Income Tax in Spain: Tax Return for 2016

Spanish taxation Leave a comment   Published on par Jonatan Carbonell

income tax spainAs a foreigner in Spain, you have probably already started to think about your income tax declaration for 2016. Otherwise known as the declaración de renta in Spanish.

The income tax declaration period opened on 6 April 2016 and will remain so until 30 June 2016. This is the time for declaring all the income you generated last year i.e. 2015.

Income Tax in Spain

Income tax in Spain, otherwise known as Impuestos sobre la renta is a progressive tax since it increases as the income you generate increases.

One of the peculiarities of income tax in Spain is that generally you are taxed at the source of your income rather than after you have received your pay. So, your personal income tax is deducted monthly by your employer.

This means that when it comes to declaring your income, the tax has in fact already been deducted however, there may potentially be excess income made on top of your contracted salary and acquired throughout the year (e.g. income from property).

If you are currently living in Spain, it is very likely that you will have to do a tax return so, stay informed and carry on reading to find out exactly how to do so.

Who is required to do a Tax Return in Spain?

In theory, everyone. After having acquired and registered a fiscal residence in Spain during the fiscal year of 2015, everyone concerned should declare their income made in Spain. For reference, you are considered to be a tax resident in Spain if you live in the country for more than 183 days per year or if your central interests are in Spain e.g. school children, family etc.

When is it not necessary to file a Tax Return?

It is not always strictly necessary to pay these taxes and this varies according to several criteria. You are not required to file a Tax Return in Spain if:

  • You only have one source of income, for example your salary (i.e. a single paying agent), and that this income amounts to less than or is equal to 22,000 € for 2015.
  • You have two or more sources of income or if your income is subject to a fixed retention. In these cases, you are under no obligation to declare your income if it amounts to less than or is equal to 12,000€ for 2015.

NB (1): If you are registered as an entrepreneur or if you yourself carry out professional or commerical activity, this statement will always be required, regardless of the above criteria. 

NB (2): Even if you do fall under these aforementioned criteria, it is still possible for you to send in your tax statement should you wish. You may obtain an adjustment in the tax that was previously deducted at the source, for example, if you have paid too much, you will be able to recover part of this.  

What: the information that you need to include

The Income Tax Return in Spain needs to go through the tax administration: the AEAT (Agencia Estatal de Administración Tributaria) commonly known as the Hacienda.

The statement for 2016, done between 6th April and 30th June, needs to declare all income received during the year of 2015. This includes:

  • Your income from work (e.g. salary) you will need to declare what you earnt as well as that which was retained – N.B. if you are employed, your tax will be deducted by your employer as a monthly retention.
  • Real Estate revenue (including yields from residential capital and selling a property).
  • Investment Capital (such as dividends, interest and capital gains from transfer of shares)
  • Income from economic activity (commercial and industrial)

N.B As a resident, you should declare all of your income in Spain, even if some of it was generated in other countries. However, you will need to inform the authorities if this is the case to avoid double taxation. Similarly, if you have paid tax abroad, inform the authorities of what has been paid.

When: Tax Calendar and Procedures

Depending on which method you choose the use, the dates and times vary:

 6th April: this marks the beginning of the tax year

- The 6th April is the first day by which you can request a provisional declaration form (otherwise known as a “borrador“which is like a draft, partially pre-filled out statement). You can also apply to obtain your reference number for this via telephone or online. The borrador is a document created for your own convenience; it is pre-filled out by the Hacienda using all the information they have available, then you are able to change parts and correct them as necessary.

Starting from this date again, it is also possible to confirm or modify this same pre-declaration online, via the Rentaweb* application or telephone.

Also, you can submit your own income tax declaration form for 2015 without a borrador (via the Internet only).

4th May: 

- The telephone service opens for making appointments at the tax offices between 10th May and 30th June. These appointments can be used for doing the declaration itself or for modifying the pre-declaration form.

10th May: 

- You can now submit your declaration directly at the offices and no longer exclusively online.

- You have the chance to modify or confirm your pre-declaration form.

25th June: 

- The deadline for confirming your pre-declaration form and for submitting your statement to partner banks (this only applies if you have something to pay and if you do not want to proceed with direct debit).

30th June: 

- This date marks the end of the declaration period and is the last day for submission of the form in all its versions, at the office or online.

If you miss this deadline, you run the risk of receiving penalties such as a surcharge.


By telephone :

For General Information:  +34901335533, Monday to Friday, from 9am to 7pm.

For obtaining your reference number for pre-declaration form: +34901121224, 6th April to 30th June: 24 hours.

For any change to your application: +34901200345, Monday to Friday from 9am to 7pm.

Declaration and modification of the borrador: +34901223344, Monday to Friday, from 9am to 7pm.

For an appointment :

For applying for an appointment at the Spanish tax authorities offices. You will need to go the Hacienda site where an official will help you to organise a meeting.

Online :

Go directly to the site of the “Agencia Tributaria” and to the “Renta 2015″ section and follow the instructions as detailed.

Through the RentaWeb* App :

Starting from this year, as well as issuing a hard copy, online and on the phone, you can now submit your form through the RentaWeb application which has been designed especially for mobile devices (smartphones and tablets etc.)

However, this cannot be done for commercial or professional economic activity declarations.

If you do not want to carry out this statement alone, why not seek the assistance of a “Gestoria” – a consulting firm that specialises in management, finance and accounting. They can support you throughout the whole process.

For more information about filing declaring your tax in Spain, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time via email: or via telephone on  +34931592480.

Published on par Jonatan Carbonell

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