How to pay taxes in Spain

In this post we explain how to pay taxes in Spain, that is, the three methods that any tax payer can use to pay their taxes. In Spain, most taxes are determined by the tax payer himself through a self assessment of the tax. Once calculated the tax liability it must be paid on or before the tax is filed in the Tax Office.

There are three ways to pay taxes in Spain:

  1. – Cash

You can go to the counter of any Spanish bank and deliver the Tax return together with the amount due. The bank will take the funds and the tax return and will process the payment. They will give you a sealed copy of the tax return to give evidence either of the filing of the tax return and the payment done. You do not need to be client of the bank, since they are obliged to process the payment of any tax payer.

  1. – Domiciliation

This is, by far, the easiest way to pay taxes. You can quote in the tax return the bank account (only Spanish banks) to which the amount due shall be debited. Then, on the last day of the payment term, the Tax Office will charge the tax payer’s bank account. It is important to have enough funds in the account to meet the payment, because otherwise the tax will be deemed to remain unpaid.  The late payment could cost you a minimum surcharge for late payment of 5 %.

The only problem with this system is that the tax return must be filed with an anticipation of; at least, five days to the last day of the payment term and sometimes this cannot be achieved.

  1. – Manual on line payment

This third method is normally used when the payment has not been domiciled in a bank account, usually because the tax return has not been filed before the five days period explained before. This is a two steps process.

First of all, the tax payer must pay the tax in his bank and get a number called NRC (for the Spanish acronym of “Número de Referencia Completo”).  The second step is to file the tax return and, simultaneously, provide the Tax Office with the NRC. This last step is normally done by your accountant. The NRC is very important because it allows the Tax Office to link the payment done and the tax return. In other words, it allows the Tax Office to track the payment of the tax return.

Most Spanish banks, if not all, allow the payment of taxes through their on line banking platforms.  Once you log in, you must go to the option of “payment of taxes” and fill in the following fields:

  • Type of Tax:
  • Year:
  • Period:
  • NIF:
  • Amount:

 For instance, the payment of VAT corresponding to the second 2015 Q2 for EUR 1,000 will show as follows:

  • Type of Tax: Form 303 – VAT
  • Year: 2015
  • Period:  Second Quarter
  • NIF: B12284765
  • Amount: 1,000

Normally, your accountant will have given you a draft of the tax return where these data are available.

Once your account is debited, the bank will give you the NRC; then you have to give that number to your accountant who will give it to the Tax Office when filing the official tax return. Note than as from 2015 companies must file tax returns online. Therefore, they need to get an electronic certificate to communicate with the Tax Office.

Read more: how to get an electronic certificate in Spain