Obligation and legal requirements when raising an invoice. Binding tax ruling V1884-22 of August 9, 2022


The consultant is an entity dedicated to the fuel distribution through its gas stations, which wants to know the validity of a billing system that would work as follows:

  • The data of the invoices would be showed to the customer only at the fuel dispenser (display of the data of the invoices), or
  • The invoices would be sent by e-mail, on a monthly basis, before the 7th of the following month.

It is convenient to begin reminding that article 164 of the VAT Act establishes, in principle, the obligation for taxable person to issue an invoice for the services carry out in the development of their business activity, with no exceptions other than those included in the Invoicing Regulation.

In this sense, it is specified that, in any case, an invoice must be issued in transactions in which the recipient is a taxable person.

Regarding the means for raising invoices, the article 8 of the Invoicing Regulation establishes that invoices may be issued by any means, on paper or in electronic format, that allows the party obliged to issue them to guarantee the authenticity of their origin, the integrity of its content and its legibility, from its date of issue and throughout the period of conservation.

In addition, article 9 of the aforementioned Invoicing Regulation, in line with the provisions of article 232 of Directive 2006/112/EC on VAT, establishes that the use of electronic invoicing is conditional on the acceptance of this billing system by part of the recipient of the invoice. This need of acceptance by the recipient is due to the technical requirements needed to receive an electronic invoice. Such acceptance may be express or implied and must constitute an informed consent. In addition, the revocation of such acceptance by the recipient is always possible.

Regarding the deadline for the issuance of invoices, in principle, these must be issued at the time of carrying out the transaction, however, when the recipient of the transaction is a company or an entrepreneur acting as such, the invoices must be issued before 16th day of the month following that in which the accrual of the Tax corresponding to the aforementioned transaction took place.

It is important to point out that the clients of the consulting company which initially did not request a complete invoice, but rather received a ticket (simplifying invoice), may request it later, within the four-year period established for the exercise of the right to deduction.

According to the above the General Tax Directorate replies that the consulting entity will be obliged to issue and deliver an invoice to the recipients of its transactions in the terms provided for in the Invoicing Regulations, since it is an obligation established by the Spanish General Tax Regulations, as well as by the VAT Act, and cannot be altered by the parties involved in the transactions, even if the recipient thereof renounces to receive it.

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