(updated Jan. 2022)
INCOME TAX FOR INDIVIDUALS IN SPAIN – SPECIAL ATTENTION TO PENSIONS AND UK INCOMES
1.- TAXABLE EVENT – INCOMES AND RENTALS
The taxable event is made up of all the incomes received during the NATURAL YEAR (in Spain a “Natural Year” is from 01.01 to 31.12):
– Individuals or particulars, with tax residence in Spain.
What types of incomes?: Salaries, pensions, rental income, income from economic or professional activities, gambling profits, donations, sales, inheritances, shares, interests, etc.
2.- WHO IS LIABLE?
All those natural persons who have their habitual residence in Spanish territory.
When is it considered that an individual or individual has their habitual residence in Spain?
There are several criteria to determine when a person is a tax resident in Spain:
- General criteria – Stay in Spain for more than 6 months
A person is considered a resident of Spain when he or she remains in Spanish territory for more than 183 days during a calendar year.
In order to count the time, temporary trips or stays abroad that do not imply a change of residence are not taken into account. In other words, only those stays abroad that involve a real change of residence will be considered as «absences» for this purpose.
In this way, a round trip abroad, whether on vacation, health, visiting relatives, leisure, etc., will not count as «absence», and the time involved in the trip will be counted as «stay in Spain».
Case of Tax Havens: For these purposes, a certificate of residence issued by a Tax Haven will not be valid.
However, if there is a «real» change of residence of the taxpayer to a Tax Haven, once this change is verified for more than 6 months and one day, for FOUR YEARS it will continue to be taxed in Spain as a tax resident.
For Spain, a “Tax Paradise/Haven” ceases to be so when Agreements have been signed to avoid double taxation, with the exchange of information obligations between the two countries.
As an example, Spain has been signing this type of agreement with the following countries:
- United Arab Emirates
- Trinidad and Tobago
Criterion of MAIN economic activity
By means of this criterion, a tax resident in Spain is considered to be anyone who has activities or economic interests with the main nucleus or base in Spain.
In the event that the taxpayer does not wish to be considered as a resident in Spain based on this criterion, he will have to prove that he has the base or main nucleus of his activity outside of Spain.
- Family Nucleus Criterion
A person is considered resident in Spain in the event that the non-separated spouse or minor children of the natural person reside in Spain.
- Immigrant regime
Those workers who remain in Spain only and exclusively for work reasons, will be exempt and will not be taxed by the Income Tax of Individuals, but by the Income Tax of NON-RESIDENTS (which is lower than the Tax of Residents).
For this exemption to be fulfilled, these people must prove:
- That they have an employment contract that requires them to stay in Spain
- Who have not been a resident in Spain during the previous 10 years
The objective of this regime is to welcome qualified labor in Spain, since, since income is not subject to personal income tax, which reaches rates close to 50%, it allows these income to be taxed to IRNR (Non-Resident Income Tax ), with a fixed rate of 19% for nationals of the European Union, and 24% for the rest.
- Income allocation regime
In addition to «natural persons» or «individuals», there are several cases that are also subject to the tax:
- Civil societies
- Communities of owners
- Reclining inheritances
In these cases, the income obtained by these entities is attributed to the members that make them up, so that the entity itself is not taxed either by personal income tax or by corporation tax.
The way to attribute the income obtained by these entities to their members or participants is done as follows:
- In the event that the members of the entity are taxable persons of the Corporation Tax, they will pay for this tax.
- In the event that the members are individuals or individuals, they will pay personal income tax.
3.- INCOME TAX EXEMPTIONS
There is a long list of income that is not taxed by personal income tax, such as compensation in the event of dismissal (the first 180,000 euros are exempt, the rest must be taxed as work performance); scholarships for studies, income from work abroad (the limit for exemption is 60,100 euros per year), or payments for maternity or paternity.
Below we present a list of income exempt from taxation in personal income tax, as collected by the Tax Agency for fiscal year 2021:
- Benefits and pensions granted for acts of terrorism.
- Indemnities for personal injuries that are as a result of civil liability and those derived from accident insurance contracts.
- Compensation for dismissal or termination of the worker.
- Benefits for absolute permanent disability or great disability received from Social Security or by the entities that replace it.
- Pensions for uselessness or permanent disability of the passive class regime.
