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Practical Handbook VAT 2022

Calculating the taxable base

1.Calculation using the profit margin of each transaction

The taxable amount is the profit margin, excluding VAT.

Profit margin:

[Selling price (incl. VAT) - Purchase price (incl. VAT)].


An antique dealer buys a piece of furniture for 100 euros (including VAT) and sells it for 200 euros (including VAT).

Profit margin = 200 -100 = 100 (including VAT).

Taxable base = 100 ÷ (100 + 21) (1) x 100 = 82.64 euros

Accrued contribution = 82.64 x 21% = 17.35 Euros


(1) General tax rate.If books were sold, for example, the figure would be 4, not 21, since book deliveries are taxed at the reduced rate of 4%.

2.Calculation using the overall profit margin.

This is applied to certain goods when the taxpayer has chosen to file the declaration to start an activity, or in the month of December in the year before it is set to take effect, and until the time it is waived, which cannot occur until the end of the next calendar year.

Goods to which it applies:

  • Stamps, state-issued paper, notes and coins of philatelic or numismatic interest.

  • Records, magnetic tapes and other audio or image supports.

  • Books, magazines and other publications.

  • Assets authorised by the Tax Management Department of the AEAT upon request by the interested party.The Administration can revoke this authorisation if the circumstances that give rise to it are not present.

The taxable amount consists of the overall profit margin for each assessment period less the amount of VAT corresponding to this margin.

Overall profit margin:

(Sales price (including VAT) of the supplies of goods in the liquidation period - Purchase price (including VAT) of the goods purchased in the same period).

Deliveries exempted for export or similar operations, those relating to free zones, free warehouses and other warehouses, and those relating to customs and tax regimes are not taken into account in purchases or sales.

If this margin is negative, the gross tax base will be zero, and the margin will be added to the purchase amount of the following period.

Taxable persons must carry out an annual adjustment of their stocks as follows:

Regularisation of stocks

(Closing balance - opening balance) is:

  • - Positive:is added to the sales of the last period
  • - Negative:is added to the purchases of the last period

For the purposes of this adjustment, in cases of commencement or cessation of the application of this method of determining the tax base, an inventory of stocks must be made at the date of commencement or cessation, recording the purchase price of the goods or, failing this, the value of the goods on the date of their acquisition.These inventories must be submitted within 15 days of commencement or cessation.It can be submitted at the Delegation or Administration of the AEAT of the tax domicile or electronically through the procedure set up at the E-Office for the submission of the inventory of stocks due to the start-up or cessation of an activity subject to special regimes of VAT .