Artificial intelligence on Spanish VAT Portal

The Spanish tax authorities recently launched a portal allowing users to confirm the correct VAT treatment of their international transactions with a virtual operator who provides the response or the link to the relevant legislation based on Artificial Intelligence parameters.

6 July, 2018


 

The Spanish tax authorities recently launched a portal allowing users to confirm the correct VAT treatment of their international transactions with a virtual operator who provides the response or the link to the relevant legislation based on Artificial Intelligence parameters.

The VAT treatment of international transactions is often more complex than domestic transactions. Businesses must make sure that any new activity is reviewed from a VAT perspective. The portal of the authorities provides an answer to most general questions with a reference to the law, so that this response can be saved in a PDF file for future reference.

How does it work in practice?

There are several areas in international transactions that are often subject to questions or misinterpretation of their VAT treatment. These are place of supply rules, tax point, reverse charge, need for a VAT registration and periodic VAT reporting obligations. All these areas are grouped by the Virtual assistant of the Spanish tax authorities, so that you can start by clicking into one of the topics to narrow the possible answers.

You would then write down your question making sure that you specify the relevant words for your query. The tax authorities will respond with additional questions until the specific area of VAT is identified. A new question pops up each time the answer to the previous question is provided. The virtual assistant will gradually narrow down the question to provide the final answer and VAT regulation applicable.

How can I access the tool?

You can access the tool via this link. The Spanish authorities also published an AI virtual assistant to provide answers on questions related to SII reporting. Here is the link to this SII platform.

Gaps and limitations of this tool

There are certain areas of VAT where determining the correct VAT treatment is complex and depends on ambiguous criteria. These areas include the scope of services related to immoveable property, partial exemption methods or definition of fixed establishment for VAT purposes. At Marosa we tested the virtual assistant and we were not able to get an answer on questions related to these topics.

Another limitation is the language, as it only receives and gives information in Spanish.

How can humans help?   

Despite the benefits of artificial intelligence, each business often has unique requirements that do not fall within the standard solutions. At Marosa we will look at your needs, review your supply-chain and European activity and carry out a health-check on your VAT treatment and VAT reporting obligations in each European country. We provide a pan-European comparative approach that will look at your business from the same perspective as your European VAT manager or regional Finance Director.

Contact us to get a fee quote on your European VAT reporting obligations.

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