Purchase invoices and the refund document ERD
No. A condition for the refund of input VAT on purchases of goods by non-resident travellers in the EU is that the traveller presents the goods at the customs office of export.The endorsement of the electronic export refund document by the customs office of export is the proof of export which certifies that the goods have left the territory of the Union.
Therefore, if the goods have not been presented and the electronic refund document, DER, has not been endorsed, does not meet the requirements to which the regulations make entitlement to a VAT refund conditional.
Only goods purchased that actually leave the European Union are eligible for refunds under the VAT scheme for travellers.A sensu contrario, the exemption does not apply to services of any kind (accommodation, car hire, catering, etc.).
The provision of an extended warranty service is an ancillary service to the good, and as a service it is not eligible for a refund of the VAT to which it is subject.
For the refund of input VAT paid by non-resident travellers in the EU, the VAT must first have been charged and documented on invoices and on an electronic refund document.(DER)
When the traveller leaves the EU, they must present the goods together with the invoice and the electronic refund document (ERD) at the departure Customs office to be stamped, provided that the legal conditions laid down for this purpose have been met.
If the departure customs office is in Spain, this ERD stamp will always be electronic when it relates to purchases made on or after 1 January 2019.
For purchases made before 1 January 2019, the stamping of the invoice or electronic document may be manual or electronic.Manual stamping, with a physical stamp (rubber stamp), was carried out either on the ERD, directly on the invoice or on the tax free form submitted together with the sales invoice.
During this transitional period, manual stamping has the same effect as digital stamping.
The electronic refund document may be stamped at any point of exit from the European Union, through our country.
For more information see "Ports and airports with DIVA".
According to the legislation, it is the seller's obligation to issue the invoice and the electronic refund document (ERD).This obligation may be fulfilled personally or through a VAT refund partner under the mandate of the VAT refund partner (with a corresponding contractual relationship).Whatever the form of issue, the obligation to issue the RCD must be physically fulfilled by the taxable person responsible for the transaction, i.e. the seller of the goods, who must provide the traveller with a copy of the RCD.
The seller must always verify, at the time of sale, the identity of the traveller and his residence outside the European Union by showing a passport, identity card or other document.
The above obligation to always verify the identity of the traveller and his residence must be physically fulfilled by the seller in any case and at the time and place where the purchase is made.
For sales made on or after 1 January 2019, refunds of Value Added Tax under the travellers' scheme must be documented, in addition to the corresponding receipt, by means of the electronic refund document (hereinafter referred to as ERD).
The seller must issue the corresponding invoice and an electronic refund document (ERD), available at the e-Office of the Tax Agency, in which the goods purchased and the corresponding tax must be stated separately.
Thus, the issuing of the electronic refund document by the seller is not discretionary for the seller, but a genuine legal obligation on the same level as the obligation to issue a receipt, as can be inferred from the wording of Article 9 of the tax regulation, approved by Royal Decree 1624/1992 of 29 December (BOE of 31 December).
If you are a traveller normally resident outside the European Union and have made purchases in Spain, the shop should have given you an electronic refund document (ERD) with the word DIVA at the top together with the corresponding receipt.When leaving the EU through a Spanish port or airport with a DIVA kiosk, you will be able to fill in your ERD digitally by going directly to the kiosk.
To do this:
- Locate the kiosk at your departure airport/port
- Choose the corresponding language
- Scan the barcode of the ERD with the reader
- Follow the instructions on the screen
If the result is OK (green circuit) you already have the DER visa.You only need to claim your money from the shop or the collaborating entity, by submitting the electronically endorsed RER.
If the result is not OK (Red Circuit), you will get a message informing you of the need for additional checks for the DER visa, and you will have to go to the nearest Customs office or Tax Free Stamping Office, where they can check if all the conditions for the DER visa and VAT refund are met.To do so, you will have to go to that office accompanied by the goods you have purchased and which you must carry in your personal luggage, as well as your passport, your invoice, your boarding card and a document proving your residence outside the EU.These offices are easily identifiable on signs at airports.
In DIVA, discounts may appear with a product category of their own, explicitly identified, and allowing for negative monetary values.
The electronic refund document is an electronic message sent by the supplier, or by the collaborating entity on their behalf, and which is recorded at the Tax Agency.
The regulation makes the right of refund conditional on the electronic stamping of the ERD.A sensu contrario, if the electronic document for the delivery of goods is not in the Tax Agency system at the time of stamping, the refund will not be possible under the travellers' regime, without prejudice to the possible existence of a contingency plan in the event of a failure of Tax Agency systems.
In case of discrepancies between the manual stamp and the digital stamp, the result of the electronic system prevails, as it is much more reliable for all those involved in the process.
In DIVA, the whole process is possible in a paperless environment.
To this end, travellers may present themselves at the departure customs office with the digital electronic refund document.
However, it is advisable for shops to provide a paper copy of the electronic refund document in case the traveller departs via a Member State other than Spain.
If the traveller leaves the European Union while in transit at another European airport, the stamp for the electronic refund document corresponding to the goods checked in must be carried out at the Spanish departure customs office (start of the journey).
For goods carried in hand luggage, the electronic refund document may be stamped at either the departure customs office (if the traveller also has checked-in luggage) or at the customs office at the place of transit.
If the purchases have been made in an EU country other than Spain, they will have to look for the customs office, announced as Tax Free Stamping Office and Tax Free Customs Office and easily identifiable with the following signs:
Tax Free Customs Office
Tax Free stamping office
At the stamping office, they must present their passport, boarding card, receipt and goods.The invoice will be stamped with a physical seal (rubber stamp) and in order to make the right of reimbursement effective, you must proceed as indicated by the regulations of the country where the purchases were made.