How much money do you need to spend in Spain?
Thinking of moving to Spain and starting a new life there? Your desire is shared by more than 5.5 million foreigners who settled there. This is almost 12% of the total population of the country. Among the visitors there are most British, but, despite...
27 October 2022

Taxes in Spain

Warm climate, sea, eternal siesta — this is what attracts many tourists to Spain. What about business relocation? And most importantly: how to pay Spanish taxes? A question that worries everyone who at least once thought about moving. This article has collected the most complete information about the main types of taxes and told how to pay less.

What are the taxes in Spain?

Let's start with theory and numbers, and then move on to practice. There are 3 levels of taxation in Spain:

  • State (Individual income tax — IRPF; VAT — IVA; corporate income tax — IS);
  • Regional (Corporate Transaction Tax — OS; Property Transfer Tax — ITP; Legal Documented Contract Tax — AJD);
  • Municipal (Real estate taxation — IBI; tax on mechanical traction vehicles — IVTM; tax on economic activity — IAE; construction and installation tax — ICIO; city land value increase tax — IIVTNU) .

Municipalities account for the majority of taxes. They can set their own tax rates.

In Spain, taxes, as elsewhere, are divided into:

  • direct and indirect
  • for residents and non-residents
  • for legal entities and individuals.

Much depends on the level of income, property, personal circumstances and whether you have a residence permit, citizenship or you came on a visa.

In addition, there are 3 types of payments: fees, special contributions and taxes.

But first things first.

Who is a resident of Spain?

  • Resident of Spain — this is physical. a person who stays in the country for more than 183 days a year and/or who has any economic interests in Spain and/or whose spouse/dependants are in Spain.

And if a resident of Spain suddenly moved to an offshore country and provided all the necessary documents stating that he really lives there and pays taxes, then he still remains a tax resident of Spain for another 4 years after the move. Read: pays taxes to two countries.

  • Resident of Spain — it is a legal entity that is located in the territory of the country and / or has a management and control body and / or a legal entity in Spain.

How do you become a resident?

It is clear how to remain a non-resident of Spain as an individual, you need to be in the country for less than 183 days, and so on down the list. With a legal entity non-resident of Spain, not everything is obvious.

For example, if the assets of a legal entity to one degree or another consist of property that is located in Spain, then (if the tax proves it) the non-resident legal entity will become a resident.

You will also become a resident legal entity if you conduct economic activities in Spain. This can be avoided if the management or control body is in another country. That is, roughly speaking, if you keep an office and at least one employee outside of Spain.

Who is a resident of Spain?

Basic taxes paid by residents

These taxes apply to both those born in Spain and those who have received the status of a resident of the country.

  • Individual income tax — el Impuesto sobre la Renta de las Personas Fisicas (IRPF)

Not only wages are subject to tax, but also bonuses, pensions, rental income. The tax period coincides with the calendar period.

Important point: if there is only one employer and you have earned less than 22,000€ for the year, then it is not necessary to submit an income declaration.

You need to pay every month, and at the end of the year the balance is calculated: paid more — returned the money overpaid to the Spanish treasury.

Tax rate range: from 19% to 45%. 19% are paid by those whose annual income was less than 12,450€, 24% — from 12 450€ up to 20 200€, 30% — up to 34,000€, 37% — up to 60,000€, 45% — over 60,000€. The amount of the "income ceiling" may increase with the same rate if you have dependents. In this case, the "ceiling" will increase from 600€ up to 1200€ per year for each dependent.

Personal income tax is levied on persons who live in Spain for at least 183 days a year and have income there. That is, from those who work directly for Spanish employers. The tax payment can be divided into two parts: 60% must be paid before July 1, the rest of — until November 5.

Another important point: residents earning, for example, 61,000€ they pay 45% tax not from the full amount, but from this very extra-1000€. This is the essence of progressive personal income tax.

  • Corporate Income Tax — Impuesto de Sociedades (IS)

Submitted for the period from January 1 to December 31, regardless of the company's income for the year: at least 50€, at least 50,000€. Calculation month — July of the year following the reporting year.

25% — general tax rate for all companies except Navarre and the Basque Country (there you will have to pay 30% and 28% respectively); 20% – cooperatives, charities and associations; 15% – newly registered companies (for the first 2 years).

An interesting point: administrative and criminal fines, as well as expenses associated with offshore companies are not deducted from the taxable base.

  • VAT — Impuesto sobre el Valor Anadido(IVA)

An indirect tax that is applied to what you buy (goods and services). Everyone and everything pays for it, except for health care services (including dental), children's education, insurance and financial transactions.

