CONFIRMED: Spain’s self-employed workers to pay €8 more a month in 2022

Millions of self-employed workers in Spain will pay €294 a month in social security contributions next year, €8 more than the €286 most 'autónomos' currently pay.

A craftsman poses in his shop at Las Dalias night market in San Carlos, on Ibiza Island on August 24, 2021. (Photo by JAIME REINA / AFP)
A craftsman poses in his shop in Ibiza. Self-employed workers like him will pay €96 more a year in contributions to the Spanish taxman in 2022. Photo: Jaime Reina/AFP

The Spanish government on Thursday confirmed that its forthcoming 2022 budget will include an increase in tax contributions for the country’s autónomos (self-employed workers). 

The budget approved by Spain’s Council of Ministers reflects the increase of the minimum contribution to €960.60 per year, at a rate of 30.6 percent, which represents an annual increase of €96. 

Self-employed workers who’ve been registered as self-employed for a couple of years currently pay €286 a month on average, whereas new autónomos pay monthly contributions of €60 for the first year, a figure which then rises progressively. 

The maximum contribution base has also increased to €4,139.40.

The change will affect almost 2 of the approximately 3.2 million self-employed workers in Spain, including many foreign workers.

It is estimated the hike will earn the Spanish government up to €173 million extra in social security contributions.

Understandably, the proposal has been met with opposition by self-employed workers.

The announcement in late September that Spain’s minimum wage would rise by €15 a month with immediate effect had already alerted autónomo associations that this would result in the increase of monthly contributions for the country’s self-employed workers. 

This is the case because Spain’s minimum wage sets the minimum social security contribution base for workers, but as salaried employees have their social security paid by their companies, only autónomos will feel this minor pinch. 

Spain’s national autónomo association ATA had estimated the increase would be “between €3 and €12” before Spain’s Social Security department confirmed on Thursday it would be €8.

Another self-employed workers group, the Unión de Profesionales y Trabajadores Autónomos (UPTA), has decried the rise in contributions at such an economically precarious time as Spain begins its Covid-19 economic recovery.

“We do not understand the repeated refusal of the Ministries of Economy and Finance to put a stop to one of the greatest fiscal injustices suffered by the group of self-employed workers,” said UPTA president Eduardo Abad. 

“We are astonished,” he went on to say, “that no political party has taken a single step to try to solve it.”

Lorezo Amor, President of ATA, another prominent self-employed workers group, also criticised the timing of the move: “There is no doubt that this is not the best time to increase self-employed quotas,” he said.

The government, however, claims that the increase in both base levels – the minimum and maximum contributions – are in line with inflation forecasts and do not, according to Minister for Social Security, Israel Arroyo, represent a “rise in real terms.”

The increase, expected to come into effect from January 1 2022, will affect most self-employed workers by an average of an 8 euro increase a month, capped at €294 a month for top earners. 

But the vast majority of self-employed workers are already forced to pay the lowest rate: it is estimated that 85 percent of Spain’s self-employed pay the lowest available contribution rate.

Spain’s freelance workers pay some of the highest rates in Europe, far above those in the UK.

Yet these freelancers will now have to pay more, regardless of their income and uncertainty following the pandemic, and both freelancers and unions believe the change is fundamentally unfair. “Those with lower incomes are harmed,” Abad said, “as they have to make a contributive effort that is above their possibilities”.

READ ALSO: Self-employed in Spain – What you should know about being ‘autónomo’

Article by Conor Patrick Faulkner

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La Renta: What items can you deduct on your Spanish tax return?

Find out what costs you can and can't claim back on your annual Spanish tax return or 'declaración de la renta'.

La Renta: What items can you deduct on your Spanish tax return?

Spain’s annual tax return is known as the declaración de la renta and completing it or knowing what you can claim back as an expense can be quite tricky, particularly because there are many regional differences too. 

Anyone residing in Spain for more than 183 days and earning over €22,000 a year, who is self-employed (autónomo), or moved here in the last year, must complete it. 

