When your company sells goods to entrepreneurs or any other VAT recordings in the European Union (EU) you should not charge VAT. This is because these operations (called “intra-EC deliveries”) are 0% rated or exempt from said tax though the self-charge reverse scheme. How ever in order to do this, you must be able to justify that the goods have been transported to another EU country, so that if the Tax Authority considers that the supporting documents are not sufficient, they might challenge the intra-EC delivery and may require you to charge and pay Spanish VAT.
From January 1st 2020, in order to offer greater legal certainty, it has been clarified which are the concrete supporting documents from now on to show evidence of the transport, so that if your company is in possession of such supporting documents, the Tax Authorities must accept that the sales are exempt from Spanish VAT, and if they do not accept the exemption, it will be their obligation to prove that the documents are not valid.
We distinguish two cases:
A.Transportation by the seller. If your company – or a third party on your behalf – is the one in charge of transporting the merchandise, you must have the following means of proof:
- At least two transport-related documents issued by independent parties (for example, a signed CMR waybill or bill of lading, an air freight invoice or a carrier invoice).
- Either one of the previous evidence and at least one of the following transport documents: the transport insurance policy, proof of payment, an official document issued by a public authority, or a receipt of the goods issued by A warehouse in the country of destination.
B.Transportation by the acquirer. If it is the acquirer – or a third party hired by him – who is responsible for transportation, in addition to the previous evidence, he must obtain a statement from said acquirer certifying that the goods have been transported.
All this also applies the sale of yachts within the EU. However, yachts from a considerable size are normally transported by their own means; so, how to justify the transport and delivery to other countries of the European Union?
In order to have specific evidence of the transport and delivery outside Spanish VAT territory we should be able to present besides all contractual documents, tax returns and invoice, also a protocol of delivery signed at arrival in destination by the acquirer or recipient and original official document of arrival issued by the port or marina of the Member State of destination (port call from the port authority). This would help in case of tax inspection.
Carlos Espinosa – Solicitor & Tax Advisor
+34 627 41 32 01