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Occasional extra income in Spain
Thread poster: provoke
English to Norwegian
Nov 4, 2004

I've been living in Spain for many years now and I love the country.

I am a full-time employed in a Spanish company (not translations) and through contacts I've been offered occasional technical translations, which should accumulate a couple of thousand € a year.

Now, as I can see it, I could become an autónomo (~200€/m), but it seem a little overkill for something occasional.

Is there any option to just file a tax form, declaring an occasional income, and that is it?
Is there any maximum "secondary" tax-free income?

I've heard something about modulo 036, but I am not sure if that is the right thing.

I appreciate any answer.
Thank you and best regards

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Parrot  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:16
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
No tax-free income Nov 4, 2004

A new law (58/2003) that came into force last July 1 practically obliges all service providers to register for VAT at the AEAT. The Modelo 036 is correct for the purpose.

This does not mention anything about Social Security dues, since it is a tax law and Social Security is not a tax expense.

The laws governing SS are set forth in the RETA (Régimen Especial de Trabajadores Autónomos). How they will apply to full-time employees already registered under the SS System is a matter for your local SS office to advise on. Ask them, but don't be surprised if interpretations vary. The question to ask would probably be, in your case, whether you fall under the RETA or not (if not, no need for the monthly fee).

Jurisprudence indicates that, if you DO fall under the RETA, the SS may be obliged by a court to return any monthly SS payments collected if it can be shown that yearly income from the "occasional" activity did not amount to the minimum wage for the category. However, this implies that 1.) they should have collected the monthly fee first (the injustice committed) and 2.) a claim against such undue collection is filed (i.e., the claim will not be admissible in the absence of injustice).

You may be advised depending on where you live and the authorities you consult, since it appears that there is still no consensus as to the definition of "occasional income".

The tax withheld from the "occasional income" is 7% for the first 5 years or 15% afterwards, but actual deductions will take total income into account in the yearly declaration.

According to the new law, however, you cannot issue invoices without registration, and those companies that contract you without requiring a certification that you are current in your tax payments (i.e., registered AND paying taxes) may be held liable for your non-compliance.

AFAIK, € 2,000 a year should not put you under the RETA, being below the minimum personal income tax exemption. However, as I mentioned, your actual deductions and taxes payable will take your regular income PLUS the occasional income into account.

Hope it helps.

[Edited at 2004-11-04 10:21]

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English to Norwegian
Modelo 036 for occasional translation jobs in Spain. Dec 1, 2004

First of all, thank you so much for your very detailed answer.
With help from some good friends and (less than expected) paperwork, I finally have come to the conclusion, and have done so, to register myself as alta as Scientific Translator with modelo 036.
I am able to bill for sporadic work, and put myself as baja when assignment stops.
There are no SS or IVA deductions, only 15% IRPF.
There is no monthly fee or other taxes associated with modelo 036 for this purpose. Next step is to figure out how to include this into the renta.
(The accuracy of this answer is soly based on the brief experience I have so far with modulo 036)
Thanks again.
Kind regards

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