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The types of state aid that self-employed parents in Spain can apply for

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The types of state aid that self-employed parents in Spain can apply for
In Spain there are several different sorts of state aid that self-employed workers with dependent children can access, which include different tax benefits and allowances. Photo:

Whether it be maternity pay, tax relief or supplements to minimum income, Spain has several government aids and incentives that self-employed parents can access.


Being self-employed in Spain can feel like an uphill battle at the best of times. Whether it be the complicated (and some might say rather high) tax brackets or monthly social security payments, being autónomo can be tough.

If you're also a parent, freelance life can be even more of a challenge. Fortunately, in Spain there are several different sorts of state aid that self-employed workers with dependent children can access, which include different benefits and allowances.

All these subsidies require the beneficiaries to be registered in Spain's Special Regime for Self-Employed Workers (RETA), reside in Spain, and have parental responsibilities.


Maternity and paternity pay

Self-employed parents in Spain are entitled to 16 weeks of maternity leave. This period is counted from the day of birth and can be extended if there are hospitalisations or multiple births.

During this time, the childbirth and childcare pay works out equivalent to 100 percent of the regulatory base for self-employed workers.

Sources from Spain's Social Security Ministry explained to Autónomos y Emprendedores, a website for the self-employed and entrepreneurs in Spain, that the base calculation is "made in a similar way to how the allowance is calculated when self-employed workers are temporarily unable to work due to illness or accident."

Both parents can access this aid during the weeks corresponding to maternity and paternity leave. In order to apply, you must be registered in the Social Security system and meet a minimum contribution requirement, which varies according to age.


READ ALSO - GUIDE: How to register with Spain's social security system

Return to work tax subsidy

When returning to self-employment within two years of maternity leave, mothers in Spain can also benefit from the flat rate for an extended period of 24 months, instead of the usual 12 months.

Tax discounts for large families

There's also a tax deduction designed for large families with a self-employed parent, which is applied to an annual tax return or paid as a monthly advance payment. It works out to €100 per month for large families (three or four children) or with disabled children, and €200 for large families with five or more children.

In order to qualify for the tax discount, you must have the official certificate accrediting the status of a large family and be registered with Social Security, although in the case of large families, it also applies to unemployed people receiving subsidies and pensioners.

Tax relief for hiring a family carer

If you need to hire someone to help out with childcare or family life, there is a 45 percent rebate on social security contributions available for single parents and parents in large family units.

READ ALSO: Long hours and little pay: What it's like to be self-employed in Spain


The 'Childcare Cheque'

Self-employed mothers can also apply for the 'Childcare Cheque' (known as Cheque Guardería in Spanish) a rebate that allows them to save up to €1,000 per year on childcare costs. It is available to all mothers with children under the age of three, regardless of their tax bracket threshold, so includes women who run their own business.

The deductible amount is calculated on the basis of social security contributions previously paid by the mother and the number of months the child has been in school.

Minimum income supplement for children

Spain's Ministry of Social Security defines the Minimum Vital Income (IMV) as a "benefit aimed at preventing the risk of poverty and social exclusion for single persons or persons in cohabitation units without sufficient economic resources to cover their basic needs"

Parents or families with minors in their care receiving IMV can get up to €115 per month extra as a supplement.

IMV supplement thresholds

The amount of the supplement depends on the age of the child. The amount varies according to the age of the children, specifically, their age on January 1st of the corresponding financial year, and there are three different thresholds:

0-3 years old: €115.
3-6 years old: €80.50.
6-18 years old: €57.50.


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