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TAX DECLARATION

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

Here's everything you need to know about how to complete Spain's Declaración de la Renta or income tax return in 2021 with our step-by-step guide.

How to complete Spain's Declaración de la Renta tax return
Here are the steps you should follow when doing your annual income tax declaration in Spain. Photo: Brum Naus/Unsplash

Taxes in Spain can be very confusing, particularly if you’re new here or you have multiple sources of income.

So if you have lots of doubts it may be advisable to contact a gestor  to go over your situation and help you to complete la declaración de la renta.

However, if you want to cut out extra costs and your income source is fairly straightforward (contract worker), this guide will help you with the different steps to fill out and submit your annual income tax declaration.

You can do it online, providing you have a Digital Certificate or a [email protected] pin.

Anyone resident in Spain who earned €22,000 and over in 2021 must present an income tax return, although you can find specific details on who must present one here

The campaign for 2021 opened on April 6th 2022 and will close on June 30th 2022. 

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

To begin, click here to access the Agencia Tributaria website, then click the link that says ‘Servicio de tramitación borrador/declaración (Renta WEB)’, under Gestiones destacadas. This will take you to the declaration form.

Step 1: 

The first screen will ask you to identify yourself using your Digital Certificate or [email protected] pin. You are also able to identify yourself with your NIE, but only if you completed the Declaración de la Renta in the previous year and have the reference number.

If you’ve identified yourself with your Digital Certificate or [email protected] pin, you will be taken to a screen containing your personal details, such as name and address. If everything is correct, you want to click on the button that says ‘ratificar’. If you need to change certain details, click on ‘modificar’, then press ‘continuar’ to continue to the next page.

Spanish tax return

Check that all your details are correct to continue. Photo: Agencia Tributaria

Step 2: 

If you identified yourself with your NIE and reference number, you will be taken directly to the next page.

Here, you will see a page listing the different ‘Servicios Disponibles’ or Available Services. Click on ‘Borrador/Declaración (RENTA WEB)‘ to access and complete your tax return.

On the next screen, you will again see a summary of your personal details – name, address, birthdate, NIE etc. You will need to make sure that these are correct before continuing. You will also need to know the referencia catastral of the property you’re living in. If you own your property, this should be on the deeds to your house, but if you are renting, you can find it out here

The form will also ask you questions about your marital status and give you the option of declaring as an individual or together with your spouse. You may want to contact a gestor or a tax lawyer to find out which would be best for you, because it could mean paying more or less tax, depending on your individual circumstances.

Spain tax return

Fill out all your personal details. Photo: Agencia Tributaria

If you want to do it as an individual, check the box that says ‘Si desea que el programa solamente calcula de la declaración individual del declarante, marque aqui’.

When you’re done checking and completing all your personal details, click on ‘Aceptar’ to continue.

Step 3:

On the next page, you will see lots of numbers, detailing all the tax deductions and payments made by you in 2021. If you were employed, rather than self-employed you can click on ‘ver datos fiscales’ in order to check that everything is the same as on the certificado de retenciones or withholding certificate issued by your employer.

If you are self-employed, you can check that all the amounts match the amounts you declared and paid in each trimester of 2021 as you should have already submitted tax returns for the four trimesters of last year.

If there is anything you need to add in manually, you can do this by clicking on the button at the top which says ‘Ver datos trasladados’. Here, you can add in anything that was not already incorporated. When you’re done with this click on ‘Volver’ to return to the main page.

Check that all the amounts for 2021 are correct. Photo: Agencia Tributaria.

Step 4:

You will now see a 58-page document detailing a huge range of questions and scenarios. This includes everything from asking if you want to donate money to the Catholic church to any interest you may have earned on savings or anything you might have inherited during the previous year. You can click the arrows to move through each page or click on ‘Apartados‘ in the top left-hand corner to see a drop-down menu of each section and go directly to different parts of the form. 

Click on the arrows to move through each page and answer the questions. Photo: Agencia Tributaria
 
Step 5:
 
When you’ve filled everything out, click on ‘Validar‘ in the top left-hand corner in order to see if you have made any errors or mistakes. It will highlight anything you need to look at in yellow and let you know what you’ve done wrong. 
 

Click on ‘Validar’ to see if you’ve made any mistakes. Photo: Agencia Tributaria
 
Step 6:
 
When you’ve checked everything through, go back to the main page to see the final result of how much tax you need to pay or indeed if you’re owed a tax rebate. When you’re happy with everything, click on ‘Presentar Declaración’ at the top. It will ask you who is declaring, you as the Declarante or your spouse Conyuge. Remember that even if you are presenting your tax return together, you will still have to also make sure you present your declaration separately and log in again, it’s just that the calculations for both will be taken into account. 
 

Present your tax return by clicking here. Photo: Agencia Tributaria
 
Lastly, you will be taken to a page where you will need to fill out your bank details if you are owed money or the payment details, if you have to pay. You can choose if you want to pay in instalments or all at once. Finally, click on ‘Aceptar‘ to finalise and submit everything. Remember, if at any time you want to stop and continue later, you can always click on ‘Guardar‘ or Save at the top and come back to it. 

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TAXES

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

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.

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