Spanish Congress Approves Mandatory B2B e-Invoicing 

Victor Duarte
September 16, 2022

The Congress of Spain has approved the Law for the Creation and Growth of Companies, and it is expected to be published in the Official Gazette (BOE) in the following days.

This Law also amends Law 56/2007 on Measures to Promote Information to adopt the mandatory electronic invoice issuance requirement for all entrepreneurs and professionals in their commercial relationships.

Introducing mandatory electronic invoicing in Spain for the private sector

According to this Law, all entrepreneurs and professionals must issue, send, and receive electronic invoices in their business relationships with other entrepreneurs and professionals. Additionally, the recipient and the sender of electronic invoices must provide information on the status of the invoices.

The main rules of the Law related to e-invoicing establishes that:

  • Technological solutions and platforms for electronic invoicing offered by service provider companies to entrepreneurs and professionals must guarantee their free interconnection and interoperability.
  • Recipients may request a copy of an electronic invoice for four years from the date of issuance without incurring additional costs.
  • Recipients can’t force the invoice issuer to use a solution, default e-invoicing service provider or platform.
  • Electronic invoices must comply with the provisions of the invoicing regulations.

The process for accreditation of interconnection and interoperability of the platforms will be determined by the regulations at a later stage.

Additional electronic invoicing obligations for certain sectors

The law establishes that companies providing the supply of certain services to final consumers must issue and send electronic invoices in their relations with individuals who agree to receive them or who have explicitly requested them. This obligation affects companies supplying telecommunication services, financial services, water, gas, and electricity services among other sectors and activities prescribed in Article 2.2 of Law 56/2007.

These companies must provide access to the necessary programs so that users can read, copy, download and print the electronic invoice for free without having to go to other sources to obtain the necessary applications. They must also enable simple and free procedures so users can revoke the consent given to the receipt of electronic invoices at any time.

Companies within scope that refrain from offering users the possibility to receive electronic invoices will be sanctioned with a warning or a fine of up to 10,000 euros.

Next step: regulatory framework

The Government will develop provisions of this Law in accordance with the regulations, and within the scope of its powers. Therefore, the Ministries of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation and of Finance and Public Administration will determine the information and technical requirements to be included in the electronic invoice to verify the payment dates and obtain the payment periods.

It is also necessary to establish the minimum interoperability requirements between the providers of electronic invoice technology solutions, and the security, control, and standardisation requirements of the devices and computer systems that generate the documents.

The Government will have 6 months from the publication of this Law in the Official Gazette to approve the regulatory framework.

Entry into force for Spain’s mandatory B2B e-invoicing

The provisions regarding mandatory B2B electronic invoicing will be effective according to their annual turnover:

  • Entrepreneurs and professionals whose annual turnover is over €8 million will have one year after the regulatory framework is approved.
  • For the rest of the entrepreneurs and professionals, the electronic invoicing obligation will take effect two years after the regulatory framework is approved.

This means that the B2B e-invoicing obligation could be effective for large taxable persons by the first quarter of 2024.   

It is important to highlight that the entry into force of the B2B e-invoicing obligation is subject to obtaining the community exception to articles 218 and 232 of the VAT Directive. This exception is less difficult to obtain the previously as has been granted to other Member States such as Italy, France, and Poland to allow them to adopt the mandatory e-invoicing regime in their jurisdictions.

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Author

Victor Duarte

Victor is a Regulatory Counsel at Sovos. Based in Stockholm and originally from Venezuela, he obtained a Law degree and a specialisation degree in Tax Law in his home country. Victor also earned a Master´s degree in European and Internal Tax Law from Lund University in Sweden.
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