Guide to business in Spain Guía de negocios en España


3. Tax implications of e-commerce in Spain


3.1. Problems, general principles and initiatives taken in relation to taxation

Except for Spain's commitments to the European Union on value added tax ("VAT"), at present there is no tax regime in Spain that specifically regulates the trading of goods and services on the Internet. Therefore, the same taxes and the same rules as those for other forms of commerce apply to e-commerce. This approach is in tune with the principles enunciated by the Spanish Tax Agency in the Report of the Commission analyzing the impact of e-commerce on the Spanish tax system, prepared by the Office of the Secretary of State for Finance.

Below is a list of the basic pieces of VAT legislation emanating from the European Union:

  • Council Directive 2006/112/EC of 28 November 2006 on the common system of value added tax. Council Directive 2008/8/EC of 12 February 2008 has amended Directive 2006/112/EC as regards the place of supply of services, introducing, in particular, rules applicable to telecommunications, broadcasting and electronically supplied services, with effect from January 1, 2015.
  • Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 282/2011 laying down implementing measures for Directive 2006/112/EC on the common system of value added tax. This Regulation has been amended by Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 1042/2013 of 7 October 2013 as regards the place of supply of services.
  • Council Regulation (EU) No 904/2010 of 7 October 2010 on administrative cooperation and combating fraud in the field of value added tax, which recast Council Regulation (EC) No 1798/2003 of 7 October 2003 on administrative cooperation in the field of value added tax and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 218/92 on administrative cooperation in the field of indirect taxation (VAT), in respect of additional measures regarding electronic commerce.
  • Council Regulation (EU) No 967/2012 of 9 October 2012 amending Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 282/2011, as regards the special schemes for non-established taxable persons supplying telecommunications services, broadcasting services or electronic services to non-taxable persons. Among other matters, this Regulation regulates the existence, starting January 1, 2015, of a single point of electronic contact for suppliers of EU electronic, telecommunications, and broadcasting services which will enable enterprises to declare and pay over the VAT in the Member State where they are established rather than doing so in the customer's country.

The provisions of these pieces of legislation and their transposition into Spanish law are examined in the section on the indirect taxation of e-commerce.

3.2. Direct taxation

Despite there being no differences in the tax treatment of income obtained electronically, the following chart shows the main potential issues of contention in the area of e-commerce:

Guide to business in Spain

Legal framework and tax implications of e-commerce in Spain


ICEX - Gobierno de España - Ministerio de Economía y competitividad
Elaborado por Garrigues - Abogados y Asesores Tributarios
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