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Taxes For Members

EXPLAINED: The warning letter sent to thousands of taxpayers in Spain

The Local Spain
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EXPLAINED: The warning letter sent to thousands of taxpayers in Spain
Here are the warning letters you may receive from Spain's Tax Agency. Photo: Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels

Hundreds of thousands of people in Spain could soon receive a 'carta del miedo' (letter of fear) or warning letter from the tax authorities over irregularities in their tax return.

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Spain's annual tax declaration, known as la declaración de la renta or la renta for short, is well underway. The period in which to complete it for 2024 is from April 3rd until July 1st.

So far the Agencia Tributaria (Spain's tax authorities) has already returned over €6 billion to all those taxpayers who are due a refund.

Others, however, may be about to receive some less pleasant news. Specifically, Spaniards up and down the country (as well as foreigners resident here) are about to receive la carta del miedo (literally the 'letter of fear' or 'scary letter') as it's been dubbed in the Spanish press.

READ ALSO: What happens if I don't file my Spanish annual income tax return?

If you receive one, it means there's something wrong with your tax return, whether it be some incorrect paperwork or missing information, and, depending on the severity of the error, you could be liable to a fine or full financial audit. In 2022, around 1.2 million of these letters were sent.

GUIDE: How to complete Spain's Declaración de La Renta tax return in 2024

They are usually sent by post, although you may also receive this notification by email, as long as the agencia tributaria has your email address and you have notifications set up.

There are several types of carta del miedo you can receive.

'Carta del miedo'

Depending on your situation, the ‘letter of fear’ could be one of:

Requerimiento - This is a notification received by the taxpayer when the authorities find that the information filed in your tax declaration does not match the information they have. You have to respond to whatever they ask for or you could be fined.

READ ALSO: Tax evasion in Spain: What are the penalties and prison sentences?

Propuesta de liquidación - Like a settlement proposal, you get this when some of the information filed in the tax return they consider to be erroneous and needs to be modified.

Inicio de investigación de inspección - To inform you that the authorities are looking into your tax return further, and to request for documentation for a financial investigation or audit.

Expediente sancionador - Official confirmation that the Agencia Tributaria believes you’ve committed a tax infringement or broken the rules in some way.

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Carta informativa - This is a simple information letter on the status of your tax return. In these cases it is not necessary to reply, but you do need to confirm that it's has been received.

Resolución de procedimiento - This is a notification with the final conclusion of your tax return proceedings.

Diligencia de embargo - When the Agencia Tributaria explains your fine, should you have one, how much it is and any surcharge applied.

Providencia de apremio - This is a letter in which the dates on which any debt owed must be paid or collected. In this case it is important to respond quickly in order to try to appeal or defer payment.

READ ALSO: When do banks inform Spain's Hacienda tax office of your transactions?

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