Skip to main content
Practical Handbook VAT 2022

Duty to bill

Employers and professionals are under the obligation to issue an invoice and a copy of it for the delivery of goods and rendering of services that they carry out in the performance of their activity, and to keep a copy of it.They must also issue invoices in the case of advanced payments, except for exempt Intra-EU deliveries of goods.

Likewise, other persons and entities that do not have the status of business person or professional are obliged to issue and keep invoices or other supporting documents for the transactions they carry out.

1.Cases of compulsory invoicing

Always and in any case, companies and professionals are under the obligation of issuing an invoice in the following cases:

  • When the recipient is an employer or professional that acts as such.

  • When the recipient of the operation requires it for the exercise of any right of a tax nature.

  • Exports of goods exempt from VAT (except the ones carried out in duty-frees).

  • Intra-EU deliveries of goods exempt from VAT.

  • When the recipient is a Public Administration or a legal person who does not act as employer or professional.

  • Deliveries of goods to be installed or assembled before they are made available.

  • Distance sales when they are deemed to be made in the territory where the tax applies.

2.Exceptions to the duty to bill

There is no obligation to issue an invoice, unless it is one of the cases indicated as compulsory in the previous section, in the following transactions:

  • Transactions exempt from VAT under Article 20 of the VAT Law.However, issuing an invoice will be compulsory for transactions exempt under Article 20.1.2, 3, 4, 5, 15, 20, 22, 24, 25 and 28 of the VAT Law.

  • Those carried out by taxable persons in carrying out activities subject to the special equivalence surcharge system.Nevertheless, an invoice should always be issued for supplies of immovable property that are subject to and not exempt from the Tax.

  • Those carried out by entrepreneurs or professionals in the course of activities for which they are covered by the simplified VAT system, unless the determination of the tax liability is made on the basis of the volume of income.Nonetheless, an invoice should always be issued for transfers of fixed assets.

  • Those operations which, with reference to businesses or professional sectors or specific companies, are authorised by the Taxation Management Department of the Tax Agency, in order to avoid disruptions in the development of the economic activities of business people or professionals.

There is also no obligation to issue an invoice in the case of the supplies of services defined in Article 20.One 16º and 18º, paragraphs a) to n) of the VAT Law, unless:

  • They are deemed to be carried out on the TAI or in another Member State and are subject to, and not exempt from, TAI.

  • Are deemed to be carried out in the TAI, the Canary Islands, Ceuta or Melilla, are subject to and exempt therefrom and are carried out by business people or professionals other than insurance companies, management companies of collective investment institutions, pension fund management companies, securitisation funds and their management companies, credit institutions, through the head offices of their economic activity or permanent establishment located in the aforementioned territory.

  • The Taxation Administration Department of the Tax Agency exempts other business people or professionals from the obligation to issue invoices, at the request of the interested parties, when this is justified by the commercial or administrative practices of the sector of activity in question or by the technical conditions for issuing these invoices.

There is no obligation to issue a "self-invoice" in the case of intra-EU acquisitions, nor in the case of reverse charge transactions.However, the original invoice or accounting receipt issued by the person making the supply giving rise to the intra-EU acquisition or the supply of services or the delivery of goods giving rise to the reverse charge shall be regarded as the supporting document for the deduction, provided that the acquisition of goods or services is included in the corresponding self-assessment.

3.Possibility of issuing monthly invoicing documents.Recapitulative invoices

Operations carried out on different dates for a same recipient can be included in a single invoice, provided that they have been carried out in a same calendar month.

Transactions shall be deemed to have been carried out on the date on which the accrual of tax occurs.