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

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

Autonomos update- coronavirus

Yesterday the Cabinet of Ministers approved the following new measures to help autonomos cope with the financial difficulties caused by COVID-19.

  1. The possibility to defer the April Social Security payment, with a late payment interest of just 0.5 %. Deferment must be applied for by 10th April.
  2. A moratory on the Social Security payments for May, June and July. These can be paid six months late without any surcharge or interest.

The above can be applied for on the Social Security online system, accessed by personal digital certificate.

There are also guidelines on all of the new measures on the Social Security website.

As always, you can find further information and professional assistance on our website.

Autonomos: Coronavirus

We hope that all is well with you, and that you and your family are keeping well through these very difficult times.

As part of the fiscal measures introduced by the Spanish government to help alleviate the financial problems caused by COVID-19, autonomos who are unable to pay the tax due from their 2020 Q1 tax declarations then you can defer payment of the tax for up to six months, with the first three months being interest free.

The option to defer payment is via the usual online form on the Agencia Tributaria website under the section Aplazamiento de Deudas, selecting Presentar Solicitud.

The filing deadlines are for 2020 Q1 are 20th April for negative/ zero returns and 15th April where tax is due.