If you are a tax resident in Spain you will have to declare your global income every year. This is done through a process known in Spanish as Declaración de la Renta. Every year, from 1 April until 30 June, tax residents in Spain can declare their global income for the previous tax year (the Spanish tax year is from 1 January to 31 December) to the Spanish Tax Agency or AEAT.
The Declaración de la Renta is used by the Tax Agency to calculate the total amount of the IRPF (Personal Income tax) that you must pay, based on your total income for the past year and the tax allowances you are entitled to. If you have paid less tax than you owe, you will have to pay the difference and if you have overpaid, you will receive a refund.
How do I do the Declaración?
In Spain you can declare your global income electronically from your own computer with a Digital Certificate, a Cl@ve password or your NIE. If you decide to use your NIE, you will have to provide a reference number from the Declaración of the previous year, found in the box 505 of the Model 100 (the form to declare the personal income tax).
If you don’t have a Digital Certificate, Cl@ve or reference number, you can still process the Declaración from your home with phone assistance (available from 4 May onwards) or in person with an appointment/cita previa from 27 May onwards. To request these services, you have to visit the AEAT website and click on the link Cita Previa Renta.
Also, a gestoría can do the Declaración on your behalf, which might be helpful for people who have several sources of income, property or other factors which might make the process more complex. For people whose circumstances are straightforward, such as being regularly employed or whose sole income is a pension where the tax is automatically deducted at source in Spain, the process might take no longer than ten minutes to complete online themselves.
To start the online process from your computer, access this link or click the icon shown below at the AEAT website “Servicio de tramitación borrador/declaración (Renta WEB)”.
You can identify yourself with your NIE or a digital certificate. If you use your NIE, you will have to give its validity date and the reference number of your previous Declaración (found in the box 505) to continue the process.
If you continue with your digital certificate, the next page will show all your personal details (NIE, name, address). Check that all the information is correct, and if it is not, press “modificar” to make any changes. Once everything is correct, press “ratificar”. On the next page, press “continuar”.
On the next page, you will find a list of the available service options. To proceed with the Declaración, click on the first link “Borrador/Declaración (Renta WEB), shown in the image below.
Once you have clicked the correct option, you will access an online form containing your personal details. You might have to add identification information about your home/address. One of these is the referencia catastral, which is a serial number corresponding to the property where you are currently living (equivalent to the Land Registry number for UK property). If you don’t know the number, use the search engine provided by the website to find your address or use this link to access it from this guide.
Double check that all the information is correct and updated. If you are married and your partner is a non-resident or a non- taxpayer, tick the box shown in the image below (1). You opt to submit the Declaración as an individual or jointly with your partner. If you wish to present the declaration individually, tick the box shown in the image below (2). After checking all the information, press “Aceptar'' at the bottom of the page.
You will then access a page showing all your contributions and deductions from your employment and income for the previous year. While this information should automatically appear you are responsible for its accuracy. So make sure that everything is included. If you were employed during that year, you can press “ver datos fiscales” to see if the information included automatically coincides with the withholding certificate or certificado de retenciones issued by your employer/s.
If everything is correct, go back to the previous page (Resumen de Declaraciones) and press Continuar con la Declaración.
Next steps with the Declaración
After pressing Continuar con la Declaración you will see an online form of 54 pages which covers all the possible situations and changes that may affect your Declaración. For simple tax declarations, there is rarely anything to change, for more complex circumstances it might be advisable to get the help of a specialized gestor to ensure that you are claiming all the available allowances and that you have submitted everything correctly.
On the next page, you can opt to make a donation to the Catholic church or to charitable organisations, which can be tax deductible. In case of a joint declaration with your partner, you will also need to specify who is the named representative for the couple and the country you live in if you are currently not living in Spain.
To check for any mistakes you can use the function “Validar”, found at the top of the page. Pressing the button will show you any errors in your declaration (if any) and alerts (avisos) to inform you of any deductions, sections you may have forgotten to complete, method of payment and the account you will use.
Once you have checked everything, to submit your tax return, press the button “presentar Declaración”, located on the top right of your screen. You will have a final option to confirm the payment method and the account you want to use. Then press “Aceptar”.
Finally, you will have to sign off the declaration and press Firmar y enviar to complete the process. If you need to pay any additional tax, the payment will go through on 30 June. Therefore make sure there is enough money in your bank account to cover it.
If you are owed a refund from the Tax Agency, this should arrive within one month of the end of the declaration period (30 June). If it takes any longer, the Tax Agency will pay you interest to cover the period of delay.
Once you have completed the process you will be able to download, save and print a PDF version of your tax return or declaration.
What happens if I do not do the Declaración?
Everyone is required to ensure that they pay the correct amount of tax and make a tax declaration if needed. If you do owe tax, you can be liable to a fine as well as interest payments on any tax owed. This can be requested for any tax period(s) within the previous five years. If you are not sure of your taxation status and liabilities, it is advisable to get professional advice.