- Remuneration for maternity or paternity and similar and non-contributory family members.
- Public benefits for fostering people with disabilities, over 65 or under.
- Annuities for food in favor of the sons and daughters.
- Relevant literary, artistic or scientific awards declared exempt by the Treasury and Princess of Asturias Awards.
- Help for high-level athletes, with a limit of 60,100 euros.
- Unemployment benefits received in the single payment method.
- Long-term Savings Plans.
- Gratifications for participation in international peace or humanitarian missions to the members of said missions and compensation for international peace and security operations.
- Indemnities paid by Public Administrations for personal injuries.
- Benefits received for burial or burial.
- Indemnities from the State and the Autonomous Communities to compensate for the deprivation of liberty.
- Individual savings plans.
- Income from work derived from the benefits obtained in the form of income by people with disabilities corresponding to contributions to social security systems and contributions to protected assets.
- Public economic benefits linked to the service, for care in the family environment and personalized assistance.
- Minimum insertion income and aid for victims of violent crimes and gender violence.
- Family benefits and aid received from any of the public administrations, whether related to birth, adoption, foster care or care of minor children.
Exempted capital gains
In addition, there are income obtained through Capital Gains that are exempt from the tax, such as: Donations of goods with the right to a deduction in the quota or the transfer of the habitual residence by people over 65 years of age or in situations of great dependency.
Among them, we list the following:
- Delivery of Historical Heritage assets in payment of personal income tax.
- Dation in payment of the habitual residence.
- Equity gains from the transfer of certain properties.
- Exemption for shares or participations of newly or recently created entities acquired before September 29, 2013.
- Income obtained by the debtor in bankruptcy proceedings.
- Aid to offset the costs in buildings affected by the release of the digital dividend.
- Earnings exempt from reinvestment in habitual residence.
Earnings or income from work abroad
We want to make special mention of income from work abroad.
In these cases, those income obtained from work income received as a result of work actually carried out abroad for a company or entity not resident in Spain, or a permanent establishment located abroad, are considered exempt.
For this exemption to apply, the following are required:
- That in the country where the work was carried out there is a tax of an identical or analogous nature to the Spanish personal income tax
- That the territory or country has not been classified as a tax haven
- Proof that there has been a «real» displacement
- That the beneficiary of the works is a non-resident entity or permanent establishment in Spain. The maximum limit of the exemption will be € 60,100 per year.
Minimum Amount Exempted
Spanish system establishes a certain amount non taxable. This amount is:
- 1.- INDIVIDUALS , or couple who make separate tax declaration :
- 5.550 EUR for individuals of less than 65 years old
- 6.700 EUR for individuals of 65 years old or more
- 6,950 EUR for individuals of 75 years old of more
- 2.- FAMILIES: It is the result to add the individual amount to the following ones:
- MINIMUM FOR DESCENDANTS
For each one of them under 25 years of age or with a disability, whatever their age, provided that they live with the taxpayer, do not have annual income, excluding exempt income, greater than 8,000 euros and have not filed a tax return. with incomes over 1,800 euros, from:– 2,400 euros per year for the first.
– 2,700 euros per year for the second.
– 4,000 euros per year for the third.
– 4,500 euros per year for the fourth and following.
When the descendant is less than three years old, the minimum will be increased by 2,800 euros per year.
- MINIMUM BY ASCENDANTS : 1,150 euros per year, for each one of them over 65 years of age or with a disability, whatever their age, who lives with the taxpayer for at least six months, does not have annual income, excluding exempt income, higher than 8,000 euros and has not filed a declaration with annual income of more than 1,800 euros.. When the ascendant is over 75 years of age, the previous minimum will be increased by 1,400 euros per year (€2,550 per year).
- MINIMUM FOR DISABILITY :
The minimum for disability will be the sum of the minimum for disability of the taxpayer and the minimum for disability of ascendants and descendants.
The minimum for disability of the taxpayer will be 3,000 euros per year and 9,000 euros per year when he proves a degree of disability equal to or greater than 65%. This minimum will be increased by 3,000 euros per year when you prove you need help from third parties or reduced mobility, or a degree of disability equal to or greater than 65%.
