VAT Numbers in Spain
Thread poster: Rod Brookes

Rod Brookes  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:34
Member (2008)
Spanish to English
Sep 15, 2009

Dear Colleagues,

Hoping that someone can help me with what I wonder might be a common problem.

I have just ordered from a product from a supplier based in Hungary, who told me that unless I provided them with my VAT number they would have to levy VAT at their national rate. So I gave them my NIF because I understand, and maybe I'm wrong, that in Spain your NIF and your VAT number are one and the same. Unfortunately, my supplier replied that they could not waive VAT because my NIF number was not recognised as a valid VAT number by this site here:

http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/vies/vieshome.do

Now I've been registered as an autónomo since November 2008 and so have made several quarterly IVA returns, so I don't quite understand why my NIF is not being recognised as a valid VAT number.

Is there some other administrative step that I should have taken?

Any advice on (or experience with) this issue gratefully received


Rod


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Chris Lancaster  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:34
Member
Spanish to English
Try this Sep 15, 2009

According to that site, Spanish NIFs have to be 9-block numbers. Has your supplier tried putting an X at the beginning as well as the final letter?

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Rod Brookes  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:34
Member (2008)
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
I've tried it myself Sep 15, 2009

Thanks Chris, but no it doesn't actually work for me when I type my NIF into that site, and I've been very careful to follow the instructions (in the FAQ that comes up when it rejects the number you've put in). As you say, it needs to be a nine character number.

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Narcis Lozano Drago  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:34
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Registro de operadores intracomunitarios Sep 15, 2009

When you fulfilled your autónomo application (036 Form) did you check the "Pedir el alta en el registro de operadores intracomunitarios" checkbox? Otherwise, AFAIK, you can't issue invoices to other EU countries.


Narcís


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Bea Geenen  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
I agree with Narcis Sep 15, 2009

I agree with Narcis- you have to apply for an European VAT number. My accountant did it for me, so I don't know the practical details, but it basically is my NIE-number (not my NIF number) with the letters ES in front. (I don't have a company, I'm just registered as 'autónoma' in Spain.)

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Rod Brookes  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:34
Member (2008)
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
That could well be the problem Sep 15, 2009

Thanks, Narcis and Bea.

I also had my accountant prepare and submit my modelo 036 for me. I'm looking at a copy of it now and indeed that box wasn't checked. I obviously checked through the 036 at the time but didn't pick up that section as being one with any consequences. Up until now, all my clients have been Spanish or non-EU and so it hasn't been an issue. I don't think my accountant is used to dealing with clients who operate internationally, so it may not have occurred to her to raise it with me.

I will ask her to modify the 036 at the same time as I make the October IVA return, and let's hope that deals with the problem. Thanks again,

Rod


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