Writing an invoice (“factura”) for clients from abroad

If you’re required to write a “factura” for abroad clients, you might like to start off by reading my recent entry on writing an invoice, which gives you a basic guide on how to write an invoice if you’re a self-employed person paying tax in Spain under local systems. Then, come back here and I’ll talk you through writing invoices for clients from abroad, which have a few small differences.

There are two technical terms you might hear bandied around: “intracomunitario” clients come from within the EU, and “extracomunitario” clients are non-EU. In any case, writing an invoice seems to follow the same procedure for both. This article applies to those who sell services, rather than products.

1. NIF – Instead of including the client’s NIF (“Número de Identificación Fiscal“), you’ll need to include whatever the relevant business or VAT identification number for them is.

2. Taxes – Here comes the good bit. Technically, if the business you are selling to doesn’t have an office in Spain, the work you do is realised in their country and thus falls under their norms. As a result (and please see my disclaimer below, as this is just in my own experience, and I can’t 100% guarantee it’ll be true for you), you don’t have to pay any IVA (VAT) on services sold to countries outside the EU. Neither do they have to hold back any IRPF on your behalf. This makes sense (when does not paying tax ever make sense?), because who would they pay the IRPF forwards to? Not the Spanish government, certainly.

Those trading digital services within the European Union – you might like to read this article, concerning recent VAT changes.

2.* Taxes #2 – Bear in mind, however, that if over 30% of your business comes from abroad, you’ll have to pay in 20% of your profits in IRPF every trimestre in any case. But you don’t have to put anything about this on your invoice.

3. Additional – If you’re being paid in a foreign currency, you should also put a note on your invoice to state how much this represents in Euros:
9.999 € día 16/12/2013

Photos and text by Penelope

Posted in Tax

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