SELF-EMPLOYED workers will be grumbling in January about their tax returns.
Spain has around 3.2 million registered self-employed workers (autonomos) and they pay the highest monthly social security fees in Europe, not to mention declaring VAT (IVA) and paying Spain’s national income tax, IRPF.
In fact, new laws in 2022 have pushed monthly social security contributions up to €293.76 meaning autonomos will be paying €96 more this year than in 2021.
It’s no wonder that self-employed workers will be scouring for ways to reduce their end of financial year tax declarations, or looking for better ways to manage their finances in 2022.
Here are 15 ways to save money as a self-employed worker in Spain that you might be missing out on.
If you rent a workplace it should be obvious to deduct your rental payments against your IRPF, whether through the quarterly modelo declarations or the end of year declaración de renta.
But if you work from home you can also get deductions on your IRPF (Impuesto sobre la Renta de las Personas Fisicas) or income tax.
The only caveat is that your deduction will be proportional to the living area in which you conduct your self-employed activity.
2. Real estate tax (IBI)
Both residents and non-residents will need to pay an annual Impuesto Sobre Bienes Inmuebles (IBI) if you own a home in Spain.
As above, the deduction will be proportional to the space in which you work, if you work from home, and will be only be deducted in full if your property is used for the sole purpose of your autonomo activity.
You can also get deductions on electricity, water and heating bills for your workplace or home.
If you work from home, the deductions will be proportional to space you use for your business activity, and calculated by 30% over the percentage of m2 used in your home.
4. Mobile phone bills and internet
The costs of internet, fixed telephone lines and mobile phone services can also be deducted from your IVA and IRPF.
However, you will need to specifically take out a package for autonomos to be able to deduct these costs, otherwise you will have signed up for a personal plan which is not deductible.
Many mobile phone operators will offer incentives for self-employed workers, such as additional mobile phones or discounts on upgrades.
5. Gastos de explotación
Any equipment you purchase for your business, whether from home or your workplace, can also be deducted from your tax returns.
These could be anything from a work desk to a new phone or computer, which could mean a significant reduction in both IVA and IRPF.
In Spain anything considered a gasto de explotacion or ‘operating cost’ can be deducted.
Included withingastos de explotacion are also digital services, like software or subscriptions necessary for the management or operation of your business.
This can also include the hosting, maintenance and set-up costs of a website, for example.
7. Interests and commissions
Interests on loans and credit cards can be deducted from your taxes, as well as commissions for the use of a bank account.
Insurance policies necessary for the operation of your business – such as life insurance, medical insurance and civil responsibility insurances – can be deducted.
If you’re a self-employed autonomo worker in Spain you’ll also be paying national insurance, seguridad social, contributions for healthcare and unemployment benefits. This can also be deducted from your tax declarations in full.
9. Contracts or outsourcing
Any salaries or invoices paid to outsourcers or freelancers for the operation of your business activity can also be deducted from your tax declarations.
Trips to a bar, restaurant and hotels can also be claimed against your tax returns.
In Spain, the daily spending limit on food is €26.67 which rises to €48.08 for any trips overseas.
If you are travelling for work and need to stay overnight, these limits increase to €54.34 within Spain and €91.35 overseas – provided you have a proper factura and potentially justification that your trip was for work-related purposes.
Similar to food allowances, you can also claim on any taxi, train, bus or plane trip necessary for your self-employed activity in Spain.
The purchase of a car can be deducted from both your IRPF and IVA, as well as any repairs, parking fees, toll charges and petrol/diesel costs.
The reductions depend on the purpose of your vehicle – if the car is solely for business, reductions can be 100%, but if your car is for both personal and business use reductions are usually 50%.
Any funds spent on marketing or advertising, whether for a service or freelancer, can also be claimed back as a business expense.
14. Legal or administration services
Many self-employed workers in Spain will use the services of a gestor to manage their business invoices and expenses, and prepare the relevant modelos and declaracion de la renta on their behalf.
The costs of this service, as well as any services of a lawyer necessary for your business activity, can also be deducted as a business expense.
We hope this list of tricks to save money as an autonomo in Spain helps you save some extra pennies for you and your family!
For any further information, check with your gestor, or consider using the services of one to get maximum advice and savings.