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EMPLOYMENT

Spain launches plan to woo workers who left during crisis

Spain's Socialist cabinet on Friday approved a plan to persuade some of the roughly one million workers who left the country during its 2008-2013 economic slump to return home.

Spain launches plan to woo workers who left during crisis
Photo: kesto/Depositphotos

Among the 50 measures included in the two-year plan are scholarships and grants for scientific researchers and lower social security payments for selected workers, the government said in a statement after cabinet approved the programme.

The plan also calls for the creation of an online search engine for job opportunities in Spain and a web-site which will make it easier to complete the bureaucracy related to moving back to the country.

The plan will cost €24.2 million  ($27.5 million) and the government hopes it will lead 23,000 Spanish workers to move back to Spain, government spokeswoman Isabel Celaa told a news conference.

“These people left, with their talent and training which Spain gave them, most of them seeking opportunities that they could not find in their own country,” she added.

The number of Spaniards registered as living abroad jumped by around one million since 2009, according to government figures, as unemployment soared in Spain due to a steep recession sparked by the global financial crisis.   

The majority were young doctors, engineers, scientists and other skilled workers. While the government plan “mainly” focuses on skilled workers, it could also allow people with “other profiles” to return, Celaa said.

The government, which is facing an early general election on April 28th, first announced in November that it would introduce the plan.   

Over 2.5 million Spaniards live abroad, according to government statistics.

The majority, 1.5 million, are in the Americas, mainly in the country's former colonies in South America, with another 900,000 in Europe.

READ ALSO: UK bids adios to Spanish nurses 'betrayed' by Brexit

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WORKING IN SPAIN

Why does my salary vary between months in Spain if I’m a contract employee?

If you’re employed by a company in Spain, you may have noticed that what you get paid each month is sometimes higher and other times lower. Here's why this happens and how you can understand it better.

Why does my salary vary between months in Spain if I'm a contract employee?

Many asalariados (salaried employees) across Spain will have noticed that their wages at the beginning of 2022 may have been lower than that net salary they received at the end of 2021.

This is in fact usually not down to error, but comes as a result of your company withholding a higher amount of personal income tax (IRPF) at the start of the year, resulting in you getting paid less.

Companies in Spain are obliged to withhold a certain percentage of your salary called IRPF (Impuesto sobre la Renta de las Personas Físicas).

This, in turn, gets passed on to Spain’s Hacienda tax agency. Your gross salary and personal circumstances mean that the income tax withheld will vary.

Your employer will calculate the amount of your gross salary you must pay to the Treasury as personal income tax and will deduct it from your payroll month by month. This can be done between the 12 or 14 salary payments per year.

Alternatively, a lower percentage of tax may be applied in the first months of the year, which is then adjusted by raising it in the final few months of the year, or vice versa, which is why fluctuations can occur.

You should keep in mind that if at the beginning of the year you received a raise, had a baby or opened a pension plan, it may mean that the tax withheld from your company will go up or down. Having a new baby for example gives you a reduction.  

What if I believe there is an error in my IRPF calculations?

If you still believe there is an error, this can be rectified whilst filing your annual income tax return – la declaración de la renta – which you should each year between April and June.

READ ALSO – La Renta: The important income tax deadlines in Spain in 2022

If you receive an annual gross salary of less than €22,000, you are not required to fill out an annual tax declaration, but may want to do so if you believe that your employer has been deducting too much tax. If the error is found in your favour, Spain’s tax agency will return your overpaid tax.

How can I find out how much tax will be deducted in advance?

If you want to be prepared and find out exactly how much tax your company will deduct from your salary each month, you can fill out this tax calculator for 2022 found on the Hacienda website. This will let you know exactly how much IRPF should be deducted from your wage, depending on your personal circumstances. 

Your employer may also ask you to fill out the form Modelo 145 to help them work out how much tax you should pay.

The form will ask you for your current personal situation such as marital status, if you have children or other dependents. Depending on the outcome of this, you may get further discounts on the amount of tax that is withheld.

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