Logo Guide to Business in Spain

2 Defining regulatory principles

2.2 Electronic invoicing

Article 88.2 of Value Added Tax Law 37/1992 states that VAT shall be charged through the invoice, on the conditions and with the requirements determined by regulations. A clear indication that the new invoicing regulations approved by Royal Decree 1619/2012, of November 30, 2012, aim to promote electronic invoicing is that they establish the same treatment for electronic invoices as for paper invoices. A new definition is provided for electronic invoice, i.e., an invoice that meets the requirements established in the Royal Decree but which has been issued and received on electronic format.

Therefore, this equal treatment for paper and electronic invoices broadens the possibilities for the supplier to be able to issue invoices electronically without needing to use specific technology to do so.

Moreover, Order EHA/962/20073 issued by the former Ministry of Finance establishes and further develops particular obligations regarding telematic invoicing. That Order clarifies that any Advanced Electronic Signature based on a certain certificate and generated through safe signing procedures will be valid in order to guarantee the authenticity and origin of the bill. The Order also clarifies the legal requirements that electronic invoices issued abroad must meet in order to be validly accepted in Spain.

Since January 15, 2015, there has been an obligation in Spain (by application of Law 25/2013, of December 27, 2013, on the promotion of electronic billing and the creation of a public sector accounting register of invoices) to issue invoices in electronic format that affects enterprises operating in certain industries (according to a list included in the law) and providing services “of special economic significance” to the general public.

This obligation to issue electronic invoices applies regardless of the contracting channel used (face-to-face or distance, electronic or non-electronic), provided that the customer agrees to receive them or has expressly requested them. However, travel agencies, carriage services and retail trade businesses are only required to issue electronic invoices where the contracting has taken place by electronic means.

In any event, it is the recipient of the invoices who has the power to give his or consent to the issuance and sending of invoices in electronic format and to revoke such consent in order to receive them on paper again. In the absence of consent, the trader should issue and send the invoices on paper.

3Order EHA/92/2007, of April 10, 2007, implementing certain provisions concerning telematic billing and electronic invoice storage, contained in Royal Decree 1496/2003, of November 28, 2003, approving the regulations governing billing obligations.