The idea of making your tax return as a Spanish resident worries a number of people. In fact, it is almost always a painless process which can even 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. We asked Natalia at Abaco Connect to explain what to expect when submitting your Spanish Tax return, together with the time scale involved in the process :
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 : For those residents who are already clients, there is relatively little documentation to produce, and most of the information can be accessed online.
Spanish Tax declarations often start as early as the first weeks of May in preparation for making the submission before the 30th of June. In almost every case an appointment to submit your tax return can take just 30 minutes and we can advise our clients their tax liabilities - even if they have a rebate due - by the end of the meeting.
One major point of confusion for British residents is centered 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.
Click here for help on How to Submit your NON-RESIDENT Tax Declaration .