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Spanish IVA Explained

- Updated: 30/08/2012
Spanish IVA Explained

What is IVA in Spain? IVA or Impuestos sobre el Valor Añadido, put simply, is the UK equivalent of VAT and is applied to pretty much everything you buy

For many years, Spain has enjoyed some of the lowest rates of tax added to goods and services amongst it's fellow European states. The advantage of low taxation has boosted Spain's popularity as a value for money destination. However, on the July 11th 2012 Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy informed Parliament that a rate in IVA would be applied as from the 1st September. This could spell severe problems for businesses but more importantly families and visitors to Spain as they are all hit hard in the pocket reducing their spending power significantly.

There are a variety of IVA taxation rates in Spain which are applied to different goods and services, but are you aware of what the current rates of IVA are and to what goods or how they are applied...?

Christmas Gift Lists

The 4% rate – Will remain unchanged at 4% from 1st Sept 2012

This is applied to all items that are considered to be of basic and primary need. It includes :

- Bread, frozen dough, eggs, cheese, milk, beans and fruit and vegetables.

- Books, magazines and newspapers.

- Medicines ( NOT for Animals though )

- Vehicles for the disabled, wheel chairs and other transport for the disabled.

- Prosthetics and implants.

- Official protected housing.

The 8% rate – to increase to 10% from 1st Sept 2012

This is applied to :

- Foodstuffs in general (Excepting those in the 4% band)

- Soft drinks.

- Animals that are to be for human consumption or breeding.

- Agricultural products, farming and forestry activities, such as seeds and fertilisers.

- Contact lenses and glasses.

- Disabled lifts and products for the diagnosis of illnesses.

- Health assistance services, social services, and dental work.

- Imported artworks and antiques.

- The sale of property, including garages and annexes.

- House construction (between promoter and contractor).

- Services supplied by artists and technicians.

- Hotel and restaurants

- Cleaning of streets and public gardens.

- Refuse collection.

- Public transport and Motorway Tolls.

The General Rate – 18% - But due to rise to 21% from 1st Sept 2012

This rate is the general rate, which is applied to all other products, including :

- Alcoholic drinks and tobacco

- Animals used in bullfighting

- Agricultural machinery.

- CD’s. & DVD’s

- Devices for the diagnosis and monitoring of pregnancy.

- Television and radio services.

- Petrol & Diesel.

- Hairdressing *

- Sports, cultural and recreational services, exhibitions and fairs *

- Funeral services *

* Moved from the reduced rate category to the general rate.

Comment on this Article

 
If I living in the United States buy something from Spain on line and it is shipped or mailed to me in the US am I exempt from paying IVA ? MY purchase will be a Spanish saddle for equestrian use...
Alan Flashing - Sat 22th Mar 2014

Alan : Car Rental is charged at the General Rate of 21%

George : Assuming you will be invoicing your Tenant, then you must charge them 21% IVA.

Tumbit - Admin - Mon 29th Jul 2013
Is property rent subject to IVA ? If a private persons rents out a room in his house is that liable to IVA ?
George - Mon 29th Jul 2013
what is the tax rate on car hire in spain,does anybody know ?
Alan Lunn - Sat 20th Jul 2013
My contractor has charged me 21%iva on the paint for the exterior claiming that this will secure the guarantee for 5 years. Is this right????? Appreciate your advice
Amina - Thu 27th Jun 2013
Your Plumber might not be a limited company - maybe he is just a sole trader / Autonomo - in which case he wouldn't need to be.
Gordon P - Mon 24th Jun 2013
I have been charged 21% iva by a plumber for some work at my house. His bill shows the amount charged but should not there be a CIF or similar number on the bill to show he is registered for IVA? The only number is his NIE. Hope someone can help.
S Guest - Sun 23rd Jun 2013
Yes, 21% on Garden and Maintenance Services is correct.
Eric - Tue 11th Jun 2013
Is the 21% rate applicable to garden maintenance on a community of four houses., also pool cleaning? If so is there a threshold that the company has to earn before the IVA is implemented?
Brian Barr Leeds - Mon 10th Jun 2013
Bill - Building, Repair and Maintenance works is taxed at the higher rate of 21% - I assume that painting will fall under this category.
Robster - Wed 16th Jan 2013
What rate of IVA should we be charged for getting the exterior of a building painted?
Bill Gemmell - Wed 16th Jan 2013
@David - My understanding is that ANYTHING bought on or after the 1st Sept. 2012 is subject to the new IVA rates, however, if a deposit was paid for something before this date, technically the purchase was made then, therefore you are simply paying the outstanding balance. Unfortunately it is all down to the retailer. I would remind the retailer of this fact. If you have a receipt, this will further backup your argument. The retailer would be best to work with you if they want your continued business! In any event, the retailer would have bought the item pre-IVA increase therefore his/her tax liability is the pre-IVA increase rate also!
Ed Bishop - Tue 18th Sep 2012
Any idea what the rule is about a purchase that was made before the IVA increase, and for which a deposit was paid, but the goods delivered after September 1? I am being told I need to pay the extra 3% which seems "dodgy" to me.
David Taylor - Tue 18th Sep 2012
John : A number of Products & Services have not only had their rate of IVA increased, but they have been move from the standard rate to the higher rate of IVA aswell. Some of these services include Flowers, Entry to Theaters & Cultural Events and Funeral Services. Whilst I can not confirm this for certain, it would not surpirse me if this applied to club membership aswell.
Tumbit - Admin - Mon 23rd Jul 2012
What will be the effect of golf club membership fees. I am not sure from the article whether they are currently 8% or 18%. If the former will they go up to 10% or if the latter will they go up to 21%. I have been told that they are to rise from 8% to 21%. Can you confirm ?
John - Mon 23rd Jul 2012
Is IVA applied to items bought at online auction in Spain and then shipped to another country?
Stephen Ellison - Fri 13th Jul 2012
This doesn´t sound right to me either. Surely they can only charge IVA on their portion of the bill, as opposed to an accumulated charge ? - I would certainly question this with them, and if they stick to their guns tell them that you will pay both them and the contractor separately.
Mr Grumpy - Mon 12th Dec 2011
We own a villa in Spain. When we have work done, we are charged IVA by the person who does the work, then the management company also charge us IVA when they put the work on their invoice. Is this correct? We appear to be paying IVA on the same work twice?
Jenny H - Sun 11th Dec 2011
Norman, IVA for building maintenance and repair work is chargeable at 18%
S Clarke - Wed 16th Nov 2011
I am going to employ a Spanish company to paint all the dwellings on our urbanisation. Payment from our community fees. What is the correct IVA rate with thanks
Norman Ollier - Wed 16th Nov 2011
Afraid not, IVA is 18% on all builiding material, the lower rate of IVA only applies when buying a property, as opposed to reforming it.
Dave C - Sat 23rd Jul 2011
Hi, I am reforminga cortijo at the moment. I have noticed that I am being charged IVA at 18%. I tought this should be at 8% for building materials. What do you think? Regards Dennis
Dennis Radford - Sat 23rd Jul 2011