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Invoicing after BREXIT
Autor de la hebra: Gabriele Beckmann

Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Miembro 2003
francés al italiano
+ ...
Your Spanish accountant seems not to be up to date Jan 13

Sheila Wilson wrote:

My Spanish accountant advised me not to produce invoices that aren't in Spanish. He said that it wouldn't matter until the day I was audited. Then I might have to pay to have them all translated by a sworn translator. I was selected a while back for a very scary minor audit.


Because law is clear and I checked, below a link highlighting the article of law in Spain

https://www.deltasesores.com/se-pueden-emitir-o-recibir-facturas-en-idioma-y-moneda-extranjeros/

Any language is allowed, not only English.

Also regarding translation:

Law quoted
Hacienda no puede exigirle que traduzca facturas por servicios que se entienden prestados en el extranjero no sujetos a IVA español (por ejemplo, si su empresa presta un servicio de asesoría a una empresa alemana).
So, they can request translation ONLY if I issue invoices in a non official language in Spain to a company based in Spain like me.

[Edited at 2021-01-13 15:43 GMT]


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
España
Local time: 19:10
Miembro 2007
inglés
+ ...
Invest now to save grief in the future? Jan 13

Angie Garbarino wrote:
law is clear and I checked below a link highliting the article of law in Spain

https://www.deltasesores.com/se-pueden-emitir-o-recibir-facturas-en-idioma-y-moneda-extranjeros/

Any language is allowed, not only English.

Also regarding translation:

Law quoted
Hacienda no puede exigirle que traduzca facturas por servicios que se entienden prestados en el extranjero no sujetos a IVA español (por ejemplo, si su empresa presta un servicio de asesoría a una empresa alemana).
So, they can request translation ONLY if I issue invoices in a non official language in Spain to a company based in Spain like me.

I don't know, Angie, my Spanish isn't that good still, but this text from your link would worry me as it appears to back up exactly what my accountant says:

la Administración tributaria cuando lo considere necesario a los efectos de cualquier actuación dirigida a la comprobación de la situación tributaria del empresario o profesional o sujeto pasivo, podrá exigir una traducción al castellano

It certainly seems worthwhile to me to spend a few minutes drawing up a bilingual template.


 

Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Miembro 2003
francés al italiano
+ ...
But not if to a Company based abroad Jan 13

Sheila Wilson wrote:

la Administración tributaria cuando lo considere necesario a los efectos de cualquier actuación dirigida a la comprobación de la situación tributaria del empresario o profesional o sujeto pasivo, podrá exigir una traducción al castellano

It certainly seems worthwhile to me to spend a few minutes drawing up a bilingual template.


And I do only 2 or 3 invoices for 20 or 30 euros for Spanish companies, so in case I could translate, but I assume they will ask the translation in rare cases, certainly not for English, anyway... I just wanted to specify that I invoiced legally, not that you cannot invoice in 3 languages, of course

[Edited at 2021-01-13 16:09 GMT]


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
Reino Unido
sueco al inglés
+ ...
Off topic Jan 13


My Spanish accountant advised me not to produce invoices that aren't in Spanish. He said that it wouldn't matter until the day I was audited. Then I might have to pay to have them all translated by a sworn translator. I was selected a while back for a very scary minor audit


I find it hard to believe that Spanish tax auditors are really the aggressive, inflexible, people-hating apparatchiks that all foreign officials are portrayed as in the movies, desperate to lock you up and throw away the key for a missing paper clip, rather than like the British taxman who is frankly too overworked to sweat the small stuff and always grateful to find someone with their affairs in order.

I didn’t find my audit scary. I had nothing to hide. So all I got was a bit of advice on VAT codes and a general pat on the back.

The taxman is after people who really take the mickey. The low-hanging fruit. How else could tradesmen continue to get away with taking so much in undeclared cash, or putting their kids’ clothes through as business expenses? I really see no grounds for Tomesque paranoia.

Unless you’ve been busy laundering for the Canarian mafia, Sheila?

I don’t think they could reasonably object to you writing invoices in English. For one thing, invoices need to be understood by the recipient. In the extreme case, if I received an invoice all in Chinese, I might not even know it was an invoice. And anyway, it’s cheating on expenses that they’re really looking for. And they can’t expect you to have invoices in Spanish for things you buy abroad...

I wouldn’t be surprised if your accountant, like mine, is a poorly informed provincial specialist in something very different to what we do. Mine specialises in farmers and is forever badgering me to invent some business mileage. I’m his only exporter.

That said, bilingual invoices would cover all bases and are what I would do.


Angie Garbarino
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
España
Local time: 19:10
Miembro 2007
inglés
+ ...
Too law-abiding, maybe Jan 13

Chris S wrote:
Unless you’ve been busy laundering for the Canarian mafia, Sheila?

The scariness came from two things: (1) my own inability to fully understand the requirements as I'm not fluent in Spanish, hence the need to rely on my accountant; and (2) the reputation of Spanish "enforcers" and what I've seen first-hand of officialdom here in taxation, social security and policing. They seem to have all the time in the world to be petty and the fines are really ridiculous. My husband and I both have €10,000 fines hanging over our heads for filling in an assets declaration wrongly. That's even though no tax was involved; just information. Fortunately, it's been contested by the EU so hopefully we'll never have to pay. One example of the way things work here is that on day one of the first Covid lockdown we had squaddies with machine guns on the streets. I only went to the local supermarket but I got stopped twice and they really got in my face. It really can be scary here, honest. And our local brand of the mafia, the Canarian families, have the whole economy pretty much stitched up. I would never mess with them.

I wouldn’t be surprised if your accountant, like mine, is a poorly informed provincial specialist in something very different to what we do. Mine specialises in farmers and is forever badgering me to invent some business mileage. I’m his only exporter.

He specialises in cross-border tax matters. I'm not sure he has any Spanish clients -- I think we all come from other EU states (well, I used to ). There's little employment on the islands and many of us are self-employed remote workers. So he's clued up. But he is a bit of a stickler for the rules, not one of your "creative" accountants.


Chris S
 

Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Miembro 2003
francés al italiano
+ ...
@Sheila Jan 13

Regarding Spanish police I agree, they are scaring, a friend told me that this is a heritage from Franco dictatorship, not usual in Italy, instead regarding tax enforcers Tax fines) being me Italian so used to very strong and complicated rules and enforcement, I am used and frankly speaking I find Spanish rules much simpler, also fines and taxes are much lower than in Italy.

So I'd say that taxation, like beauty is i
... See more
Regarding Spanish police I agree, they are scaring, a friend told me that this is a heritage from Franco dictatorship, not usual in Italy, instead regarding tax enforcers Tax fines) being me Italian so used to very strong and complicated rules and enforcement, I am used and frankly speaking I find Spanish rules much simpler, also fines and taxes are much lower than in Italy.

So I'd say that taxation, like beauty is in the eyes of the beholder

Good night!

[Edited at 2021-01-13 19:49 GMT]
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Chris S
Yaotl Altan
 
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