The language of... tax

About a month ago, I did post on preparing and submitting your Declaracion de la Renta (tax return), the deadline for which is the end of this month. Like most people, the mere thought of this sends me into a cold sweat. All those unfamiliar but important terms, many of which sound confusingly like English words, but are either subtly or completely different (false friends, as they're known in the language-teaching world). This will be my eighth year of doing a declaracion, and yet I'm still not totally au fait with all the financial and administrative expressions. Stupidity (they're just words to learn, how hard can it be?), laziness (yes, but they're so boooo-ring), or a bit of both? So here are some useful terms, which might help you negotiate the rocky path of the Spanish tax system, along with a few of the ones which have never stuck in my head, or which I have confused with other words. Also, there are often many words for saying the same thing, typically for Spanish. Hopefully this list might help you too. And if I've got any of the definitions wrong, please feel free to correct me. el año fiscal - tax year contribuyente - taxpayer tributo/tributario; tributar (impuestos) - tax (noun/adjective); pay (tax) tributacion - tax system; taxation; paying of taxes Agencia Tributaria - tax department impuestos - tax (general) devolucion de impuestos (everybody's favourite tax expression!) - tax rebate rendimiento - yield/return ingresos - earnings or income nomina/sueldo - paycheck/salary/wages beneficio - profit perdida - loss fiscalidad - taxation; tax system; level of tax (eg una alta fiscalidad) abonar - to pay (for); to credit someone's account abono - payment epigrafe - your code, according to your "economic activity", ie your job/work - I'm 861, which covers a broad creative field: "painters, sculptors, artisans... and similar artists" according to the Agencia Tributaria (Tax Department)'s website. IAE (Impuesto sobre Actividades Economicos) There's a popular joke that here in Andalucia, even God doesn't pay his taxes. Indeed, most wealthy individuals probably find some clever way of avoiding this whenever they (or their accountant) can. But If you're going to be a good citizen, and declare your earnings, then you've got 18 days left. Good luck, stay calm, and carry on!
Blog published on 13 June 2011