How will my 2019 Spanish tax returns be affected by COVID-19?

The annual tax return period for residents in Spain has once again arrived, but this time in the midst of Spain’s state of alarm. With social confinement and the economic effects of the virus to consider, how might the tax return process differ from previous years?

These tax returns are concerned with the Spanish equivalent of income tax – Impuesto sobre la Renta de las Personas Físicas (IRPF). With the return window having opened on 1st April 2020, Spanish residents have three months – until 30th June 2020 – to get all income tax returns filed. Taxpayers can consult their tax data online or using the Agencia Tributaria app run by the Spanish tax office. 

Unsurprisingly, given the exceptional situation we are in, tax advisors are receiving a higher volume of queries about the process than usual. 

Will the deadline for tax returns be extended?

At the moment, the deadline has not been extended and the return period is still 1st April – 30th June 2020. However, there is a possibility that the deadline could be extended to September if the state of alarm continues to be extended into May or even June.

Can I still make an in-person appointment at the tax office?

Officially, appointments at the “Agencia Tributaria” office can be made online from 7th May 2020, with in-person appointments starting on 13th May. However, these tax offices are currently closed and it is possible that there will still be ongoing disruption to face-to-face appointments.

If I don’t know how to process the forms but want to submit them as soon as possible, what should I do?

The best advice is to put yourself in the hands of professionals, such as a financial agency or consultancy. They can guide you through the process remotely and then file for you telematically. Furthermore, they will keep you informed of the latest advice and changes that may occur throughout the return period.

What do I do if I’ve been given an ERTE in recent weeks?

Getting an ERTE – being furloughed – does not affect this year’s tax return as these are concerned with the 2019 fiscal year. Instead, an ERTE applied in 2020 will affect your filings for next year.

Agencia Tributaria has recommended that people should avoid delay where possible. If you have the ability to review your draft online and confirm your details, then you should. However, keep in mind that not everyone is obliged to submit tax returns. Single-payers who received an income of less than 22,000 euros last year are excluded, while the exclusionary limit for multiple payers is set at 14,000 euros.

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