Bizkaia: What is the Batuz tax system?

Kelly Muniz
April 5, 2023

Bizkaia is a province of Spain, and a historical territory of the Basque Country, with its own tax system. Before the approval of the Batuz strategy, the Bizkaia tax authority developed different approaches to implement a comprehensive strategy that would reduce tax fraud. The goal was to stop fraud from affecting revenue generated from economic activities.

This initiative started in the early 2010s when the authority introduced requirements for maintenance of the ledgers of economic operations for individuals with economic activities via model 140, and later by imposing the Immediate Supply of Information (SII) obligation to certain taxpayers in the region.

Batuz represents a significant advancement towards achieving an integral digitized tax control system, covering individuals and entities that carry out economic activities regardless of size. As this article outlines, the system establishes new models that facilitate compliance with fiscal obligations.

What is Batuz?

Batuz is a tax control strategy implemented by the Bizkaia government that applies to all companies and self-employed persons subject to the regulations of Bizkaia – regardless of their size and volume of operations – comprising the following requirements:

  1. Compliant invoicing software (TicketBAI)
  2. Ledger Reporting Economic Operations (LROE)
  3. Provision of draft tax returns prepared by the tax authority

Batuz characteristics

The tax authority based Batuz on the three pillars listed above. Each one entails the following set of obligations that, together, encompass compliance:

  1. TicketBAI invoicing software: Taxpayers must adjust their invoicing software to comply with specific standards to guarantee the integrity, conservation, traceability and inviolability of records that document the supply of goods and services.
    Invoices generated by TicketBAI software must carry a unique identification code and a QR code. Additionally, for every issued invoice, the software must create a record in the XML TicketBAI format schema with a digital signature to be incorporated into the LROE.
    The compliant software must be in the TicketBAI guarantor software registry. The tax administrations of Álava, Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa, in collaboration with the Basque Government, manage the TicketBAI initiative. However, each territory has their own rules and timelines for implementing TicketBAI.
  2. Ledger of Economic Operations (Libro Registro de Operaciones Económicas): This is the electronic ledger comprised of six chapters in which income, expenses and invoices of the companies who carry out economic activities will be declared via model 240. Generally, the ledger must be transmitted quarterly to the Bizkaia tax authority. For companies under the SII mandate, however, the deadline is four days from operation completion. Nonetheless, the authority will consider the SII obligation as fulfilled by sending the LROE by the applicable deadline.
  3. Preparation of draft VAT and income tax returns: Finally, with the information from the LROE, the Bizkaia tax authority will prepare drafts of VAT, corporate and income returns and make them available to covered taxpayers.

Batuz deadlines

Voluntary adoption has been possible since 1 January 2022, with tax incentives for those who commit to early compliance.

From 1 January 2024, Batuz will become mandatory in Bizkaia for all taxpayers in scope – meaning there will not be a phased roll-out, as is usually the case.

For more guidance on the nuances of tax in Bizkaia, speak to our experts.

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Kelly Muniz

Kelly Muniz is a Junior Regulatory Counsel at Sovos. Based in Stockholm and originally from Brazil, Kelly earned a Bachelor’s degree in Law in her home country, where she worked as a licensed lawyer. She also holds a Master’s degree in EU Business Law from Lund University in Sweden.
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