SHARE
COPY LINK
For members

WORKING IN SPAIN

Will you pay more under Spain’s new social security rates for self-employed?

Spain’s autónomos will soon pay monthly social security fees based on how much they earn, instead of a fixed rate, the Spanish government has confirmed. So will you end up paying more or less?

Will you pay more under Spain's new social security rates for self-employed?
Will you pay more or less in social security fees? Photo: Bench Accounting / Unsplash

Autónomos or the self-employed in Spain have it tough, having to pay one of the highest social security contributions in Europe, on top of income tax. However, this is all about to change. For some it will mean they will end up paying less in social security fees, but for others it will mean paying considerably more, making the situation even tougher.

Currently, autónomos have to pay a minimum contribution base of €294 per month after they have been registered as self-employed for two years, regardless of how much they earn.

For the first year, they will pay €60 a month, and during the second year it rises progressively to reach €294.

But this is all set to change because on July 20th, the government confirmed that after months of negotiations, they had come to a final agreement with self-employment groups ATA, UPTA and Uatae.

READ ALSO – CONFIRMED: Spain’s new tax rates for the self-employed from 2023 onwards

Instead of there being a fixed rate of €294, the fee will go down progressively to €200 a month for lower earners and progressively higher – up to €590 a month – for higher earners.

Spain’s Ministry of Employment and Social Security will also change the rates for each group of earners every year. So far they have revealed what these rates will be for the years 2023, 2024 and 2025. 

Find out below if this means that you will be paying more or less in social security fees from next year.

Essentially this shows that anyone earning under €1,300 per month will be paying less in social security fees, with those earning €1166.70 to €1,300 a month paying just €3 less than they do now.

Those earning between €1,300 and €1,700 will pay the same amount as they do now – €294 per month, while anyone earning over €1,700 will be paying more.

According to the government, of the three million self-employed workers in Spain 2.4 million earn under €1,700 per month, meaning that the majority will see their social security contributions staying the same or reduced.

They say that these changes will benefit two out of every three self-employed people in Spain.

While this is of course good news, it’s the mid to high earners who will be affected by the changes the most.

High earners, those earning €4,000 per month will have to pay out €300 or more in social security fees, but it’s mid earners that will end up being the worst off.

For example, an autónomo who is just starting to be financially stable and earning €2,030 per month will end up paying €390 per month by 2025, which is €76 more than they currently pay.

It means that autónomos may not want to take on more work for fear that it will push them over the threshold and they’ll have to pay more in fees and it may also encourage more people to be paid under the table, referred to as ‘trabajo en negro‘ or ‘working in the black’ in Spain.

Self-employed in Spain already pay some of the highest contributions in Europe

Many self-employed people in Spain already believe the system is unfair because they pay a lot more in social security contributions than their European neighbours, and many are now set to pay even more.

In Germany for example, a self-employed worker with a monthly income of less than €1,700 pays nothing. Anyone earning over this amount pays a fee of €170.

In the UK, national insurance contributions start at £3.05 a week, or £158.60 a year. Those earning over £9,568 will pay 9 percent on profits up to £50,270 and 2 percent more on profits after that.

More benefits

While those in Spain do end up paying more, they also gain more too. Health care, sick pay, maternity and paternity benefits and pensions are all available to self-employed workers here.

This is not the case in many other European countries, who may have to pay extra for health insurance or do not get any maternity or paternity benefits if they’re self-employed.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members

MOVING TO SPAIN

CHECKLIST: Everything digital nomads moving to Spain need to consider

Spain’s Startups Law is 100 percent going ahead after its very last ratification by the Senate and Parliament. If you’re a remote worker who’s now planning to come to Spain, there’s a lot more apart from the enticing law to consider beforehand, from costs to location.

CHECKLIST: Everything digital nomads moving to Spain need to consider

Spain’s Startups Law has now been completely ratified by the Spanish Senate and on Thursday December 1st was voted in definitively by Spain’s Parliament in one final vote, meaning that there are no more obstacles for the legislation to jump through.

In other words, it is a reality and there is no looking back or toing and froing for a law which has continued to receive support from all sides of the political spectrum in these very final stages.

In these last stages, the Spanish Senate added several amendments relating to better perks for serial entrepreneurs (people who start multiple businesses), incentives for startups in rural communities of Spain and denying the condition of “startup” to companies that have partners that “present risks”.

In a nutshell, Spain’s Startups Law is considered a first in Europe, with lots of incentives and tax benefits for foreign startups, less bureaucratic obstacles overall and favourable conditions for non-EU remote workers and digital nomads, including a residency visa.

The following two articles cover everything that you should know if you’re looking to benefit from the new law as a startup in Spain, but in this article our focus will be on non-EU remote workers and digital nomads and what to consider with a move to Spain.

Here is a list of what digital nomads should consider if they’re thinking of taking advantage of Spain’s new legislation.