The minimum for disability of ascendants or descendants will be 3,000 euros per year and 9,000 euros when a degree of disability equal to or greater than 65% is proven. Said minimum will be increased, by way of assistance expenses, by 3,000 euros per year for each ascendant or descendant who proves that they need help from third parties or reduced mobility, or a degree of disability equal to or greater than 65%.
Taxpayers who prove a degree of disability equal to or greater than 33% will be considered persons with disabilities.
- When two or more taxpayers are entitled to the application of the minimum for descendants, ascendants or disability, with respect to the same ascendants or descendants, its amount will be prorated between them in equal parts.
IMPORTANT RULE: In case that you decided to make joint tax declarations, the maximum anount that you may use to as reduction will be of 5.500 EUR / year. And this, independently of the age, family members, etc.
REGIONAL BONIFICATIONS ON ACQUISITION/REFORM OF PERMANENT RESIDENCE
Depending on the Spanish region, you may find different reductions and bonifications on the Income Tax on the acquisition of a house for living permently, or for special reforms (to reduce energy, etc.).
Here we find some of them:
-For beneficiaries of aid to protected house: a deduction of 30 euros for citizens who have received aid or benefit for the acquisition or rehabilitation of protected housing. The total annual income of the family unit may not exceed 2.5 or 3.5 or 5.5 times the Iprem in protected housing of special, general and limited price regime, respectively.
-Investment in protected habitual house: 2% of the amount invested in acquisition and / or rehabilitation is deducted with the limits of the previous section and with the condition that they are operations prior to 2003.
-Investment in habitual residence for children under 35: Deduction of 3% for the amounts paid for purchase or rehabilitation in operations before 2003. The sum of the general tax base and that of savings cannot exceed 19,000 euros in individual taxation and 24,000 in joint.
-Rehabilitation of habitual residence: 1.5% of the amounts paid with a limit of 9,040 euros.
-Regional section for investment in habitual residence: a deduction of 7.5% in general and rises to 15% with the rehabiilitación of homes for people with disabilities. In general terms, it rises to 9% for works before July 30, 2011 in people aged 32 years or younger, with at least six months unemployed, 65% disability or being part of a family unit with a child. The limit is 30,000 euros of total tax base minus the personal and family minimum.
Community of Valencia
-First acquisition of habitual residence with 35 or less years: the deduction is 5% of what was paid (except interest) if the total tax base does not reach 15,039.18 euros.
-Acquisition of habitual residence by people with disabilities: same deduction and same limit for people with physical or sensory disabilities of at least 65% or psychic of at least 33%.
-Aid for the acquisition or rehabilitation of a habitual residence: people who have received this type of aid can deduct 102 euros.
-For investment in habitual residence by young people of age equal to or less than 35years: the deduction is 5% of the expenses of acquisition, construction, extension or rehabilitation, including others such as external financing, interest, amortization … provided that the total tax base does not exceed 24,107.20 euros and the taxable base of savings does not exceed 1,800 euros.
-For investments to improve the sustainability of the habitual residence: 50% of the investments «that improve the quality and sustainability of the homes» with a maximum base of 10,000 euros per year. The total tax base must not exceed 30,000 euros in individual taxation and 48,000 in joint taxation.
JOINT DECLARATION REDUCTION
Members of the same family may opt to present the Income Tax declaration «joined». This will reduct the amunt of 3.400 EUR, or 2.150 EUR in case of monoparental families.
Opting for joined or separate declaration will depend on the individual result of the tax from each member of the family.
For this, it is very important to know that the «Minimum Amount Exempted» per person will not be multiplied by 2 in case of joint declaration. This reduction will be just 5.550 EUR from the base of the tax.
So, taking this into account, some examples:
- In case of 2 pensioners, in the majority of cases, the most appropiate is to declare per separate.
- When only one of the couple is the receiver of the salary/pension, usually is more beneficial the joint declaration.
As a general rule, the personal income tax return is filed individually. However, if you are married – although the Spanish Tax office also recognizes other types of family unit – you can choose to declare jointly, provided that all its members aretaxpayers of this tax.
Remember that for the Tax office. a family unit is :
- a marriage with or without minor or dependent children
- in-de-facto couple («Pareja de hecho»)
- or single-parent couples, the family unit is understood to be that formed by the father or mother and all the minor or dependent children who live with the parent.
