Spain passes legislation moving towards mandatory B2B e-invoicing

The Spanish Government has approved the draft Crea y Crece law which includes a requirement for businesses to issue electronic invoices for all B2B transactions.

Currently, the Spanish tax authority (AEAT) already receives transactional information from certain taxpayers through the Suministro Inmediato de Información (SII) up to four working days from the issue or receipt of an invoice. However, the move to compulsory e-invoicing would mean that a wider set of taxpayers would be required to submit transactional data and this would be more frequent i.e. in real time. While we are still awaiting details of the new e-invoicing regulations, it is likely that the model will follow established pre-clearance models like Italy’s SDI platform. This would allow the AEAT to validate invoices before they are approved and released to the customer.  Spain's VAT Gap in 2019 was estimated to be EUR 5.8 billion (6.9%) and this move to compulsory e-invoicing will partly be driven by a goal to reduce this gap and maximise tax collection, as well as part of a wider national digital transformation initiative.

Spain already has two e-invoicing platforms – FACe which is designed for B2G e-invoicing and is mandatory for the central government and optional for regional and local governments. FACe enables the submission and tracking of e-invoices sent to thousands of public administrations connected to the system. A secondary e-invoicing platform FACeB2B has been in place since June 2018, allowing B2B electronic invoicing and this uses the same format and interfaces already in place for B2G invoicing. It will be interesting to see if Spain simply looks to scale these existing platforms for wider use. 

It is possible that there will be a phased introduction with the e-invoicing measures coming into force for all companies three years after the official publication of the new law – which could mean as late as 2026. However, for companies with a turnover of EUR 8m or more, this should apply a year after the publication, which could mean 2024. If the legislation is rushed through Parliament, it is possible these dates could be brought forward 12 months.

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