Spanish residency and taxes   

The new digital nomad visa is particularly promising for non-EU digital nomads from countries such as the UK, US or Australia for example, as until now getting a residency permit for remote work hasn’t been at all easy, with the best option being to apply for the self-employment visa which requires a business plan, proof of guaranteed earnings and more. It will also be available for remote workers with a contract for an overseas company.

Digital nomads will be able to benefit from Spain’s Non-Residents Tax (IRNR) at a reduced tax rate of 15 percent for the first four years, even though they can spend more than 183 days a year in Spain and are therefore technically fiscal residents.

You can read in more detail about what digital nomads stand to gain in terms of taxes and a residency visa in the article directly below.

READ MORE: Spain’s new digital nomad visa – Everything we know so far

Where to move to in Spain as a digital nomad

This will be one of the most important decisions that you have to make, but again we have you covered.

From the best places for co-working and digital nomad culture to the best place for cost of living and for integrating into Spanish culture, the article below gives you an overview of some of the most popular destinations for nómadas digitales.

FIND OUT: Ten of the best cities for digital nomads to move to in Spain

Then again, you may be interested in enjoying a quieter life in rural Spain. You’ll sometimes see news stories about the offer of free accommodation in quaint Spanish villages that want remote workers, but these quickly get filled.

One of the best ways of finding the right place is by searching yourself, the article below explains how to do it.

FIND OUT: How to find Spanish villages that are helping people to move there

And do you really know what life in rural Spain will be like? Here are some points to consider.

READ MORE: Nine things you should know before moving to rural Spain

Rental costs

Spain is generally seen as having a very affordable cost of living, but it greatly depends on where you move to in the country. 

According to Spain’s leading property search portal Idealista, who released a report earlier this year, the most expensive cities to rent in Spain are San Sebastián and Bilbao at around €901 a month, followed by Barcelona and Madrid with €875 and €848 a month respectively.

The Balearics, the rest of the Basque Country and the area around Marbella also have above-average rental prices.

The cheapest places to rent are in the interior of the country around Teruel, Cuenca, Ciudad Real, Zamora and Palencia, while Almería and Huelva were the cheapest coastal cities averaging €504 and €477 a month.

As inflation rises, rents are increasing, so you may find that they are higher come January 2023.

You’ll also have to consider temporary accommodation for when you first arrive in Spain, the article below should help you with that.

READ MORE: How to find temporary accommodation in Spain when you first arrive 

General costs of living

As with rent, the general cost of living varies greatly, depending on where you want to base yourself within Spain. Barcelona, Madrid and places in the Basque Country generally have the highest cost of living, while places in central Spain and inland Andalusia have some of the lowest prices.

It’s worth keeping in mind that if you choose Barcelona, the cost of living has risen by 31 percent in the last five years. According to the annual report by the Metropolitan Area of ​​Barcelona (AMB), the minimum wage needed to be able to live comfortably in Barcelona is €1,435 gross per month.

You will need similar amounts for Madrid and the major Basque cities but will be able to get away with earning less in some of the smaller towns and cities.

Keep in mind as well that Spain is yet to disclose what the minimum income will be for digital nomads to be able to access the visa.

READ ALSO: 

Costs of co-working spaces

You’ll find co-working spaces all over Spain, mostly in the main cities but, even in small villages that are trying to attract more people because of depopulation. 

According to the latest report on the Status of Coworking in Spain in 2020-2021, Barcelona has the most coworking spaces, followed by Madrid.

Málaga, Seville and Granada, however, have the greatest offer of coworking spaces at the most affordable prices.

Co-working spaces are available to rent in Spain by the hour, day or month and also have the option for private offices for meetings and calls. 

According to the report, in 2021 the average price of a desk in a co-working space was €188 per month.

If you want to find out more about renting in Spain, check out The Local’s page on renting here

Internet speeds

Internet speeds are generally good in Spain, across much of the country, even in small villages. 

According to the Speedtest Global Index, Spain has an average broadband download speed of 154Mbps and an upload speed of 107Mbps.

For mobile speeds, the average download speed was 35Mbps and the upload speed was 10Mbps. Phone internet speeds were slightly faster in the bigger cities such as Barcelona and Madrid.

Healthcare in Spain

Even though the Startups Law will not be tweaked anymore and all that needs to happen is that it comes into force, one of the matters that still hasn’t been mentioned by Spanish authorities is what healthcare options will be available to holders of digital nomad visas. 

Will they need to get a private healthcare scheme as is required for non-lucrative visa applicants which can be expensive especially if you have pre-existing conditions? Will they be able to pay social security fees or the convenio especial pay-in scheme to access public healthcare? 

Whatever the outcome, Spanish healthcare has a good reputation although in recent times there have been protests about the lack of doctors and health workers in the country and consequently longer waiting times. 

Private healthcare options are affordable for people with no pre-existing health conditions.

READ ALSO:

SHOW COMMENTS