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12.3. Refund of VAT to Non-Residents

Spain generally allows for the deduction of input VAT to offset output VAT for VAT registered taxpayers. When the input VAT exceeds the output VAT in a given period, the excess may be carried forward to offset future VAT payable or a refund may be claimed.

Spain also allows a non-resident without a fixed place of business in Spain to claim a refund. The process depends on whether the non-resident is resident in another EU Member State or is resident in a non-EU country.

Residents of an EU Member State

For residents in an EU Member State, refunds are made under the terms of EU Directive 2008/9/EC. The claim must be made by filing an application electronically in the EU Member State in which they are resident.

The minimum claim period is three months, and the maximum is one year. A refund of the input tax can be claimed at the end of the calendar year if the input VAT credit exceeds EUR 50 or prior to the end of the calendar year if it exceeds EUR 400.

The deadline for filing a refund claim for EU residents is 30 September of the year following the year in which the VAT was incurred. The refund claim must include a digital copy of the original invoices for which VAT refund is claimed, to the extent the amount of the invoice exceeds EUR 1,000 (EUR 250 for hydrocarbon expenses).

Residents of a non-EU Country

For residents of a non-EU country, refunds are made under the terms of the EU Directive 86/560/EEC (13th Directive) with the condition that the country of the non-resident provides reciprocity for Spain residents.

The minimum claim period is three months, and the maximum is one year. A refund of the input tax can be claimed at the end of the calendar year if the input VAT credit exceeds EUR 50 or prior to the end of the calendar year if it exceeds EUR 400.

The deadline for a refund claim for non-EU residents is 30 September of the year following the year in which the VAT was incurred.