But do not forget that opting for this modality one fiscal year does not force you to do it in successive ones. Of course, in the fiscal year that this option has beenchosen, it can only be modified within the regulatory deadline for filing returns.
Characteristics of the joint declaration in the 2020 Income Tax
- Income of any kind obtained by each and every member of the family unit shall be subject to cumulative taxation. That is, and this is important, only a personal minimum applies. For children, only minimums apply for descendants and, if they are disabled, also the minimum for disability.
- All members of the family unit will be subject to the tax jointly and severally, so that the FULL tax amount resulting from the declaration, may be demanded in its entirety from any of you
- The same tax scales (general and regional or complementary) apply as for individual taxation.
Advantages of making the joint declaration in the Income 2020
Although each case is unique (depending on personal and economic circumstances), this modality coudl be interesting in the following cases:
- For marriages in which a member does not receive income or if he receives it are very low (less than 3,400 euros per year). In the joint declarations of family units integrated by a marriage with or without children, the Tax office contemplates a reduction of the taxable base of 3,400 euros per year.
- For Single-parent families when the children do not receive income.
- In the joint declarations of family units integrated by a married couple with children, the Tax office contemplates a reduction of the taxable base of 3,400 euros per year.
- In de-facto-couples («parejas de hecho«), only one of its members (father or mother) can form a family unit with the children (minors or dependents) and, consequently, opt for joint taxation, and the other member of the couple must declare individually. The same criterion applies in cases of separation or divorce with guard and joint custody.
- De-facto-couples with children or single-parent families are subject to a reduction in the tax base of 2,150 euros per year, whichadded to the personal minimum gives a total: 7,700 euros.
- Another advantage of joint declaration is that capital losses can be offset by joint gains.
- The maximum limits of the reductions in the taxable base for contributions to social security systems, including those constituted in favor of people with disabilities, to protected assets of people with disabilities and to the Mutual Society of social security of professional athletes will be applied individually by each participant (contributor, mutualist or insured) integrated into the family unit entitled to any of these reductions.
Disadvantages of making the joint declaration in the Income 2020
- In any of the modalities of family unit, the personal minimum applicable in the joint declaration will be 5,550 euros per year, regardless of the number of members integrated in it. And the limits are also maintained to know whether or not you are obliged to file the declaration, they will be the same 22,000 euros for income from a single payer whether it is done individually or jointly. Thus, if a couple opted for the joint declaration, the personal minimum would be the same (5,550 euros), with a reduction of the taxable base of 3,400 euros per year. Total: 8,950 euros. While doing it separately, the reduction is 11,100 euros.
As a disadvantage of this modality, it is important to know that the Tax office may decide to compensate in accordance with the rule of the negative items of previous periods not compensated by the taxpayers who form the family unit regardless of whether they come from a previous individual or joint declaration.
Advantages of making the individual declaration
- When taxing individually, it should be kept in mind that it will be necessary to separate and individualize the income of each member of the couple,which implies not only the income from work or economic activities, (whcih is relatively simple because they are attributed to the person who has generated them), but also the rest of the patrimony: widow’s pensions, pension plans, insurance, current accounts, investments, etc. From these concepts, some of them are easy to identify because they correspond to the beneficiary, but in case of benefits obtained by the performance of private property from each spouse will keep those that are in their name and (very important) those incomes coming from capital will be imputed to the couple 50% each.
- Thus, returning to the case of a marriage in which both work and have a ‘normal’ salary, it is advisable in most cases to make the declaration separately since, on the one hand, the income is not taxed cumulatively (avoiding enhancing the progressivity of said tax scale) and also, the reduction in the taxable base by Joint taxation in case of marriages is 3,400 euros, while the personal minimum for an individual declaration is 5,550 for each. In this way, it will always be better to opt for individual declarations to further reduce the tax base: the 11,100 euros that add up to the reductions of doing it separately.
Does having children influence making an individual or joint declaration?
There are no major differences between joint and individual declarations, since the reduction is the same for children and, in the case of opting for the individual, each one imputes 50% of the reduction.
In case of mortgage,is it better to make the individual or joint declarations?
For purchases of properties – those that constitute the habitual residence– that were made before January 1, 2013 (after 2013 there is no bonus), each holder of a mortgage loan is entitled to a deduction of 15% on the amount paid over a year, with a limit per taxpayer of 9,040 euros.