Your Spanish income tax return has to be filed by June 30th for the preceding year, in this case for 2021.

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

There are many different allowances or deductions that can be made on your tax return such as deductions for couples, children, single parents, elderly parents, disabilities and large families, may of which we have covered in previous articles such as this one here

This article, however focuses specifically on costs that you can claim back on your tax return. For example, can you deduct rental or mortgage expenses, property tax or private health expenses? Read on to find out. 

READ ALSO: How to complete Spain’s Declaración de la Renta tax return

Spanish pension contributions

Up to €2,000 can be deducted for contributions to pension plans or up to 30 percent of the tax base (total income).

Property tax

Those who own a property in Spain will pay the yearly Impuesto Sobre Bienes Inmuebles, better known as IBI. This is similar to council tax in the UK and one of the expenses you can claim back on your annual declaration.

The costs of renovating your main home

Keep in mind, that you can’t just deduct the cost of any renovations on your home, particularly if they’re just cosmetic, but you can deduct for any renovations which reduce the demand for heating and cooling by at least seven percent. In this case, you can apply a 20 percent deduction, with a maximum of €5,000. 

Buying or rental costs of your main home

This expense can only be deducted by those who bought their property and signed the mortgage before January 1st, 2013 and must have included it in previous declarations. In the case of those who are renting, the signing of the contract must have been made before January 1st, 2015.

The tax benefit is up to 15 percent with a maximum limit of €9,040, while the maximum deduction will be €1,356.  

Some regions will also allow you to deduct further expenses if you buy a house in a rural area or habitually live in an area at risk of depopulation, such as in Andalusia, Cantabria, Castilla La-Mancha, Extremadura, Galicia, La Rioja and Valencia.  You can also deduct expenses for the cost of buying a residence for a particular group of people, be it young people in need, victims of domestic violence, disabled people or large families.


Donations of many kinds can be deducted on your annual tax declaration, whether they’re charitable donations, donations to cultural institutions, donations for scientific advancement, innovative technologies or the environment.

Generally, you can deduct 80 percent of the first €150 and 35 percent of any donations after that. If you have any doubts as to whether the donations you made last year can be included, it’s best to check with your accountant or gestor.

For educational studies and textbooks

Many times, you can deduct the cost of education and the textbooks associated with them. In general, you can deduct 15 percent of school fees; 10 percent of language courses and; five percent of the cost of purchasing clothing for exclusively school use.

However, this does not include claiming back for all courses, unless you are autónomo (self-employed) and they are designed to help improve your business. If you’ve taken a course, it’s best to check with your gestor or accountant to see if the fees can be included on your declaration as there are slight variations between regions too.

Investments in environmental installations (some regions only)

Many regions in Spain allow you to deduct costs of investing in environmental installations such as solar panels, thermal installations, and water-saving devices. This category also includes improvements made to your habitual residence due to disability or adaptation because of technical or structural issues. Some of the main regions you can deduct these expenses include Valencia, Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, Murcia and Galicia. Unfortunately, these are not included for Madrid or Catalonia.

Domestic help (some regions only)

In some regions in Spain, you can even deduct expenses for domestic help, such as cleaners, nannies or au-pairs. This is true in Madrid, Andalusia, La Rioja and Castilla y León.

Electric cars (some regions only)

Those who make an investment in buying an electric car may also be able to deduct the cost of this, depending on where they live. This is true if you live in Valencia, La Rioja and Castilla y León.

Standout regional differences

  • The Canary Islands and Cantabria are the only two regions that allow you to deduct private health insurance and other health-related expenses, but make sure you contact your gestor to find out exactly which health costs can be claimed for.
  • Andalusia is the only region where you can deduct legal expenses.
  • Public transport costs can be deducted in Aragón and Asturias.

Please note, we at The Local are not financial experts. What we’ve learned, we’ve learned the hard way — by getting on the phone and listening to all those frustrating automated messages. 

The information above is designed to help, but if you are in doubt or unsure of exactly what you can claim back, seek professional advice.