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Do I have to register and pay taxes in Spain if I work remotely in 2023?

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Do I have to register and pay taxes in Spain if I work remotely in 2023?
do you have to register and pay tax in Spain if you’re working remotely? Photo: Marcus Aurelius/Unsplash

With the rise of remote working, many foreigners are looking to move to Spain whilst holding on to their jobs back home. But do you have to register and pay taxes in Spain if you're working here remotely? Here's everything you need to know.


During the Covid-19 pandemic, many across the world worked remotely online, and since then, countless companies and employees have continued to do so. While some companies may specify that you have to live in a certain country, others will be happy for you to work wherever you want. 

You may decide to move to Spain, attracted by its good weather, great food, lower cost of living and many other perks, including the fact that already having a job resolves one of the major obstacles of living in the country.

However, this is where it gets complicated and you start asking questions – do you have to register and pay tax in Spain if you’re working remotely, and is tax already deducted from your salary in the country where you previously lived and worked?

Many people are confused by this and online forums are filled with comments claiming that they don’t need to pay tax because they’re not working for a Spanish company or don’t have any Spanish clients.

So do remote workers whose work has nothing to do with Spain have to pay tax here?

In short, the answer is yes. If you live in Spain for more than 183 days, you must pay tax here. Regardless of where your company or clients are based, if you are physically living in Spain and working from here, you are liable to pay tax.


On their website, the Spanish government states that if you’re resident in Spain you: “must pay tax in Spain on your worldwide income, i.e. you must declare in Spain income obtained in any part of the world”.

But what if I’m already taxed on my salary back in my home country?

If you have a permanent remote job, you may already be paying taxes on your salary back in your home country. Technically though, if you no longer live in that country, you shouldn’t be paying your taxes there. You should really only be paying tax in the country where you live.

While Spain does have double taxation agreements with several countries, including a treaty for the avoidance of double taxation with the UK and the US, you are still expected to declare your income in Spain. It may work out that you'll pay your taxes in Spain and then because of a treaty with your own country, you won't be liable for tax there. 

How do I register legally as a remote worker in Spain?

Below we outline the options for EU and non-EU citizens.

EU citizen

If you’re an EU citizen, you can simply move to Spain without the need for a visa. However, you will need to register your residency here within the first three months. One of the easiest ways of declaring the income you earn from your remote job is to register as self-employed or autónomo.

Ideally, your company would stop paying you a salary with the tax already deducted and you would simply invoice your company every month for your wage - essentially becoming a freelancer. You would then be responsible for declaring and paying your own taxes.

If you work remotely from Spain and stay for more than 183 days, you are liable to pay tax here. Photo: Euan Cameron / Unsplash

As an autónomo, you will declare and pay your taxes every three months. You will then also have to submit an annual tax declaration in June each year.

You should be aware that as an autónomo in Spain, you will more than likely pay more taxes on your remote income than you did back in your home country. This is partly because of the different tax brackets and higher social security fees you will be charged.

At the beginning of 2023, the law changed and instead of having to pay a flat fee, the amount will depend on your monthly net earnings. This is around €200 a month for lower earners and up to €590 a month for higher earners.

The income tax bands also mean that you may end up paying more personal income tax in Spain as well, particularly if you are a low to mid-earner. 


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

Of course, not all companies are happy for you to be paid as a freelancer, so you will need to speak with them and see what your options are.

You should also talk to a gestor or tax advisor in Spain for your particular situation to see if there is another option for declaring your income here.

This could include creating a subsidiary company here and being paid a salary from that company, or finding an international accounting company that could arrange for you to be paid as a Spanish employee. Again, these options are not necessarily available to most remote workers.

READ ALSO: What does a ‘gestor’ do in Spain and why you’ll need one


Non-EU citizen

If you’re from a non-EU country, you first have the challenge of getting a visa to legally be allowed to live in Spain for longer than 90 days, even before you start thinking about how to register as a remote worker and if you need to pay tax on your income.

Earlier this year, Spain launched its new Digital Nomad Visa or DNV. This is currently the best option for remote workers to live here. 

READ ALSO: What are the pros and cons of Spain’s digital nomad visa?

In order to be eligible for the DNV must prove that you have an income of at least €2,520 per month or €30,240 per year. No more than 20 percent of your income can come from inside Spain and your company must have been in operation for a year or more. The visa also requires you to have worked in your field for three years or have an official qualification, and have been working for your current employer for at least three months. 


As a freelancer, if you're granted the visa, you will have to register as an autónomo like above and pay your taxes that way.

If you're a remote worker for a company in a country that has a social security agreement with Spain, you may be able to get the necessary certificate to prove your social security is being paid back home. You'll still have to pay taxes on your income in Spain, but will be exempt from paying the social security fees yourself.

READ ALSO - Worker, retiree or investor: What type of Spanish visa do I need?

Another option is the Golden Visa, which will allow you to work in Spain and register as an autónomo, but the catch is that you’ll have to have a spare €500,000 to spend on a property here before you can.

Many people mistakenly believe that they can work remotely on the Non-Lucrative Visa or NVL. However, as the name suggests you can’t work on this visa. As mentioned above, the Spanish government says that you have to declare tax on your worldwide income, so if you continue to work for your company or clients abroad during this time and get found out, you could incur hefty fines.


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