IDP No. 25 (September, 2017) I ISSN 1699-8154 Journal promoted by the Law and Political Science Department
Ana María Delgado García and Rafael Oliver Cuello
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
The Immediate Supply of Information in value added tax
means through a regulatory standard. Article 200 was also
modified to classify a delay in the duty to keep record books
and submission via the AEAT website as a tax infringement.
Pursuant to Final Provision 12 of the LGT, both precepts
came into force on 1 January 2017.
Regulatory implementation of the SII system is contained,
fundamentally, in Royal Decree (RD) 596/2016, of 2 December,
for the modernisation, improvement and promotion of the
use of electronic media in value added tax management.
Also applicable are the Resolution of 13 March 2017, of the
AEAT Directorate-General, approving the standardised
document for demonstrating representation of third parties
in the procedure for the electronic submission of invoicing
records via the AEAT website, and Order HFP/417/2017, of 12
May, governing the regulatory and technical specifications
implementing the keeping of VAT records via the AEAT website.
Finally, Royal Decree 529/2017, of 26 May, modifying the
Value Added Tax Regulation (RIVA) approved by Royal Decree
1624/1992, of 29 December, should also be borne in mind.
2. The goals of the new management
The introduction of this new tax management system has
two goals. Firstly, to boost taxpayer support by providing
them, initially, with a range of tax data and, subsequently,
with a draft tax return; and secondly, to provide greater and
more efficient tax control, by making quality information
available very quickly.
RD 596/2016 makes reference to a third motive: adaptation
to come into line with new technologies. The preamble to this
piece of legislation indicates that different forms of record
keeping have seen deep-seated changes, from the time
when the obligation to keep them was first established up
until the present day, in accordance with the development of
new technologies, progress in the use of electronic media by
Spain’s business community and the gradual implementation
of e-invoicing. As such, there are currently only a residual
number of businesses and professionals not using electronic
or computerised means for keeping record books.
In this regard, said preamble notes that “it appears
reasonable to assume that the substantial progress made
in the keeping of record books means that the system for
keeping them can be transformed into a more modern one
that brings the time of recording or accounting for invoices
closer to the actual occurrence of the underlying financial
However, in our view, the main goal of the SII system is tax
control. It is obvious that the purpose of the obligation to
immediately provide information to the AEAT is to allow
the tax authorities to carry out more thorough monitoring
of the truthfulness of the self-assessment returns filed, in
order to be able to prevent tax fraud by ensuring that the
VAT falling due is actually declared in the period in which
the taxable event has arisen.
The preamble to RD 596/2016 refers to this core goal of the
SII system, when it indicates that control and prevention
of tax fraud are priority objectives for the AEAT and that,
to this end, there is a need to have suff icient, quality
information and for it to be obtained as soon as possible.
Nevertheless, said law points out that “there needs to be
due balance between obtaining the information that is key
to the proper conduct of review and investigation activities
and the indirect costs that the supply thereof represents
for taxable persons”. In this regard, the new system for
keeping records on the website “not only facilitates the
fight against tax fraud, but also represents an improvement
in the quality of data and the proper implementation of
accounting practices, as well as a cost saving and greater
efficiency that will benefit all economic operators”.
In addition to this tax control objective, one should not
forget the aforementioned enhanced support for taxpayers,
who are provided, initially, with a range of tax data and,
subsequently, with a draft tax return. This objective is also
referred to in the preamble to RD 596/2016, when it states
“the information obtained from the electronic submission
of invoicing records shall be made available to those
businesses or professionals with whom transactions have
been carried out by those persons and undertakings that,
either compulsorily or voluntarily, keep record books via the
website, constituting a tool to assist taxpayers in preparing
their value added tax self-assessment returns”.
From the taxpayer’s viewpoint, the SII system undoubtedly
represents a considerable increase in indirect costs,
particularly initially, during their efforts to come into line
with the new regulations. We shall in due course see, as