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Charge VAT from Spanish client with a NIF no.?
Thread poster: PCovs

PCovs
Denmark
Local time: 02:02
Member (2003)
English to Danish
+ ...
Oct 29, 2006

Based in Denmark I should normally charge VAT from a client in another EU country who does not have a VAT no., but what about Spanish clients?

As I understand it, a freelancer in Spain does not have to have a VAT no. What do I do in this case? Can I still charge without VAT, or do I have to treat this person as a "private client" and charge VAT?


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lexical  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:02
Portuguese to English
freelancers in Spain can have VAT numbers Oct 29, 2006

Firstly, it's not true that freelancers in Spain do not, as a rule, have VAT numbers. You need to ask if they have a "número de registro de operador intracomunitario" (NROI - intraCommunity registration number = VAT number). Freelance translators can apply for this by ticking the appropriate box on the right form. As a freelancer, I have one, though I've heard of others being told by their tax office that they can't (simple misinterpretation of the rules).

That said, it's not compulsory to have a NROI and freelancers whose work is mostly inside Spain may not bother. We still have to account for VAT though, alas!

Our VAT numbers are the same as our NIFs, with "ES" as a prefix, but you need to check that they are registered by entering their number at http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/vies/en/vieshome.htm.

As I understand it, if they do not have a valid VAT number, you need to treat them as private customer and charge VAT.

Hope this is of some help.


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Anjo Sterringa  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:02
Member (2003)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Freelancers in Spain do have VAT numbers Oct 29, 2006

I never realised I had an 'NROI', but I must have as my bookkeeper makes these annual overviews on 'operaciones intracomunitarias' of more than X euro.

As there is no VAT threshold or anything like that in Spain, as a freelancer you are liable to pay VAT - which on the other hand is handy for intra EU operations. So, as far as I am aware, a Spanish freelancer (autónomo) always has a VAT number.

BUT to make things confusing, everybody in Spain has a NIF, freelancer, employed or not. It is just your general identification number, also used for tax purposes. If you 'are' a company, this NIF number is also your VAT number, but it does not change, no additions (not counting the country code).

It does not always help either to check the number on
http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/vies/en/vieshome.htm

(this link should work) as some numbers are seen as invalid, like my own Spanish VAT number while I have been a freelancer in Spain for years. Possibly something to do with the fact that 'foreigners' in Spain have a NIE (sort of NIF, but for foreigners) with an X as a prefix.

[Edited at 2006-10-29 22:05]


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:02
German to English
+ ...
Charge VAT from Spanish client with a NIF no.? Oct 30, 2006

PCovs wrote:

As I understand it, a freelancer in Spain does not have to have a VAT no. What do I do in this case? Can I still charge without VAT, or do I have to treat this person as a "private client" and charge VAT?


I presume the legislation in Denmark is the same as that in other EU countries, in which case VAT is not charged to legitimate businesses in other EU countries, regardless of whether they are registered for VAT or not. (I have checked the UK, German and Dutch legislation, all of which are clear on this.) You therefore need proof that the customer is a business. The VAT number is one way of proving this but is not the only way. If the Danish VAT legislation is available online, you should be able to verify this.

Marc


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lexical  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:02
Portuguese to English
trying to be clearer... Oct 30, 2006

When I said "VAT number", I should have said "Community VAT number", which here is the NROI. Speaking from the Spanish perspective only, I can only legally charge 0% VAT to clients in other EU countries if they have a "Community VAT number" shown as valid on VIES, and I do too. Otherwise, I have to charge them the full rate of VAT, as is the case inside Spain.

As Anjo says, all freelancers here are registered for VAT (with their NIF) and have to account for it. So your Spanish client, PCovs, will be able to offset any VAT you charge him/her if he/she is not registered in the ROI.

The key thing though, surely, is to follow the Danish tax code, as Marc points out.

If Anjo's NROI doesn't work, I don't think it's likely to be the fault of VIES, and it isn't to do with the 'X' on the front of her NIE (my situation is the same and my "Community VAT number" is shown as valid on VIES). She needs to check if, when she registered as an autónomo on Modelo 036, she checked box 217 (Solicitud de alta en el Registro de Operadores Intracomunitarios) or whether her gestor has ever done this as a modification subsequently. Doing this should make her show up on VIES within a couple of weeks.


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