Treatment of warehouses under Spanish VAT
By Carlos Frühbeck Olmedo, Ficesa Treuhand, S.A.P.
In general, if a business has a warehouse or deposit located in Spain, it is considered to have a permanent establishment in this country. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.
Below, three common examples of warehouses and how to deal with them for VAT for B2B supplies in Spain.
a) Storage on consignment: The foreign supplier constitutes a deposit of goods in the facilities of its Spanish customer, who withdraws the goods from storage according to its needs. Spanish tax administration considers that there is no permanent establishment. The foreign supplier is not required to register for VAT in Spain.
b) Logistics warehouse: The foreign supplier contracts a logistics warehouse with a third party. In this case, the foreign supplier is required to register for VAT in Spain. Reverse charge procedure applies to sales made to Spanish customers. The foreign supplier must issue his invoices without Spanish VAT, transferring the obligation to pay the VAT to the Spanish customers.
c) Warehouse operated by the foreign supplier: The foreign supplier has a warehouse in Spain which is operated by the supplier itself. In this case, the supplier is required to register for VAT in Spain. In addition, the supplier must charge Spanish VAT on sales carried out with Spanish customers and pay the tax to Spanish tax authorities.
The qualification of the warehouse is also important for the purpose of determining the VAT refund procedure to be applied by the business. In the first two examples, the supplier must request the refund through the procedure for non-residents provided in the EU Directive. In the last example, the supplier must request the refund through the general procedure applicable to other Spanish businesses.
Carlos Frühbeck OlmedoFicesa Treuhand, S.A.P., Madrid, Spain
T: +34 91 700 43 50
Carlos Frühbeck Carlos Frühbeck is member of the Spanish Official Register of Chartered Accountants. He speaks English and German fluently and is currently managing partner of Ficesa Treuhand, S.A.P., an accounting, auditing and fiscal advisory company founded in 1978. The company currently have five offices in Spain, located in Madrid, Barcelona, Marbella, Palma de Mallorca and Gran Canaria. The firm specialises in providing services to Spanish subsidiaries of multinational groups. The staff speak German, English and French in addition to Spanish.
Published: October 2016 l Photo: Colourbox.de