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Who needs to file an income tax return in Spain in 2021-2022?

It will soon be time to fill out Spain’s annual tax return - 'la declaración de la renta'. Here’s what you need to know about it, who needs to complete it and the key dates to watch out for.

Who needs to file an income tax return in Spain in 2021-2022?
Photo: Cesar Manso/AFP

The general rule is that anyone who lives in or stays in Spain for more than 182 days a year is considered to be a tax resident and must fill out the annual income tax form. The Spanish tax year is the same as the calendar year.

In more complex situations, where you split your time between several countries, or if you have property and/or business interests in other countries, there are international tax treaties, which state where you should be considered a resident and where you need to declare your income for tax purposes.

Anyone resident in Spain who earned €22,000 and over in 2021 must present an income tax return. 

All tax payers whose annual income is less than €22,000 will be exempt from filing a tax return, but only if your income only comes from a single source.

If you get your income from more than one client or job however, such as teachers working for different language schools, businesses or autónomos (self-employed), then you will still need to complete it, even if you have earned under €22,000.

There is also an exemption from filing if you only had a very small amount of income from capital gains and savings, of less than €1,600, but this must have already been taxed at source.

This exemption is meant to apply to income that has already been taxed. So, if someone has an untaxed foreign employment (e.g. occupational pension) income of less than €22,000, tax experts still advise that you file a Spanish tax return.

What are the key filing dates you need to know?

Generally, you will need to submit your tax return by June 30th, however, there are several other key dates that you should know, depending on if you want to present your declaration on the phone or in person. 

April 6th: The start of the 2021-2022 income campaign, when online presentations open.

May 5th: From this date, you can submit your tax return by phone.

June 1st: From this date until June 30th, you can present your income tax return in person at the various Agencia Tributaria offices around the country

June 27th: The deadline by which you must submit your tax return by if you want to pay by direct debit.

June 30th: The end of the 2021-2022 income campaign.


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Have your say: What’s the craziest ‘only in Spain’ moment you’ve seen or had?

Spain is a special country with its own peculiarities, from its friendly people, lively food and nightlife scene to its often infuriating bureaucracy. What experience can you remember having that made you think, ‘this could only happen in Spain’? Let us know!

Have your say: What's the craziest 'only in Spain' moment you've seen or had?

Ernest Hemingway once famously said: “There is no nightlife in Spain. They stay up late but they get up late. That is not nightlife. That is delaying the day”.

The legendary American writer spent some of his happiest and most productive years in Spain. Just like many foreigners who visit or end up living in the country, he was captivated by how the Spanish live life. 

Of course, every country has its own idiosyncrasies and is unique in its own way, but Spain certainly has the capacity to leave its mark on people, which partly explains why it’s one of the most visited countries on the planet. 

So what experience do you remember having or occurence that you saw that made you think ‘this is truly Spanish’? 

From the comical, to the inspiring, to the shocking, to the infuriating – can you remember a moment or an everyday occurrence when you thought to yourself ‘only in Spain’?

Feel free to describe the experience below in a maximum of 100 words. We will include the best answers in an article we will publish soon.