Total Rate — 21%. For “vulnerable” segments of the population, the rate is lower: 4% for a consumer basket and essentials (by the way, these include newspapers and books) and 10% for other products (meat, fish) and expenses, for example, contact lenses and glasses, housing construction and services in hotels.

  • Property tax — Impuesto sobre bienes immuebles (IBI)

Depends on the cadastral value of the property (it is updated every year) and on the specific municipality where the property is located.

From 0.4% to 1.1% for the city and from 0.3% to 0.9% in rural areas. That is, for an apartment in Madrid worth 200,000€ annually you will pay, very roughly speaking, 4,000€.

Basic taxes paid by residents

Basic taxes paid by non-residents

  • Individual income tax — el Impuesto sobre la Renta de Nos Residentes (IRNR)

Recall that not only wages are subject to tax, but also bonuses, pensions, rental income. For EU citizens — 19% (i.e. the minimum rate), for all other — 24%.

  • VAT — Impuesto sobre el Valor Anadido (IVA)

Payable according to the same rules as for residents. But for non-residents there is a nice bonus: when leaving Spain, VAT can be returned. Tax-free is a good thing after all.

  • Property tax — Impuesto sobre bienes immuebles (IBI)

Everything is exactly the same as for residents. Plus, a luxury tax will be added if the property costs more than 700,000€.

  • Double taxation

For citizens of those countries with which Spain has concluded treaties on the exclusion of double taxation, a nice bonus — no need to pay double taxes.

Benefits and compensations

So we got to the cherry on the cake — compensation and benefits. We will tell you in the same way, quickly, briefly and at the same time in all details.

  • Compensation for the purchase of the first Spanish home

Where to contact: Ministerio de vivienda.

Size: up to 10% of the cost of housing.

Terms of receipt: no more than 4 months have passed from the date of signing the escritura (purchase and sale agreement); low cost per m2 of usable area — this is important, because compensation can be obtained from the purchase of budget housing.

Pitfalls: you will have to pay income tax on the amount of compensation.

  • Youth allowance (under 30) for rent

Where to contact: Ministerio de la Vivienda.

Size: 200€ per month.

Conditions of receipt: You can apply 1 year after living in the apartment (you need to submit 12 invoices for the alkyler); not be related to the landlord; lease agreement for at least a year with a subsequent extension; "show" their official income; you need to be a resident.

Pitfalls: every municipality has its own way, they can refuse without explanation, not suitable for non-residents.

  • One-time financial assistance

Where to contact: personal account on the website of the Tax Service.

Size: 200€ one time.

Eligibility conditions: employed individuals, entrepreneurs with low income or unemployed; citizens or residents; obligatory registration in social insurance or obligatory registration in the employment center; total family income minus expenses for 2021 — up to 14 000€.

Pitfalls: total family income is taken into account, not eligible for Ingreso mínimo vital recipients.

  • Basic Income (Ingreso mínimo vital)

Where to contact: Instituto Nacional de Seguridad Social, in the Basque Country and Navarre — regional services.

Size: from 100€ up to 1200€.

Terms of receipt: residents and citizens; continuous residence for at least 1 year; from 23 to 65 years; live separately (not married, not with parents) for at least 2 years.

Pitfalls: does not stack with other benefits; the unemployed must be registered with the labor exchange at the time of application.

  • Unemployment benefit (Prestación contributiva)

Where to contact: INEM labor exchange.

Grant size: variable.

Conditions for obtaining: certificate from the employer on the payment of finiquito and liquidación; resident card; at least 1 year of work under a contract (if you worked at least 3 months — subsidio por desempleo). Pitfalls: design complexity; must be registered with INEM every 3 months; you will have to wait a few months for an answer.

These were the main benefits available in Spain. As you can see, it is not so easy for a non-resident to receive benefits or compensation. Except in the ways that we described below, in response to questions. 

Benefits and compensations in Spain


In this section, we have listed and analyzed the main questions that our clients ask during consultations.

— I have some capital. I want to relocate to Spain, but be free, roughly speaking, from 50% of taxes. Live in Spain and pay the minimum. How?

For some reason, everyone is scared by the progressive tax figure? This is up to 45% only personal income tax. But it is worth considering that, along with the principle of “earn more — you give more The tax system in Spain also offers a number of reliefs at the local level.

For example, if you live in Catalonia, you can expect to receive a reduced tax rate when paying off your student loan at a Spanish university. The list of indulgences and benefits is very extensive, it would not be enough for a few articles to list them all.

