Autónomo Tax Obligations: Returns and Deadlines

All autónomos are required to file quarterly and annual income tax returns. This guide will outline the filing obligations and deadlines in Spain.

Modelo 130 – Quarterly income tax returns
This form is used to declare the total income and deductible expenditure every quarter. If positive, autónomos must make a payment on account toward their final tax bill. The filing dates for positive returns with tax payment by direct debit from the autonomo’s Spanish bank account are from 1st to 15th April, July and October and 1st to 25th of January. The filing dates for negative returns are from 1st to 20th April, July and October and 1st to 30th of January.

Modelo 100 – Annual income tax return ‘Renta’
The Spanish tax year ends on the 31st of December, and all autónomos are required to declare all their Spanish and worldwide income by the 30th of June. The payments on account made quarterly will contribute to the final tax bill calculated on this return. Any amounts overpaid can be refunded, or if any additional tax is due, this must be paid as a top-up.

Modelo 303 and 390 – Quarterly and Annual VAT returns
Autónomos must declare their VAT (called IVA in Spain) balance and pay amounts due on a quarterly basis. Nil VAT returns should be filed if there is no trading activity.

The filing deadlines for the quarterly returns, Modelo 303 are similar to those for Modelo 130.

If the quarterly return results in a negative balance, it can be carried forward, and any refunds can be applied for at the end of the year. Instead of a refund, the autonomo can elect to carry forward their IVA credit and set it off against future IVA due. This is particularly recommended when VATable sales in Spain are expected to increase and one should bear in mind then if an IVA refund is claimed, the autónomo should be prepared for a Tax Office (Agencia Tributaria or colloquially ¨Hacienda¨ inspection) and have copies of all sales and purchase invoices during the year saved.

Other tax returns (Retentions)

Modelo 111 and 190 – Quarterly retentions and annual summary
These forms may need to be filed if autónomos have received an invoice, normally from a professional such as a Notary, which includes a tax retention.

Modelo 115 and 180 – Quarterly rent retentions and annual summary These returns must be submitted if the self-employed individual is renting an office and their landlord is invoicing them with a tax retention.

If you would like us to prepare any of the tax returns listed above, please contact us and we will be happy to assist.

How to claim expenses if you work from home as Autónomo

If you are registered as self-employed in Spain and, use a room in your home as an office, you may be entitled to claim certain costs as an expense on your tax returns.

How much can I claim?

As a general rule for claiming home office expenses, you would need to calculate the proportion of your home in which you use to carry out your business activities. Note that the Tax Office only allows you to claim up to a certain proportion of your home expenditure as a business expense.

As with all business expenses, you must keep a record of any bills and have documental proof to support the claim if investigated by the Spanish Tax Office.

Rental Expenditure

You can deduct part of your rental expenditure that relates to your business activity. For example, if your home office takes up 20% of the total surface area of the property, then the proportion of your rent which is deductible is 20%.

Can I claim part of my mortgage as an expense?

No, you cannot claim your mortgage interest payments as an autónomo expense. However, in your annual income tax return (Renta) you can claim an income tax credit for mortgage interest payments made on properties purchased before 2013 only. Read more on tax credits here.

Utility bills

You can deduct 30% of your utility expenditure that relates to your business activity at home. Utilities that can be included are dependant on whether or not they are used for business purposes, This could include your water, gas, and electricity bills.

Calculating the percentage you can claim for utilities

If you have established that 20% (of the total surface area) of your home is used for business purposes, then the deductible proportion of your bill is calculated as:

0.3 x 0.2 = 0.06

This means that only 6% of your utility bill is deductible as an autónomo expense.

Something worth considering…

One potential problem with claiming these deductions for using your home office is that in any inspection, the Tax Office could ask to see a separate rental contract in the name of your business for the part of the property that is to be used by your business.

Rental Contracts and IVA
Standard rental contracts in Spain usually state that the property is not to be used for business purposes and therefore IVA is not charged. However, if the rental contract needs to be adjusted to include business use, the rent may need to be split into two so that the property owner charges IVA on the part of the property used for business.

Our Services

We offer a full range of tax services for the self-employed in Spain, including autónomo registration and quarterly returns. Click here for more details or contact us if you have any questions.

Registering as an Autónomo / Self-employed in Spain

If you are living in Spain and wish to register as self-employed or start your own small business, you need to register as autónomo.  The registration process is relatively straightforward and can be completed online.

This article will cover:

1. What is an autónomo?
2. Who should register as an autónomo?
3. What is required when registering as an autónomo?
4. What do I need to file once I’ve registered as an autónomo?
5. How much tax do I need to pay?
6. Social security payments

1. What is autónomo?

Autónomo is the Spanish term used for the self-employed in Spain. If you register as autónomo, you are legalising your business activities for tax purposes, and registering yourself for the social security regime in Spain.

