Taxes For Members

The tax return scams you need to avoid in Spain

The Local Spain
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The tax return scams you need to avoid in Spain
The tax scams to avoid in Spain. Photo: freestocks / Unsplash

If you haven't already, it's time to complete your Spanish tax return, but be aware, this time of year also sees many different types of scams targeting tax payers. Here are the tax scams foreigners in Spain should look out for.


Personal income tax is known as IRPF in Spain (Impuesto sobre la Renta de las Personas Físicas) and is commonly shortened to la renta. The tax campaign this year began on April 11th and will end on June 30th 2023. 

This means that you have just over a month in which to complete your return. 

READ ALSO - La Renta: The important income tax deadlines in Spain in 2023

This time of year, however, is rife with tax scams and people trying to trick you into believing you have messages or rebates from the authorities, making you hand over personal details.

Almost all tax scams will come via SMS text messages or email through phishing campaigns. Scammers will send out hundreds of thousands of these messages and e-mails, hoping that someone will bite. Here’s what you need to look out for.

Messages telling you the tax agency will return your money

You may get a text letting you know that you are due to receive a tax rebate from the tax authorities, because of overpaying in your declaration. Often they will try to entice you with unrealistic amounts saying that you are owed between €400 and €600 for example and will ask for your bank or other personal details in order to pay it back to you.

Remember that you will only be contacted via official channels, and if you are due a tax rebate, it will usually automatically be refunded to you.  

READ ALSO: What's new for Spain's 'La Renta' tax return in 2023?


Messages telling you to consult your details online

You may also receive a text message or an e-mail telling you that you will receive a letter in the post with all your tax details, but that you can check it via an online link first. 

Be careful though because the link they send will not be official. It will take you to a fraudulent page where you will be asked for personal information, including a card number, security code, and other pieces of information necessary to use your card to steal money.

These pages are well done and use the Treasury’s or the Hacienda's official logo, along with the same typography, so sometimes it can be difficult to know whether it’s legit or not. Just remember, never follow a link you receive via a text message or e-mail.  


How to identify a tax scam:

Think about how you receive the message

Remember, the Tax Agency will not add links to its messages, and if it contacts you, it will do so with a real SMS from the Treasury.

Check websites

In the event that you click on an attached link, normally nothing will happen unless you enter your details. Make sure to check if it takes you to the page the message says it will.

Sometimes you will quickly see that the page is shortened or has a totally different link, while other times apparently official links are added, but when you click on them, they take you to a different website.

Check web addresses

Make sure to check the URL and website address. If it's not an official address like, then it is a fraud. In some cases, it might say ‘Agencia Tributaria’ or Hacienda, but the link will end in a different way such as .com or just .es instead of  

In the event that you are not sure, you can check on sites such as, where they tell you if the domain of the web is on the blacklist. Another good site is You may find out that the website you’ve been taken to is a foreign site instead of a Spanish one, which is also a red flag.  

READ ALSO - Access all areas: how to get a digital certificate in Spain to aid online processes

Search for notifications via the official channels

Never enter a government website from an email or message. The safest thing to do is to search for the official website of the Tax Agency and log in, identifying yourself with your digital certificate or [email protected] to find any possible notifications.  


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