In the individual declarations, each of them can benefit from the deduction for the purchase of a habitual residence of 15%, with a limit of 9,040 euros. That is, between them they can reach 18,080 euros of relief. If the joint declaration is chosen, the 15% deduction would only be applied on a maximum of 9,040 euros for the two members.
4.- TAX BASE
The taxable base of the tax will be those income from:
- Income: Salaries, capital income, activities, and allowances, pensions, payments in kind, etc.
- Income from Capital Gains, and imputed income.
To begin with, income must be classified and quantified according to its origin, thus distinguishing between income from income, income from capital gains and losses, and imputed income.
5.- DEDUCTIBLE EXPENSES
The following concepts can be deduced:
- Contributions to Social Security or to mandatory general mutual societies for civil servants.
- Withdrawals for passive rights (employee contributions for their retirement).
- Contributions to orphan or similar schools.
- Fees paid to unions
- Mandatory contributions to Professional Associations for the mandatory fee with a limit of 500 euros per year.
- Legal defense expenses for litigation by the taxpayer against the person from whom he receives the income up to 300.00 euros / year.
Tax base reductions
A series of reductions will be applied to the amount resulting from subtracting income and yields – deductible expenses, which are established each year by the Spanish administration.
6.- TAX RATE
TAX RATE FOR REGULAR INCOMES
|Up to 12.449 €||19 %|
|12.450 – 20.199 €||24 %|
|20.200 – 35.199 €||30 %|
|35.200 – 59.999 €||37 %|
|60.000 – 299,999 €||45 %|
|+ 300.000 €||47 %|
TAX RATE FOR SAVINGS
|Up to 6000 €||19 %|
|6000 – 49.999 €||21 %|
|50.000 – 199.999 €||23 %|
|+ 200.000 €||26 %|
HOW ARE PENSIONS TAXED?
In relation to Spanish personal income tax, pensions are considered as income from work and, as such, are subject to withholding before the Treasury, the pensioner receiving their net amount in their checking account. In this way, the withholding is a “payment on account” of the final personal income tax.
What is the retention percentage?
This percentage depends on two conditions:
- The total amount of the pension: The higher the pension, the higher retention.
- The personal and family circumstances of the pensioner: When there are circumstances such as disability, the retention is lower.
Minimum exempt from pensions
All pensions that do not exceed 22,000 euros in annual income are exempt from declaring personal income tax, as long as they come from ONE SINGLE PAYER (usually Social Security).
However, in the event that the pensioner obtains other income derived from work income, or other public or private pensions, that is, that he has TWO PAYERS, and that this income is greater than 1,500 euros per year, the exempt minimum will be of 14,000 euros.
Withholdings for pension tranches
They are as follows:
- Pensions that do not exceed 12,000 euros annually: Less than 1%
- Pensions of more than 12,000 euros per year:
- 2.61% for pensions from 12,001 to 18,000 euros per year
- 8.69% for pensions from 18,001 to 24,000 euros per year
- 11.83% for pensions from 24,001 to 30,000 euros per year
- 15.59% for pensions greater than 30,000 euros per year
Once the final personal income tax declaration has been made, the pensioner will be in one of two situations:
- In the event that the amounts paid as withholdings have been HIGHER than the amount that should be paid for personal income tax, the statement will be «TO RETURN».
- In the event that such withholdings are LESS than the amount to be paid for personal income tax, the statement will be “TO PAY”.
PENSIONISTS RESIDENT IN SPAIN OF BRITISH NATIONALITY
DOUBLE TAX CONVENTION SPAIN- UK of March 14, 2013 (BOE of May 15, 2014)
In a simplified way, taking into account the provisions of the Agreement between Spain and the United Kingdom (CDI), the taxation for TAX RESIDENTS in Spain of the income of BRITISH ORIGIN most commonly obtained would be:
– Pensions: understood as remunerations that have their cause in a previously exercised job, they have different treatment depending on whether they are public or private.
- Public pension (article 18.2 CDI): a public pension is understood to be that which is received by reason of a previous public employment; that is, that which is received by reason of services rendered to a State, to one of its political subdivisions or to a local entity, for example, the pension received by an official.