There are two classifications of autónomo in Spain:
1. Autónomo Empresarial for commercial and trading businesses
2. Autónomo Profesional for professionals and freelancers

2. Who should register as an autónomo?

If you want to be legally acknowledged as self-employed, a freelancer, or want to register your own small business without incorporating a limited company, you should register as an autónomo. If you also want to benefit from certain coverages through the state, such as an entitlement to free public health treatment, you may also wish to register as an autónomo.

3. What is required when registering as an autónomo?
  1. NIE (foreigners’ identity number), and if you are are non-EU resident, a work permit may also be required.
  2. Spanish bank account—tax and social security payments can only be made from a Spanish bank account, foreign bank account payments will not be accepted.
  3. Personal tax registration—you may already be registered for tax, for instance, if you have purchased a property in Spain. If you are unsure, you can send us an email with your NIE number and we can check your status on the Tax Office’s database.

The autónomo registration process consists of two parts: one is registering your business with the Spanish Tax Office (Agencia tributaria) and the second is, registering yourself with the Social Security system (Seguridad social). In addition to this, most businesses, regardless of their level of income are also obliged to register for VAT (IVA in Spain) and will need to charge IVA on their invoices. IVA registration is also included as part of our service.

If you would like us to take care of the registration process for you, please contact us, and we will send you two forms for your completion. Once you supply us with all the information required, your registration will be submitted within 10 working days.

4. What do I need to file once I’ve registered as autónomo?

Income tax returns must be submitted on a quarterly and annual basis. If you are supplying goods or services which are subject to VAT, it is also necessary to file quarterly and annual VAT returns.

For more details read our autónomo tax obligations guide.

5. How much tax do I need to pay?

The tax rates in Spain are charged according to the income earned, varying between 19%-45%. You can find a breakdown of the current income tax rates here.

When submitting your quarterly returns, you will need to make payments on account. At the end of the fiscal year, an annual income tax return ‘Renta’ must also be submitted — this form will finalise your total tax bill for the year.

6. Social security payments

The Seguridad Social payments cover public health care and pensions. If you are registered as an autonomo, you will have to pay the general minimum contribution which is around 275 Euros per month.

However, incentives have been recently introduced for newly registered autónomos, under which the monthly contribution is reduced to 60 Euros per month on commencement, increasing to 141 Euros in months 12-18 and to 198 Euros in months 18-24. For the newly registered autónomos younger than 30 years old the monthly contribution is 198 Euros in months 24-36.

After registration, the Social Security Office will charge the payments automatically to your bank account each month.

Ready to register as an autónomo?

We will be happy to assist you with your Autónomo Registration and quarterly tax returns. To get started, please send an email to admin@spainaccountants.com.

Autónomo de-registration

The process to de-register as an autónomo and stop social security payments can also be done online—please contact us for further assistance.

Related articles:
Autónomo tax obligations: Returns and deadlines
How to claim expenses if you work from home as autónomo

Tax guide for Non-resident owners of Spanish Property

All non-residents with Spanish property are obliged to submit quarterly and/or annual returns.

This article will cover:

  1. My Spanish property is non-rented / a holiday home, what taxes should I pay?
  2. I receive rental income on my Spanish property, what taxes should I pay?
  3. How does a joint ownership tax return work?
  4. What information do I need to supply for you to prepare my tax returns ?
  5. What is the ‘valor catastral’ of my property?
  6. What expenses can I claim on my tax return?
1. My Spanish property is non-rented / a holiday home, what taxes should I pay?

You will need to file an annual income tax return to pay the deemed income tax on your non-rented property.

This is income tax on the “imaginary” rental income that you have on the property, and is calculated in reference to the rateable value (valor catastral) of the property.

The deadline is 31st December following the end of each tax year. For example, if you purchased a property in 2019, your first tax return will be due by 31st December 2020.

We can calculate your tax liability based on the rateable value and file your return on your behalf as part of our service.

2. I received rental income on my Spanish property, what taxes should I pay?

If your property is a rented out, you are required to make a tax declaration for each quarter in which you have rental income.

For the tax year 2020, the tax rate is 19% for residents of the EU, Norway and Iceland, with all rental expenses (including mortgage interest) being deductible for tax purposes.

For residents of other countries, the tax rate is 24% with the rental income received being fully taxable with no deductions.

If you are unsure whether or not you need to file a quarterly tax return, you can send an email to admin@europeaccountants.com where we will be happy to assist.

3. How does a joint ownership tax return work?

If you jointly buy a property in Spain, both you and your co-owner will have to file a tax return separately.

