Spain: The Tax on Certain Digital Services will be applicable as of Q1 2021

In brief

Today, the Digital Services Tax Act ("the new tax") was published in Spain's Official State Gazette and it will enter into force on 16 January 2021. Under this law, digital services for online advertising, online intermediation and data transfers will be subject to taxation in Spain as of 2021.


Contents

Click here to read in Spanish.

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The new tax will imply significant economic costs for the companies concerned, both in terms of taxation and compliance. In addition, its scope of application is not exclusively restricted to multinationals with a predominantly technological or digital focus, but could apply to other sectors as well (banking, automotive, etc.).

In practice, over the coming months, the new tax will require companies to verify whether or not they are subject to it and, if so, conduct an individual analysis of their business lines, so as to gauge the impact this new tax may have on them.

Companies that are taxpayers under this new tax will be required to invest in systems that allow them to know where the users of the taxable digital services are located.

The new tax introduces fines of up to EUR 400,000 a year for companies that do not comply with this obligation.

In detail

The main features of the new tax are described below:

  • Taxpayers concerned. Companies that meet the following two thresholds (calculated at the group level and regardless of their tax residence): (i) net turnover exceeds EUR 750 million in 2020; and (ii) total income from taxable digital services exceeds EUR 3 million in 2020.
  • Digital services included. Three are included: online advertising, online intermediation and data transfer. Some digital services are expressly excluded from the tax. It should be stressed that the new tax will apply to services provided between companies in the same group, unless a 100% shareholding exists between them.
  • Link with Spain. These digital services will be subject to the new tax if the user's device is located in Spain. Unless proved otherwise, the new tax assumes the location of a user's device is established by their IP address.
  • Chargeability: When the services are provided, carried out or executed.
  • Tax base. The starting point will be the gross income that the taxpayers obtained from the digital services subject to the tax. The final tax base will be calculated by applying certain special rules to the gross income (the rules will differ depending on the specific type of digital service provided). The tax base for intra-group services will be their market value.
  • Tax rate: 3%.
  • Self-assessment frequency: Every quarter.
  • Formal obligations. Companies subject to the new tax must comply with certain tax obligations in Spain, such as acquiring a tax identification number, at times appointing a representative, keeping a specific record book or putting systems in place to allow users' devices to be located, among others.

 

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En resumen

Hoy se ha publicado en el Boletín Oficial del Estado la Ley del impuesto sobre determinados servicios digitales ("el nuevo impuesto"), que entrará en vigor el 16 de enero de 2021. En virtud de dicha Ley, los servicios digitales de publicidad en línea, intermediación en línea y transmisión de datos pasarán en 2021 a tributar en España bajo este nuevo impuesto.

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El nuevo impuesto supondrá un significativo coste económico para las empresas afectadas, tanto en términos fiscales como de cumplimiento. Además, su ámbito de aplicación no se centra exclusivamente en multinacionales eminentemente tecnológicas o digitales, sino que pudiera extenderse a otros sectores (bancario, automoción, etc.).

En la práctica, el nuevo impuesto exigirá a las empresas, durante los próximos meses, revisar si tienen o no la consideración de contribuyentes de este impuesto y, en su caso, realizar un análisis individualizado de sus líneas de negocio, con el fin de estimar el impacto que este nuevo impuesto pudiera tener sobre ellas.

Igualmente, el nuevo impuesto exigirá a las empresas afectadas invertir en la implementación de sistemas que permitan la localización de los usuarios de sus servicios digitales sometidos al nuevo impuesto.

El nuevo impuesto prevé sanciones de hasta 400.000 euros al año para las empresas que incumplan dicha obligación.

En detalle

Se facilitan a continuación las principales características del nuevo impuesto:

  • Contribuyentes afectados. Serán las empresas que, con independencia de su residencia fiscal, cumplan los siguientes dos umbrales (calculados a nivel de grupo): (i) que el importe neto de su cifra de negocios en 2020 supere los 750 millones de euros; y (ii) que el importe total de sus ingresos derivados de servicios digitales sujetos en 2020 supere los 3 millones de euros.
  • Servicios digitales incluidos. Se incluyen 3: la publicidad en línea, la intermediación en línea y la transmisión de datos. Determinados servicios digitales se excluyen expresamente del impuesto. Debe resaltarse que el nuevo impuesto se aplicará a los servicios prestados entre empresas del mismo grupo, salvo que exista una participación del 100% entre ellas.
  • Nexo con España. Los servicios digitales anteriores se sometarán al nuevo impuesto en la medida en que el dispositivo del usuario esté situado en España. Salvo prueba en contrario, el nuevo impuesto presume que la localización del dispositivo de un usuario se determinará conforme a su dirección IP.
  • Devengo: cuando se presten, ejecuten o efectúen los servicios.
  • Base imponible. Se tomarán como punto de partida los ingresos brutos obtenidos por los contribuyentes derivados de los servicios digitales sujetos al impuesto. La base imponible definitiva se calculará aplicando determinadas reglas especiales (que variarán según el tipo de servicio digital específicio) sobre dichos ingresos brutos. La base imponible de los servicios intra-grupo será su valor de mercado.
  • Tipo impositivo: 3%.
  • Periodicidad de las autoliquidaciones: trimestral.
  • Obligaciones formales. Los contribuyentes del nuevo impuesto deberán cumplir determinadas obligaciones fiscales en España, como obener un número de identificación fiscal, en ocasiones nombrar un representante, llevar un libro registro específico o establecer sistemas que permitan la localización de los dispositivos de los usuarios, entre otros.

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