Making a Tax Payment to the Spanish Tax Authority

21 May 2019

If you are an employee or business owner working in Spain, you probably take it for granted that you will be obligated to pay some type of income tax here

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But just because neither of those situations applies to you doesn’t mean you can assume you aren’t liable for any tax payment to the Spanish tax authority, or Agencia Tributaria.

Remember, everyone’s situation is unique, and taxes are an infamously complex matter. The information in this post is to be taken as a guideline only. Please consult a lawyer or tax professional for personalized assistance with your tax payments in Spain.

Do I have to pay taxes in Spain?

Employees being paid by a single or multiple employers, self-employed people and property owners in Spain may be subject to Spanish income tax. You will need to know if you are considered resident in Spain for tax purposes, as this determines what income is subject to taxation as well as your tax rate. If you are a nonresident and you own real estate that you are not renting out, you might assume you have no taxable income in Spain, but this is not the case. You are responsible for paying tax on the “imputed income” from the property. The tax base is around 1.1% the cadastral value of the home (which you can find on your local council tax bill), and the tax rate is the same as other non-resident income tax, 24%. This tax payment is made using Form 210 (Modelo 210) and submitting it to the Spanish tax agency.

For residents, there are certain income thresholds below which you are not required to file an annual tax return. As an example, if you are working for a single employer and your yearly income is less than €22,000, you do not need to file (unless it is your first year of tax residency; everyone must file Form 100, the personal income tax return, in their first year after registering with the tax authority).

All self-employed people and business owners must file a return, even if their income is well below this threshold, as taxes are considered to have been paid at source when working for an employer, which is not the case with autónomos.

Registering with the tax authority

Both residents and nonresidents need to register with Spain’s tax authority using Form 30 (Modelo 30). You will need a Spanish identification number (NIE) to do this, so if you don’t have one yet, you must apply for one at your local foreigner’s office. This should be done within 30 days of your arrival in Spain. Taxes aside, this ID number is of vital importance for everyday transactions, such as opening a bank account or renting or buying a home.

Make a tax payment to the Spanish tax agency

Although Spain’s tax scheme can appear byzantine to foreigners, much of it can be handled online through the official website of the Agencia Tributaria. Much of the website is even available in English. To access the online system and draft a return or make a tax payment, you will need an electronic identifier, such as a digital identification certificate or a “Cl@ve” PIN code. For payments of any taxes due, you can set up a bank account for direct debit.

For at least your first year paying taxes in Spain, it is wise to have assistance from a professional. There are a seemingly infinite number of tax forms available on the Spanish tax agency website, and some not mentioned in this post might be applicable to your situation. So, until you know for sure, it’s best to leave such an important matter in the hands of the experts.