Only if the property in question is jointly owned by a married couple in which both spouses are non-residents, a single tax return may be filed.

4. What information do I need to supply for you to prepare my tax returns ?

We would require the personal details of each property owner and also the basic details of your property, including the date and cost of purchase and the valor catastral.

Please feel free to contact us to request the client information form for full details.

5. What is the ‘valor catastral’ of my property?

The valor catastral is equivalent to rateable value.

You will find this value on your latest rates (IBI) bill; for recently purchased properties, the lawyer/ agency who dealt with the sale may also be able to provide you with this information.

Note that this is not same as the purchase price or market value of your property. You can read more on the valor catastral here.

6. What expenses can I claim on my tax return?

As mentioned above, only residents of the EU, Norway and Iceland, can deduct rental expenses for tax purposes. Here are some examples of allowable property expenses:

  • Agency fees
  • Accountancy fees
  • Community fees
  • Utilities 
  • Repairs
  • Maintenance charges 
  • Property tax
  • Mortgage interest

For residents of other countries, there are no deductions permitted for expenses .

Need help with filing your non-resident income tax returns?

Our current charges, before 20% VAT, for each return (quarterly or annual) are as follows:

Single property owner 75 Euros
Reduced rate for joint ownership 95 Euros

This includes:

  • Drawing up your draft tax calculation and submitting to you for approval.
  • Online submission of the return and order for the payment of the tax due directly from your Spanish bank account.

Please note that the reduced rate for joint ownership is for those who are married in which both spouses are non-residents. If this is not the case, then you will be charged to file two separate single tax returns.

If you are interested in our services, please contact us and we will send you all the relevant details required to file your tax returns.

What is the Valor Catastral of my Spanish property?

This article covers:

  1. What is the valor catastral of my Spanish property? and what is used for?
  2. Where can I find the valor catastral figure?
  3. What if I don’t have the valor catastral of my property?
1. What is the valor catastral of my Spanish property? and what is it used for?

The valor catastral is the rateable value of your Spanish property. This is not linked to the market value or purchase cost of your Spanish property.

For non-resident property owners, it is used to calculate the “imaginary” rental income that you have on the property, and therefore used to calculate the deemed annual income tax due.

The taxable amount is, in general, 1.1% of the rateable value of your property.

2. Where can I find the valor catastral figure?

You can find your valor catastral on your latest rates bill or receipt (IBI), it will usually be displayed as a figure next to:

  • valor catastral
  • VC
  • V.CAT
  • V

For recently purchased properties, the lawyer/ agency who dealt with the sale may also be able to provide you with this information.

3. What if I cannot find the valor catastral of my property? / I don’t have a valor catastral yet

If you do not have your latest rates bill, you could try contacting your local Town Hall to obtain your valor catastral.

In the cases where our clients are unable to obtain the valor catastral, or their property is newly built and the value catastral has not yet been determined, we would use 50% of the purchase price, as stipulated by law, to calculate your tax due.

Need help with filing your non-resident income tax returns?

We have a basic tax guide for non-resident Spanish property owners that you may find useful.

If you would like us to file your tax returns on your behalf, our current charges, before 20% VAT, for each return (quarterly or annual) are as follows:

Single property owner 75 Euros
Reduced rate for joint ownership 95 Euros

This includes:

  • Drawing up your draft tax calculation and submitting to you for approval.
  • Online submission of the return and order for the payment of the tax due directly from your Spanish bank account.

Please note that the reduced rate for joint ownership is for those who are married in which both spouses are non-residents. Otherwise, you will be charged to file two separate single tax returns.

Please do not hesitate contact us if you have any questions or need further assistance, we will be happy to assist.

Spanish VAT for foreign companies

Foreign companies wishing to offer their services or goods here in Spain are generally required to register for Spanish VAT here: known as IVA (Impuesto sobre el Valor Añadido).

Note that there is no registration threshold in Spain and you must register prior to starting your business activity.

This article covers:

  1. How do I register for VAT in Spain as a foreign company? What documentation is required?
  2. How long does it take to get a Spanish VAT number?
  3. How often do I need to file a Spanish VAT return? What are the deadlines?
  4. How do I pay VAT in Spain? 
  5. What if I don’t have a Spanish bank account?
  6. What is the VAT rate in Spain?
  7. I need an intra-community VAT number.

The VAT registration process is relatively straightforward. On presentation of all of the required documents at a local tax office in Spain, your company’s Spanish tax/ VAT number is issued immediately.

1. How do I register for VAT in Spain as a foreign company? What documentation is required?

We offer a VAT registration service to obtain a non-resident Spanish VAT code (NIF) for you. This involves registering the company with the Spanish Tax Office.

