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Social security contributions in Spain
Thread poster: AmyJones
AmyJones
Spanish to English
Apr 6, 2005

Hello!

I was wondering whether anyone here has experience combining part-time work as an employee in Spain (so your employer is already paying ss contributions for you) with a limited amount of freelance work (translation)? Concrete figures regarding the amount of social security contributions you have to pay in that situation do not seem to exist (See: http://www.seg-social.es/inicio/?MIval=cw_usr_view_Folder&LANG=1&ID=37897), rather it seems to depend on your individual case. I am going to visit my local social security office to get more information on this matter, but was wondering whether in the meantime anyone could share their experiences concerning this situation with me?

Thanks a lot for your comments and help!
Amy


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:33
Spanish to English
+ ...
best of luck Apr 6, 2005

AmyJones wrote:

Hello!

I was wondering whether anyone here has experience combining part-time work as an employee in Spain (so your employer is already paying ss contributions for you) with a limited amount of freelance work (translation)? Concrete figures regarding the amount of social security contributions you have to pay in that situation do not seem to exist (See: http://www.seg-social.es/inicio/?MIval=cw_usr_view_Folder&LANG=1&ID=37897), rather it seems to depend on your individual case. I am going to visit my local social security office to get more information on this matter, but was wondering whether in the meantime anyone could share their experiences concerning this situation with me?

Thanks a lot for your comments and help!
Amy


Hi Amy

I spent a number of years trying to establish to what point I could do translation work while performing a part-time job....nobody knew the answer. The two issues are social secutrity payments and tax payments.

In the end what I did was not pay social security, as my employer was paying it, so legally I was covered. Every year I declared my translation income in my annual declaration, and that was it.


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January Mercieca
Local time: 22:33
English to Maltese
+ ...
In my country Apr 7, 2005

In my country, you only pay social securities for your main job (the one that pays the most). If you do any other part time job, you only pay income taxes on it, which start from 15% & then go up depending on the income.

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SpanTran
Local time: 22:33
Dutch to English
+ ...
Thanks! Apr 7, 2005

Thanks for your reply Ailish...I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who finds it all rather confusing and frustrating! If I discover anything useful I will let you know! Amy

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AmyJones
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Apr 7, 2005

Thanks Lisa-mt for your reply... I wish that were the case here in Spain too, but unfortunately it seems to be more complicated here All the best, Amy

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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:33
Spanish to English
+ ...
further details Apr 8, 2005

Johanna Willems wrote:

Thanks for your reply Ailish...I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who finds it all rather confusing and frustrating! If I discover anything useful I will let you know! Amy


Just to expand on my answer. For years a very puzzled me asked 'experts' for an answer to this question, nobody knew the answer. Finally a university professor explained how he recieved a regular salry but also billed for conferences, but all he did was declare his income....

I also learned that even the powers that be really don't have a concrete answer to the question, after doing a course on tax and social security and VAT.

Basically it's a grey area that hasn't been clarified.

I suggest you simply declare all your earnings from translation in your annual declaration, deducting 15% from each bill you issue. When you get to the point where you think it's worthwhile to be a full-timer, then you're probably hitting the limit. Bear in mind the proportions between your regular employment earnings and your translation earnings, maybe it might not be a good idea for the latter to represnt a large proportion of overall earnings.

[Edited at 2005-04-08 22:13]

Finally, bear in mind that some agencies will insist that you are fully legal, also that under the new tax law requiring subcontractors to make declarations to the main conractor as to having fully paid their obligations (very few people have asked me for this certificate as yet), you may need to be fully legal.

[Edited at 2005-04-08 22:15]


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Timothy Barton
Local time: 23:33
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Three-month declarations Apr 9, 2005

Ailish Maher wrote:
I suggest you simply declare all your earnings from translation in your annual declaration, deducting 15% from each bill you issue.


Don't you think she should also make the three-month declarations and be registered at the Hisenda?


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AmyJones
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
To Ailish Apr 9, 2005

Dear Ailish- thanks for replying, again. As far as proportions are concerned, the pay for the regular freelance work I have been offered would amount to (roughly) 1/4th of what I earn for my fixed, in-house translation job, so I don't think that would be a problem. I think that as long as I stick to that ratio I probably would be covered (by my employer) as far as social security contributions are concerned, and as you suggested, I would just declare everything on my tax return. The only thing that is confusing me now is that the other day I discover that the Hacienda wants you to register as "self-employed" if you do any freelance work whatsoever, regardless of the quantity/amount you earn from it. The purpose thereof would be to make sure that you charge the company you are doing the work for VAT (and then you pay it every three months). I suppose it means that you sign up as a freelancer, charge 16% VAT (which, by the way, is one of the requirements of the agency that has offered me the work) and deduct 15% personal income tax, but don't pay your own social security because your employer is already paying it for you. When I asked in Hacienda though how I could be signed up as a freelancer and not pay my own social security she said "ah, pues esto ya no lo sé", so I was back to square one. Still, I think that, as long as what I earn from the freelance work is rather limited, that is the solution: to "darme de alta como autónoma", to pay the VAT I charge on the invoices every three months, and to declare everything at the end of the tax year. When I get a chance (I am having trouble getting time off work) I will go to my local social security office to see what they have to say... you never know, I might actually get a concrete answer!
Thanks again! Amy


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cello  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:33
Spanish to English
+ ...
another possible solution Apr 11, 2005

I don't know if this is going to help, but let me tell you my experience of the subject (in a nutshell, since I've been resident in Spain since 1989 and things have changed a lot in that time)
Hacienda is only bothered about you paying the correct amount of tax, they don't care about anything else, and translations require 16%IVA, so somehow you have to bill for it. The Social Security likewise are only interested in you paying contributions, which can be quite hefty.
I was in the same situation as you - with a job (in teaching, with my employer paying SS) and I wanted to accept freelance translation work which had to be billed for. I had some friends in a similar situation and we got together and formed a company for billing purposes (four years ago). Of course, if you form a company, however small, one of the requisites is to have one person "autónoma" paying self employment stamp - so you couldn't avoid that expense, but I think that the situation as far as "retenciones" is concerned becomes a little simpler (i.e. you don't have to discount the retenciones on every invoice - you can do it per quater)If you know some people in a similar situation as yourself, maybe this is an option.
Really, you need to get professional advice from an accountant because, as you have discovered, the people who work in tax offices and the social security know only as much as they need to for their job. I would expect a "gestor" with experience in small companies or "profesionales libres" to be able to help you and advise you on the implications of going "autónomo" so that you don't get any nasty surprises. Maybe your area has a "centro de la mujer" - they often offer free advice for women wanting to set up a business.


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