Current Situation in Spain regarding the E-Invoice and key aspects to be considered for the future

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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​published on 8 May 2024 | reading time approx. 2 minutes

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The future of electronic invoicing can be glimpsed in the draft regulation published on 15 June 2023, and in the predecessor law “Crea y Crece”, Law 18/2022 dated on 28 September 2022. The implementation of E-Invoicing will mean significant changes in the way companies currently operate. It is therefore essential to be aware of the legislative developments taking place now and in the near future in Spain. 

  

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The beginning of electronic invoicing dates back to 2014, when Law 25/2013 came into force, which imposed the obligation of electronic invoicing in the framework of contracting between companies and the state public sector. 
  
Previously, the invoicing regulation 1619/2012, dated on 30 November 2012, included electronic invoicing for those cases in which the recipient had given its consent. 
  
It is in the year 2022 when the concept of electronic invoicing reappears. Thus, the aforementioned law 18/2022 known as “Ley Crea y Crece” establishes the obligation of E-Invoicing in B2B transactions and for some B2C transactions.
  
Nevertheless, this obligation will not come into force until one or two years have elapsed (depending on the turnover) since the regulatory development of the law has been published:
  • One year after the publication of the regulatory development for companies and entrepreneurs with an annual turnover of more than 8 million euros. 
  • Two years after the publication of the regulatory development for the rest of companies and entrepreneurs. 
As of the date of publication of this article, April 2024, this regulatory development has not yet been published and, therefore, terms for the entry into force of the obligation have not yet begun. ​​​Nevertheless, the Ministry of Finance in 2023 did publish a draft of regulation, which is a great help in anticipating what is coming regarding e-invoicing. 
  
In this respect, the most relevant aspects to consider are as follows: 
  
With regard to the subjective scope, E-Invoicing will apply to all entrepreneurs who are obliged to issue and deliver invoices for transactions carried out in the course of their B2B activities. The obligation is excluded when one of the two parties participating in the transaction doesn´t have in Spanish territory: 
  • its place of business, or 
  • a permanent establishment to which the invoicing is addressed, or in its absence, 
  • the place of its domicile or habitual residence. 
There are some exceptions to this E-Invoicing, for example, when simplified invoices (cash receipts) are issued. 
  
The exchange of E-Invoices will be done through two types of E-Invoice exchange platforms, a public platform or a private platform that meet the requirements foreseen for this purpose. In addition, all issuers of electronic invoices using private platforms will be obliged to send a true copy of each invoice in Facturae syntax to the public platform. 
  
Companies will be required to issue, receive and report the status (acceptance, rejection or payment/collection) of the E-Invoices electronically.
  
The deadlines for reporting the different statuses of E-Invoices will be short, a maximum of four calendar days from the date of the status reported in each case. 
  
Regarding the format, an electronic invoice is a structured computer message that has one of the following syntaxes: 
  1. ​UN/CEFACT XML message of the invoice applicable to the whole industry. 
  2. ​Invoice and credit note UBL messages (ISO/IEC 19845:2015 standard). 
  3. Invoice EDIFACT message according to ISO 9735 standard 
  4. Facturae message 
  
All of this is just a general idea of the digital transformation of invoicing that is taking place in Spain. We are currently waiting for the approval of the regulation to know the final details of electronic invoicing system.​​
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