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Making your resident tax return in Spain

Published 20/06/2012

 Making your resident tax return in Spain

The idea of making a resident tax return in Spain worries some people. In fact, it is a painless process which can be completed online. It also enables you to prove that you are a fiscal resident who can benefit from reduced Spanish inheritance tax and capital gains tax. Natalia at Ábaco explains what to expect and reminds those who have not declared their taxes that time is running out. 

For some people the prospect of their first appointment to make a resident tax return in Spain is received with the same level of enthusiasm as going to the dentist. Even when it is the case that there will be a nil return with nothing to pay, people are hesitant. However, it is an important step to take. Along with the prospect of reducing Spanish inheritance tax and capital gains tax comes a possible discount on prescription charges and access to medical care in Spain.

"It is usually much more straight forward than people think," explains Natalia, "For those residents who are already clients, there is relatively little to bring to the office and most of the information can be accessed online. So, for example, we have access to bank accounts and previous Spanish resident tax returns.”

Natalia is one of the six multi-national tax advisors at Ábaco. Based on the fifth floor she and her colleagues have been preparing and sending Spanish tax declarations now for weeks to make sure that everyone’s return is presented before the 30th June,"The appointment takes about half an hour and is usually quite straightforward. It’s done online now and we can tell our clients by the end of the appointment whether they have tax to pay, a nil return or even if they have overpaid tax to collect." 

One of the main confusions that British residents experience is around the different Spanish and British tax years. In Spain the tax year is from January to December and the June tax return refers to income from the previous year. "So, for the tax returns for June 2012 we need bank statements spanning the period January 1st  2011 to  December 31st 2011. That can be confusing for people at first," explains Natalia, "we also sometimes have problems with getting the P60s on time". 

In some cases people will even be due a refund, "The Spanish Tax Authority must return any overpaid tax within 6 months and if you’ve made your declaration in good time it can come through quite quickly.If you are entitled to a refund it will be paid directly into your bank account."

And what about if you miss the deadline? Natalia explains that all is not lost, "you can, of course, apply after the deadline, however you will incur a fine. The extent of the fine depends upon how late you are, so we would encourage residents who haven’t yet made their resident tax return to contact us as soon as possible." 

So, it’s not about pulling teeth and it’s nothing to be afraid of. Once you’ve had your first one, and you become a veteran resident tax declarer you can feel suitably satisfied with yourself.  

If you would like Ábaco to complete your resident tax return or you would just like more information about it please contact our Helpline on 96 670 3748 or access our ÁbacoConnect Free Pack for a free tax consultation at:



Suzanne O'Connell

Suzanne O'Connell
Information co-ordinator

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