Perhaps the best option is how to live in Spain and pay much less taxes — it is not to be its resident. Because by becoming a tax resident in Spain, you will have to pay absolutely for all your assets located in all countries. If, of course, they are located in these countries “white”.

There is another option: pay 24% personal income tax for the first 10 years of residence in Spain. This only applies to new residents.

And for the "old" ones who have not been residents for 10 years, but want to return to do business and just live in Spain, the "Beckham's Law" applies; (only if you are returning to Spain under an employment contract with Spanish employers): the first “new” 6 years pay a rate of 24%, that is, as for non-residents. Maximum income for 6 years — 600,000€, then 47% rate applies.

Pros of not being a Spanish resident: if you live in Spain, you don't have to pay up to 50% of your income.
Cons: not very legal, you won't be able to buy property, live permanently in Spain. However, for digital nomads, this is a great option.

— I want to move to Spain, while in my homeland I still have a business that brings me profit. What percentage of taxes will I pay?

In this case, you need to pay only IRNR — tax for non-residents. Although there are pitfalls here too: it all depends on the type of Russian business. Recall that citizens of countries with which Spain has concluded treaties on the exclusion of double taxation (in the list of more than 90 countries) are exempted from paying taxes of the country they leave.

— I am an IT specialist, I want to open a sole proprietorship in Spain, to transport my wife. How to pay less taxes? How much will I pay and where?

An analogue of IP in Spain is called autónoma. The first body where you will need to deduct part of your income is Seguridad Social (something like a pension fund).

The new autónomas donate 80 euros per month to the fund for two years. But if during the first year your income as an entrepreneur exceeded 1000€ per month, excluding expenses, the amount of the contribution will be recalculated on a scale of 15 steps. For example, with an income of 3,000€ per month, you will have to pay about 400€ per month. At 6,000€ per month – about 500€. The more your income – the larger the contribution.

The second instance to which you will need to make deductions — directly tax, you need to deduct payments for VAT, 21%, incoming income minus outgoing.

There is also a tabla IRPF scale. It is progressive and multi-layered. And according to this scale, the tax office will recalculate your tax, for example, you earned more than 60,000 euros in a year. And if you open this scale, you will see — up to 47% is broken down. If so, then the 20% you paid during the year won't be enough. They will also calculate the tax — you will pay extra.

The tax base in the case of IT specialists and individual entrepreneurs can be reduced if you have any expenses associated with your type of activity. For example, spending on the Internet, paying for tickets for business trips, salaries for employees. By the way, as an option, you can arrange for a spouse to work for you, but on the condition that his / her activities will coincide with yours.

That is, you arrange him / her to your place, just pay a salary, reduce the tax base by the amount of contributions to the fund and the tax base. But everything needs a justification, it’s not so easy to do it, you need documents, checks and the like, because there is a very reasonable risk of stumbling upon a sudden tax audit.

You can create invoices for contractors in Russia and Ukraine, the tax office in Spain does not transfer data to Russia and Ukraine and vice versa.

— Which is better: autónoma or a company for 2-3 employees?

Autónoma is literally responsible for everything with his head, his property. And the company – it is a limited liability company. Therefore, if there are several employees, then it is better to open a company, it is safer, there are fewer risks.

But this, of course, will only help if there are regular customers and payments are established. To open the authorized capital of the company, you need to put 1 euro into your bank account.

You will also pay taxes in Seguridad Social, but you don’t pay quarterly, like an individual entrepreneur, but only in July of the year following the reporting one. And not 20%, but 15% for the first 2 years, and then 25%, income minus expenses. And in the same way, it will be possible to arrange a job for your spouse or spouse.

Money can be withdrawn from the company in the form of a salary to oneself or in the form of dividends when income tax is paid.

— It turns out that he paid the social security. He hired himself in the company, paid himself and his wife a salary, it was written off from the company in the form of taxable expenses, so the tax base decreased.

And then, as an employee with a salary, what scale will I pay taxes on? By IRPF?

Yes. Pay tax just like an individual.

— And if I still want to work as an autónoma in Spain, can I then open a company? What will be needed for this?

You don't even have to close autónoma to do this. For the first 2 years you will also pay 80 euros per month, then you can simply open a company with yourself as a founder. In this case, you do not need to close the IP — you can hire yourself in your own company. Thus, you do not lose the benefit.

How much money do you need to spend in Spain?
Thinking of moving to Spain and starting a new life there? Your desire is shared by more than 5.5 million foreigners who settled there. This is almost 12% of the total population of the country. Among the visitors there are most British, but, despite...
27 October 2022
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