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Getting established as a free-lance translator in Spain
Thread poster: Sabine Holz

Sabine Holz  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:44
Member (2004)
Spanish to German
+ ...
Aug 14, 2004

I am planning to move to Spain soon and to work there as a free-lance translator.
Can anybody provide information or advice on how to get established, which formalities to go through (registering, taxes etc.)?

All kinds of advice are very welcome! Thanks very much in advance!


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Aurélie DANIEL  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:44
English to French
+ ...
Autonomos Aug 16, 2004

Hi Sabine,

In Spain, freelance translators are \"autonomos\", which basically means you pay 220€/month (150 if you are under 30) to the Social Security. This amount covers for medical care and your pension. If you are sick and cannot work, it\'s not covered, except if you pay an extra monthly amount (20-30€ I think, and the per-day you would receive in case of illness is really really low). And of course, unemployment is not covered. We pay a 15% income tax, and the VAT rate is 16%. You pay your income tax directly on your invoices(either the full 15% or just 7%, meaning that you\'ll have to adjust your calculations at the end of the fiscal year), which means that when the time comes to do the annual declaration, you will actually get back some of the money, after deduction of all your professional costs.

The paperwork is quite simple:
You declare your activity to the Agencia Tributaria http://www.aeat.es/, then to the Social Security http://www.seg-social.es/inicio/, and you\'re done. And the employees are very helpful, or at least I had a very nice experience!

But you should get your residence card first, in order to have a resident number. They\'ll all ask for it! Two years ago the French consulate told us this card was not mandatory anymore for European residents, but in fact it will be demanded for any official paper, and you\'ll need it for your invoices too.

Good luck!


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James Calder  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:44
Spanish to English
+ ...
Income tax and VAT Aug 16, 2004

Hi Sabine,

Just a couple of things to add to Aurélie's comprehensive answer. In your first three years as a freelance translator in Spain you only have to pay 7% income tax. At the end of those three years you have to start paying 15%. You can also decide on how much you want to pay in social security every month. To begin with I would just pay the flat rate (€225).

You also have to declare VAT once every three months on a form called a 'modelo 300' and then again at the end of every year (before Jan 30) on a 'modelo 390'. You'll also need to declare your income every year (Declaración de la Renta - between May and July).

Enjoy the paperwork and good luck.

James


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Aurélie DANIEL  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:44
English to French
+ ...
Income tax Aug 17, 2004

James Calder wrote:

In your first three years as a freelance translator in Spain you only have to pay 7% income tax. At the end of those three years you have to start paying 15%.



Hi,

I don't want to be an aguafiestas, but in the first three years, if it is true that you can pay directly on your invoices only 7% income tax, you must nevertheless declare the remaining 8% annually. It is a matter of preference, whether you want to pay the whole 15% directly and monthly, then deduct your professional expenses annually, or pay 7% monthly and 8% at the end of the year, which gives you a more confortable cash-flow during the year, but forces you to pay a lump sum at the end.

Personnally, I use the first option as a way of forcing myself to save money. Not the best investment for my cash, I know, but at least at the end of the year I get back some money and it makes me happy (how silly can I get)!

Cheers
Aurélie


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Arturo Mannino  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:44
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Social security Aug 19, 2004

Just a small correction to the comprehensive answers given by Aurélie and James: The actual social security monthly rate is 200,18 euros, without covering in case of illnes.

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Anjo Sterringa  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:44
Member (2003)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Sickness Benefits and free-lancer or "service provider" Aug 23, 2004

Hi! I never knew I could pay less and not be covered for illness - I can assure you though that for the few € per month, you may opt in though - I broke my leg and the money, even if it was not much (60% de la base de 740 EUR) , was very welcome! You can then contract an extra insurance for a higher payment per day.
Are there any colleagues who do the paperwork themselves? (successfully?) - I would like to learn how to do it because I would not know what to do without my gestor! Everything (almost) gets deducted and I don't know if that would work if I did it myself....
Another option, I found out later from a colleague, NOT to have to deduct the 15% and then having to get all the declarations the next year for your income tax (only if you work a lot with Spanish agencies), is to establish yourself as a provider of translation services instead of a free-lance translator.
Anjo


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