principal / Spanish VAT basics / Spanish import VAT deferral and postponed VAT accounting
Spain allows postponed VAT accounting of import VAT. However, import VAT deferral does not exist.
Normally, companies must pay VAT upon importation and they are able to deduct this VAT only when the VAT return is filed. Under the postponed import VAT accounting, import VAT is reported as due and deductible in the VAT return, with nil cash flow impact. This scheme is only allowed for businesses filing monthly VAT returns. These are companies with a turnover above 6 M €, companies registered in the Monthly Refund Registry and VAT groups. Additional formalities must be met.
Import VAT deferral allows import VAT to be paid at a later stage. Some countries allow a period of up to 40 days to make the payment after the importation is made. Spain does not have this system in place.