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VAT practical manual 2021.

General rule

The taxable base of the tax is constituted by the total amount of the consideration for the operations subject to it from the recipient or third parties.

When the taxable person does not expressly and separately charge the tax amount on the invoice, it is understood that the consideration did not include said amounts, except in the following cases:

  1. When the express impact of the tax is not mandatory.

  2. In the cases of perceptions withheld in accordance with law in the case of resolution of the operations.

Included in the concept of consideration are:

  1. Any effective credit in favor of the person making the delivery or providing the service, derived from the main or accessory services, such as commission, shipping and transportation expenses, insurance or premiums for services anticipated.


    The rental of a premises will include the amount of the rent, the amounts assimilated to the rent and any other amount that the lessor may demand from the tenant, such as community expenses, the amount of the Real Estate Tax, the costs of heating, water, electricity, works, etc.

    Interest for the deferral of payment of the price will not be included when the following requirements are met:

    1. That correspond to a period after the delivery of the goods or the provision of the services.

    2. That they are remuneration for financial operations of postponement or delay in payment of the price, exempt from tax.

    3. That appear separately on the invoice issued by the taxable person.

    4. That they do not exceed that usually applied in the market.


    • April: 30,000 and 1,000 euros of interest.
    • October: 40,000 and 2,000 euros of interest.
    • December: 30,000 and 3,000 euros of interest.

    The tax base will be:

    • April: 31,000, includes interest because it is prior to accrual.

    • October: 70,000 (40,000 to be paid in October plus the 30,000 to be paid in December), upon delivery the VAT of the pending payments is accrued, interest not being part of the tax base accrued from this moment.

  2. The subsidies linked directly to the price of the operations, that is, established based on the number of units delivered or the volume of services provided when determined before the operation is carried out.

    Both the DGT , in its consultation no. 0285-03, and the TJCE in its ruling of November 22, 2002, have qualified the second of the requirements demanded in the previous paragraph, in the sense that “ what must be established prior to carrying out the deliveries of goods or the provision of subsidized services is not so much the amount of the subsidy as the mechanism for determining it, so that the businessman or professional who carries out the operation is in a position to determine its amount, but without it necessarily being established in monetary units with such advance notice ”.


    A passenger transport company receives two subsidies: one of 2 euros for each transported traveler and another of 20,000 euros which is intended to cover the cost of the bus. The price of the trip is 10 euros plus VAT .

    The first subsidy is included in the tax base as it is directly associated with the price of the ticket.

    • Travel cost: 10
    • Subsidy associated with the trip: 2
    • Total tax base: 12
    • VAT 10% x 12: 1.20
    • Price of the bill: 10
    • VAT: 1.20
    • Total to pay by the user: 11.20

    The second subsidy is not included in the tax base because it does not meet the requirement of being established based on the volume of services provided.

    The requirements that must be met for a subsidy to be considered directly linked to the price have been simplified based on the criteria contemplated by the Court of Justice of the European Union in the ruling of March 27, 2014 (case C-151/13). This criterion is also recognized by the Central Economic Administrative Court, among others, in its resolution of November 20, 2014 (Resolution No. 01360/2011) and by the General Directorate of Taxes in consultations V4149-15 and V2263-16.

    In the aforementioned Sentence, the CJEU specifies that the taxable base of the tax will be constituted by everything received as compensation for the service provided, with only the existence of a direct link between the provision of the service being necessary. service and the compensation obtained. In this sense, it clarifies that, to recognize this link, it is not necessary that the direct beneficiary of the benefit be the recipient of the service nor that the consideration be linked to individualized service benefits. It will be necessary for the service to be actually provided as consideration for the payment, without requiring that said consideration be received directly by the recipient of the service, but rather it may be a third party who pays for it.

    However, is excluded from the consideration of subsidies linked to the price , and, therefore, monetary contributions made by the Public Administration to finance:

    1. The management of public services or the promotion of culture in which there is no significant distortion of competition, regardless of the form of management. These are financial contributions that Public Administrations make to the operator of certain public competition services when there is no distortion of competition, generally because, as they are activities financed in whole or in part by the Administration, they are not provided under a free competition regime, such as For example, municipal transportation services or certain cultural activities financed with these contributions.

      These contributions will not limit the right to deduction regulated in the last paragraph of article 93.Five of the VAT Law .

    2. Activities of general interest whose recipient is the entire society, as there is no identifiable recipient nor users who pay any compensation. This would be the case of contributions made to finance research, development and innovation activities or public broadcasting services, under the conditions indicated, without prejudice to the consequences that may arise from this regarding the exercise of the right to deduction.

  3. The taxes and levies of any kind that fall on the same taxed operations, except the VAT itself .

    Included are the Special Taxes required in relation to the goods that are the subject of the taxed operations, with the exception of the Special Tax on Certain Means of Transport.

  4. The perceptions withheld in accordance with law by the person obliged to provide the service in cases of resolution of the operations.

  5. The amount of the containers and packaging , including those that can be returned, charged to the recipients of the operation.

  6. The amount of the debts assumed by the recipient as total or partial consideration for the operations.

    Not included in the tax base:

    1. The compensations , other than those contemplated in the previous section, which do not constitute consideration or compensation for the subject operations.

    2. The discounts and bonuses granted prior or simultaneously to the moment in which the operation is carried out and based on it and that are justified by any means of proof admitted by law.

      This provision will not be applicable when price reductions constitute remuneration for other operations.

    3. The sums paid in the name and on behalf of the client, by virtue of the client's express mandate. The taxable person is obliged to justify the effective amount of such expenses and cannot deduct the tax that would have been levied on them.

      It is essential that the invoice appears in the name of the client, the final recipient of the operation.

      Requirements that must be met to exclude supplies from the tax base:

      1. These must be sums paid in the name and on behalf of the client. This will ordinarily be accredited by the corresponding invoice issued to the client.

      2. The payment of these sums must be made by virtue of an express mandate, verbal or written, from the client on whose behalf the action is being taken, which excludes the possibility of considering as compensation the expenses incurred by the businessman or professional without knowing the name of the client. your potential client.

      3. The amount received by the mediator must exactly match the amount of the expense incurred by the client.

      4. The businessman or professional mediator will not be able to deduct the tax that would have been levied on the expenses paid in the name and on behalf of his client.