You will need the following:

A certificate produced by the Company Registry in the country where your company was incorporated.  This must state your company’s registered address and the current directors of the company.

A Power of Attorney document –  the draft provided by us, to be signed by your company director before a Notary. This allows us to obtain your Spanish tax code on your behalf and be the tax representatives of your company in Spain.

All documents should be legalised in your country with the Hague Apostille and translated into Spanish by a sworn translator.

We will provide the Power of Attorney documents in both Spanish and English so in the event that you can find a local Spanish-speaking Notary, there will be no translation necessary for these.

We can also provide a sworn Spanish translation service at this end for a reasonable charge. We offer this service for several source languages including English and French.

2. How long does it take to get a Spanish VAT number?

On receipt of the above documentation from you, we will normally obtain your Spanish tax number within 5-7 working days.

3. How often do I need to file a Spanish VAT return? What are the deadlines?

Autonomos and Spanish businesses registered for VAT will need to submit tax returns on a quarterly basis. However, if the business’ total sales in the previous financial year was over 6 million Euros then it is compulsory to submit monthly VAT returns.

A Modelo 303 form should be submitted by the 15th of the following month after the quarter period for positive returns, and by the 20th for negative/zero returns.

For Q4 VAT returns, these shoul be submitted by January 25th of the following year for positive returns, and January 30th for negative returns.

All VAT registered businesses will also have to complete Annual VAT returns – Modelo 390.

4. How do I pay VAT in Spain?

The Spanish tax office will only accept payments from Spanish bank accounts. There are two main methods to pay the tax due:

1. By providing the IBAN of your Spanish bank account – this is the simplest way to pay your tax due as the Tax Office will charge your bank account on the due date.

It is important that you leave at least 5 days before the deadline for the payment to process, and to have enough funds in the account to meet the payment; insufficient funds will mean the tax remains unpaid and possible penalty fees.

2. Alternatively, you can pay the tax due through your Spanish bank and obtain an NRC code (Número de Referencia Completo). This code is important as it acts as reference, linking your payment to the tax return.

Most Spanish online banking systems will allow you to pay tax this way. Once you receive the code, you can then supply this to us instead of your Spanish IBAN, and we will file your return online using our digital certificate.

5. What if I don’t have a Spanish bank account?

If you are a foreign company registered for VAT and do not have a Spanish bank account, we can pay the VAT due on your behalf at an additional service charge.

We will invoice you for the tax due prior to filing your return. Therefore you must make the full payment to us before the deadline so that we can pay the tax due on your behalf.

6. What is the VAT rate in Spain?

Standard rate: 21%

Reduced rates: 10% and 4%

Read more on rates and allowances here.

7. I need an intra-community VAT number

In Spain, this is a separate registration process and you will need to submit a Modelo 036 application online.

Your VAT number will need to be validated on the VIES system – the official database for checking the validity of VAT numbers issued by EU member states.

For online traders, such as those who sell goods on Amazon, registering on the VIES may be required in order to have full functionality of your seller account.

Our services

VAT Registration

Our current charge for the VAT registration of your company is 500 Euros.

This includes the following:

  • Drawing up the draft Power of Attorney and tax representation documents;
  • Obtaining a tax code (NIF) for your company;
  • Registering your company’s business activity with the Spanish Tax Office (Form 036).

VAT Tax Returns

We can submit the Modelo 303 tax return on your behalf. Our current charge per quarter is 160 Euros, on the basis that you send us your VAT data quarterly in spreadsheet format. As part of our service we will work together with you to optimise a format to present this data.

VIES Registration

We can help you submit the Modelo 036 form to register your business on the VIES. Please contact us for more details.

Make an enquiry

If you are interested in any of our services or require further information, please send us an enquiry here and we will be happy to assist.

Amazon Sellers: Activating your Spanish VAT number as an intra-community operator

You may have received this notification to get your Spanish VAT number registered on the VIES by Amazon:

“Your Amazon seller account contains a local VAT registration number(s) that is not validated or listed in the VAT Information Exchange System of the EU commission ([VIES]).”

Although you have already registered for a Spanish VAT number, Amazon may require your VAT number to be validated on the VIES (VAT Information Exchange system) in order for your Amazon account to have full functionality.

All non-activated intra-community VAT registration numbers will fail Amazon’s validation check.

How do I validate my Spanish VAT number?

This is a separate registration process and you will need to submit a Modelo 036 application online. This form can be submitted by those who have a digital certificate issued by the Spanish Tax Office.

Unfortunately approval times may be very slow and we are experiencing six months or more for processing.


Need our assistance?

We can help you submit the Modelo 036 form to register your business on the VIES. Please contact us and we will be happy to assist.