Spain Explained

Making a resident tax declaration in Spain

Last updated on March 25th, 2021 at 03:34 pm.

If you are a resident in Spain then it is very likely that you will have to make a resident tax declaration annually. This declaration or tax return provides evidence of your income in Spain that can be used for a number of reasons, including determining your prescription charges. The process is quite straight forward and below we explain what it entails in more detail.

However, we would like to remind you that taxes in Spain can be complicated and you could be subject to fines or penalties if you miss a deadline or don’t do your taxes properly. Advisably, you should seek fiscal advice from an expert to avoid possible complications.

Residents in Spain

If you live in Spain for more than 183 days then you are a resident. Those days do not have to be sequential, so it doesn’t count if you pop back to your home country for a few days and then return. It’s how many days you spend in Spain over the course of the whole year that counts.

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As a resident you should be aware that the vast majority of people are required to make a resident tax declaration in Spain. Although some other conditions do apply, this generally includes a pensioner receiving a pension from abroad that totals more than 14,000€ a year. It also applies to you if you are an early retiree and have an income through interest of more than 1,000€ or an income through renting of more than 1,000€ a year.

Even if you don’t come into one of these two groups, and most people do, we still recommend that you make a resident tax declaration in Spain if you are a resident. It provides evidence of your income and can be used to prove your fiscal residency.

How to make a resident tax declaration in Spain?

Hopefully we have now convinced you about the importance of this piece of paper. The next stage is to complete it. The final tax return date in Spain is the 30th June each year. However, most fiscal representatives start the process in April. Your declaration will cover the previous tax year.

You will need to take documents to your appointment and you should check with your tax adviser what documents you will need to avoid a wasted journey. On the form you will declare your world-wide income including rental income, income from pensions and any other investments or interest you might receive.

The appointment at Ábaco usually takes about an hour and the tax return in Spain is completed online. It is quite a straightforward process provided you have all the documentation you need.

This means that you will get to know immediately if there is anything to pay or even, if you will get a tax refund. In the case of a refund the Spanish Tax Authority must return the money within six months and usually do so well before this deadline. Refunds are paid directly into your bank account.

You should be aware that there have been cases of bogus emails being sent purporting to be from the Spanish tax office and saying that a tax refund is due. The recipient is then asked to enter certain details in order to receive their refund. The Spanish Tax Authority does not give refunds in this way and they would never ask for your credit card details.

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It’s your responsibility

You have to remember that in Spain you are not spoon fed when it comes to paying your taxes. People can mistake the fact that they may not be contacted by the Tax Office with them not being bothered about their contribution. This is not the case.

What usually happens on non-payment of taxes is that at some point, for example when you come to sell your house or it is bequeathed as part of an inheritance, you realise that the Spanish Tax Authority has been taking note all long. You then have to rectify the omission, with interest, or you discover that you are not classed as ‘resident’ for fiscal purposes. Being classed as a resident is particularly important if you do not want to have 3% of your house price retained on sale.

Making a resident tax return in Spain is a simple process and you may even have a zero return to make. Residents should mark the 30th June in their diary and make sure that they are tax compliant.

To help navigate the bureaucracy of the Spanish tax system, our dedicated advisers are on hand to help at every step of the way. Fill out this form and we will offer you a free consultation without obligation.

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12 March, 2020 11:34 am

You write: The appointment at Ábaco usually takes about an hour and the tax return in Spain is completed online.

How do I get an appointment and how much do you charge for it?

I moved to Spain on 5th October 2019, so I spent less than 183 days in Spain in 2019. However, I will stay all of 2020 here also. Do I have to file a tax return in Spain for 2019?

Oscar Paoli

12 March, 2020 3:22 pm

Hi Andreas,
We arrange these appointments via a third party. Should you wish to get more information, please email us at and we will get you in contact with are partner to assist you in the matter.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

1 July, 2020 5:11 pm

Hiya, I only became a tax resident in Jan 2020 and worked and lived in the UK for 2019.

I am looking to sell my UK home potentially or change mortgage pending what the capital gains tax would be which is what I require help with from you?

Many thanks


Oscar Paoli

7 July, 2020 8:21 am

The Capital Gains for residentes is based on the special income brackets, and dedclared in the normal income T

Kunthea Johnson

30 July, 2020 8:13 pm

Hi, I am a U.S citizen considering choosing Valencia Spain as a possible retirement location in 2024. My sources of income will be my U.S pension and stock investments. From my research I have determined that a non- lucrative Visa fits my situation. I do plan on getting a private health insurance for myself and my family; possibly considering purchasing a home there.

My primary concern is that based on my combined income I will fall under Spain’s 45% income tax rate as compared to the 24% income tax rate that I am paying now in the United states. Needless to say this would prevent my family and I from moving to Spain for retirement.

Can you please clarify the 45% income tax rate for my situation as a no- lucrative Visa resident in Spain? Obviously I would prefer to pay the 24% rate in the United states.

I look forward to hearing from you regarding my question.

Thanks in advance.

Kunthea Johnson

Oscar Paoli

30 July, 2020 11:29 pm

Hello there,

Unfortunately we are not tax experts when dealing with US taxes, we would recommend you contact one of the following companies:

With best of luck.

Best wishes,

Ábaco Advisers


31 August, 2020 7:30 pm

Please I submitted my tax April have not received refund as yet,when I check the status , first it said processing, now it says statement being verified,is that correct?

Oscar Paoli

1 September, 2020 3:35 pm

Hi Michelle,
Yes, this can be normal procedure, and the delay can depend on the complication of your tax return and its verification.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers


24 February, 2021 8:32 am

I have been granted residency in Canary islands in november 2020, but cannot physically move there until April 2021 due to Covid and have spent no time there since last year. I own a house in the Canaries already and have done for 3 years as a non resident. I am selling my UK home I have lived in for 12 years. Will I be liable for CGT in Spain, or CGT in the UK? Or none at all as I am not a fiscal resident of Spain yet, and the profit will be below the UK CGT £12,000 limit for taxes? I am somewhat confused!

Oscar Paoli

24 February, 2021 11:00 am

Hi Gary,

As you have residency dated from late 2020 your First Tax year as a Resident will be 2021, therefore if your property is sold in 2021 then this would have to be declared in your Income Tax Declaration here and Capital Gains Tax paid.

With best regards,

Ábaco Advisers