Its treatment is:
- In general, public pensions will only be taxed in the UK. In Spain they would be exempt, with exemption progressively. This means that if the taxpayer is obliged to file a tax return for obtaining other income, the amount of the exempt pension is taken into account in Spain to calculate the tax applicable to the remaining income.
- However, if the beneficiary of the public pension resident in Spain had Spanish nationality, the aforementioned pensions would only be taxed in Spain.
- Private pension (article 17 CDI): by private pension is understood any other type of pension received by reason of a previous private job, as opposed to what has been identified as public employment, for example, the pension received from social security by a private sector worker.
Private pensions will only be taxed in Spain.
– Incomes derived from real estate (article 6 CDI): income from real estate located in the United Kingdom can be taxed in both Spain and the United Kingdom.
The resident taxpayer would have the right to apply the deduction for international double taxation in Spain in personal income tax.
– Dividends (article 10 CDI): British source dividends may be taxed in Spain in accordance with its internal legislation. These dividends, in general, can also be taxed in the United Kingdom, if this is the State in which the company that pays the dividends resides and according to its internal legislation, but if the recipient of the dividends is the beneficial owner residing in Spain, the The tax thus required in the United Kingdom will have a maximum limit of 10% or 15% of the gross amount of the dividends. The resident taxpayer would have the right to apply the deduction for international double taxation in Spain in personal income tax up to that limit.
– Interests (article 11 CDI): Interests from the United Kingdom and whose beneficial owner is a resident of Spain, can only be taxed in Spain.
– Remuneration of members of the boards of directors of companies resident in the United Kingdom (article 15 CDI): They can be taxed both in the United Kingdom and in Spain. The taxpayer would have the right in Spain to apply the deduction for international double taxation in personal income tax.
– Capital gains:
- Derivatives of real estate (article 13.1 CDI): the gains obtained from the sale of real estate located in the United Kingdom, can be subject to taxation in both Spain and the United Kingdom. The taxpayer has the right to apply the deduction for international double taxation in Spain in personal income tax.
- Derivatives of movable property that belong to a permanent establishment (article 13.2 CDI): the gains obtained by the disposal of movable property that belong to a permanent establishment that a resident in Spain owns in the United Kingdom to carry out business activities, including Gains derived from the disposal of the permanent establishment may be taxed both in the United Kingdom and in Spain. The taxpayer has the right to apply the deduction for international double taxation in Spain in personal income tax.
- Derived from the sale of shares, other than those that are considerably and regularly traded on a Stock Exchange, participations, or similar rights, whose value comes from more than 50 percent, directly or indirectly, from real estate located in the United Kingdom (article 13.4 CDI): can be taxed in both the United Kingdom and Spain. The taxpayer has the right to apply the deduction for international double taxation in Spain in personal income tax.
- Derived from the sale of shares or participations or other rights that, directly or indirectly, grant the owner of said shares, participations or rights, the right to enjoy real estate located in the United Kingdom (article 13.5 CDI): they may be taxed both in the UK and in Spain. The taxpayer has the right to apply the deduction for international double taxation in Spain in personal income tax.
- Derived from the sale of any other asset other than those mentioned in sections 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 of article 13 (article 13.6 CDI): they can only be taxed in Spain. In addition to those mentioned above, the Agreement lists other types of income (business benefits, remuneration for work, artists and athletes, public functions, other income…), the treatment of which can be consulted in the text thereof.
-OBLIGATION OF INFORMATION ON ASSETS ABROAD
People residing in Spain must inform the Spanish Tax Administration about three different categories of assets and rights located abroad:
- accounts in financial institutions located abroad
- securities, rights, insurance and income deposited, managed or obtained abroad
- real estate and rights to real estate located abroad
This obligation must be fulfilled, through form 720, between January 1 and March 31 of the year following that to which the information to be supplied refers.
There will be no obligation to report on each of the categories of goods when the value of the set of goods corresponding to each category does not exceed 50,000 euros.
Once the informative return has been submitted for one or more of the categories of goods and rights, the presentation of the statement in subsequent years will be mandatory when the value has experienced an increase of more than 20,000 euros compared to that determined by the presentation of the last statement .
The Personal Income Tax Law and the General Tax Law establish specific consequences for the case of non-compliance with this information obligation.