessary to examine the general legislation on civil and commercial contracts and, when in case of e-commerce addressed to consumers (B2C), the specific regulation on consumers’ protection should also be considered. Additionally, matters such as cybersecurity or electronic identification (electronic signature) have an increasing importance.

From the tax perspective, e-commerce raises issues, which would require a consensus to be reached on measures to be adopted at regional and even global level. Fair progress has been made in reaching a consensus on the VAT treatment of “on-line e-commerce”. As regards the Tax on Certain Digital Services, although Spain has created this tax, we will have to wait for a coordinated, uniform interpretation of the various criteria determining the tax treatment of e-commerce at international level.