B Law & Tax
14 February 2024

Tax Advisor: New Tax Obligations for Platform Operators: Rules and Procedures

In May 2023, a new tax law was implemented, adding provisions to the LGT, focusing on the information and due diligence responsibilities of digital platform operators. This legislation imposes three main obligations on these operators: following diligence standards when obtaining and verifying seller data, registering as required, and providing information to the Tax Administration.

Recently, in January 2024, Royal Decree 117/2024 was issued, detailing the tax-related obligations of digital platform operators, including due diligence standards and a new requirement to report relevant platform activity to other EU countries or associated jurisdictions. Additionally, Order HAC/72/2024, issued in February, approved models such as 040 and 238 to comply with these obligations.

Despite these regulations, the rapid succession and complexity of regulations may generate uncertainty about their scope and implications for operators and sellers on digital platforms. Therefore, the key points of these developments will be summarized below.

Regulations and Diligence Procedures for Platform Operators

Royal Decree 117/2024, issued on January 30, focuses on detailing the diligence guidelines and methods that digital platform operators must follow to comply with the reporting obligation established in the twenty-fifth additional provision of the LGT. These are the key points:

Diligence protocols, aimed at platform managers responsible for disclosing information about sellers, impose responsibilities on both managers and the sellers themselves.

According to the regulations, sellers subject to data disclosure are those engaged in relevant activities during the “reference period,” such as renting goods, providing services, or selling goods.

The seller’s residence is decisive for the application of these regulations, being considered a resident in a EU State if they meet the defined criteria.

Managers must take specific actions to obtain and verify information about sellers, collecting details such as names, addresses, and tax identification numbers.

Validation of this information can be done through internal records or electronic interfaces provided by relevant authorities.

These protocols must be completed by December 31 of the natural year to which the information disclosure refers. Their entry into force dates back to January 1, 2023, as stipulated in Royal Decree 117/2024.

Information Obligations for Platform Operators and their Tax Impact

Royal Decree 117/2024, issued on January 30, establishes a new disclosure obligation in article 54 ter of the RGAT. This responsibility implies that “platform administrators subject to reporting” must notify the Tax Administration about relevant activity conducted through the platform they manage. The data collected will be shared with other EU countries or associated jurisdictions.

Administrators with connections to Spain or registered in the country must submit this report to the Spanish Tax Administration. However, external administrators qualified outside the Union are not obligated if all their relevant activities are subject to automatic information exchange. Additionally, excluded administrators may submit a negative declaration if their business model does not include sellers subject to this communication.

The form used to report this matter is Form 238, approved through Order HAC/72/2024, issued on February 1. This form is submitted annually, usually in January of the following year, although the first declaration for the 2023 fiscal year must be made between February 6 and April 6, 2024.

Regulation of Platform Operator Records: Royal Decree 117/2024

Royal Decree 117/2024, issued on January 30, introduces changes to the RGAT to address the registration responsibilities of platform operators. Two new registers are established: the “Register of unqualified foreign platform operators” and the “Register of other platform operators required to report information,” in order to regulate the competence of the Spanish Tax Administration in relation to operators without established links in the European Union. Order HAC/72/2024, issued on February 1, approves Form 040 to facilitate this registration process.

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