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Spain beyond the SII: The certified invoicing software to come (the TicketBAI project)

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From the VAT point of view Spain has territorial specificities arising from the existence of autonomous regions with regulatory powers in indirect taxation. This creates different scenarios varying from territories where the VAT does not apply at all (Ceuta and Melilla) or is substituted by a similar regional indirect tax (the IGIC of the Canary Islands) to those where the VAT is applied with certain peculiarities (the Basque Country and Navarra).

 

Foreign companies operating in Spain need to be aware of such scenarios as the same may give rise to a complexity as to their Spanish reporting obligations. Clear example is the existence of, although similar, six different “Immediate Information Supply” (SII) reporting regimes depending of the tax administration that is competent according to the operative of the company.

 

This complexity may give rise to situations where a company obliged to file VAT returns and, if applicable, SII reports, must do it either to the central tax authority (the State Agency for Administration of Taxes, AEAT) or to the corresponding regional tax administration accommodating to their specific regulations. Also, if operating in the Canary Islands, it may also be obliged to file IGIC returns and, if applicable, specific SII reports for this tax.

 

Consequence of this “status quo” is that foreign companies must be aware of the possibility that, depending of their operative, not only the Spanish tax administration but the regional tax authorities of the territories affected may introduce new specific formal obligations affecting their administrative burden.

 

A clear example is the “TicketBAI project” a joint initiative of the Basque Country Government with its three provincial tax administrations Alava, Guipuzcoa and Vizcaya to introduce the obligation for companies and entrepreneurs, if within the scope of the Basque inspection, to generate their invoices with the use of an homologated invoicing software. As to this end, companies operating in the Basque Country will qualify as within the scope of the corresponding Basque inspection:

 

  • If tax domiciled in the Spanish common VAT territory when 75% or more of their turnover takes place in the Basque Country.

 

  • If tax domiciled in the Basque Country when less than 75% of their turnover takes place outside such territory.

 

This new obligation is meant as an anti-fraud measure and will be partially introduced since the 1st January 2021, to be progressively extended to all VAT taxable subjects during 2021 and 2022 following a calendar to be published in January 2020 and where the corresponding deadlines and economic sectors affected will be detailed.

 

Although the technical specifications and electronic signature policy are already accessible at the different websites of the local tax administrations, the legal regulation of the new obligation will actually be published within the year 2020.

 

The homologated invoicing software will operate as follows:

 

  • It will generate a sequential numbering of the invoices electronically signed.

 

  • Two new fields will be added to the invoices that will incorporate all its data in a different format, namely: a TBAI identifying code and a code QR.

 

  • Following the issuing of the invoice an XML-TBAI file will be automatically issued by the software and electronically send to the corresponding local tax administration. In order to facilitate the compliance with the new obligation the tax sites of these local tax administrations will offer free access to a homologated invoicing software so companies and entrepreneurs can generate their invoices without having to use their own internal software.

 

A mailbox dedicated to answer tax consultations related to the TicketBAI project will be habilitated at the websites of the regional tax authorities since the 2nd January 2020.

 

We do not want to conclude without two closing remarks which we consider important:

 

  1. Unless the existing Basque regulations of the SII are changed this new obligation to use a homologated invoicing software is not incompatible nor modifies the current SII obligations of the company.

 

  1. Although the TickecBAI project limits its scope to the Basque Country and will not affect to companies outside of its territorial scope (i.e. only affecting companies that operate is its territory when within the scope of the Basque tax inspection) it is not to be dismissed that similar initiatives are taken at a general level.

 

Note The links included in this article are made to the website of the regional tax authorities of Guipuzcoa.

 

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