That time of year

Yes, it's May and that means that by the end of next month, you have to submit your tax return to the Spanish authorities. If you're like me, you will want to make sure that you have got all your paperwork sorted out in plenty of time. With this in mind, I thought it might be helpful to mention some of the often-used terms connected to finance and tax here in Spain. Before you set about doing your Declaracion de la Renta (tax return), for La Hacienda (tax office, run regionally, known formally as Agencia Estatal de Administracion Tributaria), you may wish to engage the services of a gestor, an accountant who can help you with all the paperwork. Alternatively, if you're brave enough, you can try submitting your declaracion online. I'm told it's very simple by a (British) friend, although I still prefer to use a Spanish professional to take the stress out of the whole pressure, in common with most freelancers. You'll need to get your Certificado de Retenciones from your employer, if you have one. This details all the money you've been paid during the year, and how much tax has been deducted (IRPF, Impuestos sobre la Renta de las Personas Fisicas, Personal Income Tax). You're also supposed to (in theory) declare any income from rental properties. Alternatively, if all your income comes from one single source, then you can just take your documents (borrador, draft declaracion sent to you around now; certificado de retenciones; a slip from your bank detailing your average balance; and, if the borrador is not correct, data to explain the corrections needed) along to your nearest Hacienda office, where they will enter all the data and carry out the operation for you, so you get to take home your filled-out, final declaracion. Offically you only have to make a return if you earn more than 22.000 euros per year, where tax is deducted at source. But remember that your Declaracion is a very useful official document to show how much you earn in total annually, and as such can be used in applications for various types of regional or state funding and subsidies, such as nursery places. There are two useful phone numbers for queries, making appointments etc: 900 333 555 or 901 200 345.
Blog published on 12 May 2011