For the Love of Taxes

It was a late Sunday afternoon, when the Spanish skies were orange, just between the post-meal coffee and evening siesta, when my father said, Hay un par de cosas que realmente no podemos evitar, only a couple of things could not be prevented in this life…I suddenly felt a Spanish life-lesson coming. They always seemed to creep up on you. Just when you thought Ice Cream after Paella was as good as it got. Of course, at the time, what he was about to say did not make much sense, at least not to me anyways. Death or, La muerte…Here it came, the long spiel of historic adventures of Conquistadors, Bullfighters, friends of faraway places being compared to ͞El Cid and other historic Real Madrid legends, etcetera, etcetera, and Death could not be prevented, thus making us value life, etcetera, etcetera, it was the bored look on my other cousin´s faces that made me feel that I was not the only one drowning in the stories and tales. Y la otra cosa? What was the other thing? Apart from getting the first hairs on my chin, that summer I was also gaining enough courage to actively participate in the adult´s conversations. ͞¡Impuestos! Everybody exploded into laughter. Taxes. Even the neighbors could hear us from their porches. They even agreed with us on this one. And decades later, I have come to as well.

As you type Taxation into Google, the auto fill shows up as ͞Taxation is Theft. Now, I totally can understand why so many people can agree on this subject. Whether you are a CEO, a gardener, a public-school teacher, Spanish, Italian, like Real Madrid or Barça, you probably don´t like paying your tax…and who does? The reality is that we all (those of us living in Spain at least 183 days a year) must, in the very least declare what we make, own, spend, and sell. There are always exceptions, of course. If you make less than 22.000€ a year you don’t have to file taxes, but it never hurts to do it since you could get money back! The good news is that it’s easier now than ever. Whether you are self-employed, an employee, or have various sources of income, you can declare your Spanish taxes in-person and on-line.

Hacienda has replaced the old system PADRE with Renta Web. Starting April 5th until June 30th you can file your income taxes (Declaración de la Renta). If you are doing it in person, you can start on May 11th.

So, in any case, whether you love them or not, tax declarations are as much a part of Spain as tapas and siestas. The good news is that the process is a lot easier now.

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