Changes for Spanish self-employed in 2017

The business climate is very gradually getting easier for the self-employed in Spain. In part, this is due to the Ley de Reformas Urgentes del Trabajo Autónomo (Law of Urgent Reform to Freelance Work). This is a government proposal that, if approved, would change several tax laws in Spain in 2017.

Update: the new law has been approved.

Here is a summary of the new law and other changes likely to go ahead in 2017. Personally, I believe these changes are too moderate. Spain is only listed as nº 29 in Forbes’ list of the best countries for business in 2016 – there is clearly still room for improvement. Let me know in the comments section below if you agree. And above all, happy 2017 – I hope your business prospers!

Main tax changes for freelancers in Spain in 2017

New freelancers only pay €50 social security for 1 year

  • Current: New freelancers currently pay €50 social security for the first 6 months of business, regardless of what they earn. After this, it jumps to €133 and then up to €267.
  • Proposed change: You will only pay €50 fee for the first year of self-employment in Spain.
  • Likelihood: Definite – mentioned in the new law

1% increase in social security tax for self-employed in Spain

  • Current: social security payments for freelancers who’ve been trading for more than a year or two are around €267 per month minimum (you can choose to pay more in exchange for more benefits).
  • Proposed change: social security payments will go up with price inflation to €269.
  • Likelihood: highly likely

Social security payments take into account when you signed up/off

  • Current: regardless of whether you sign up or sign off as self-employed in the middle or end of the month, you still have to pay social security for the full month.
  • Possible change: you will only have to pay social security as of the day you signed up or off rather than the full month.
  • Likelihood: definite – mentioned in the new law

Progressive social security payments for the self-employed

  • Current: social security payments for Spanish freelancers are controversially high (€267/month as standard)
  • Possible change: social security payments for autónomos are in line with earnings. Those earning below minimum wage will be officially cleared of the obligation to pay anything.
  • Likelihood: a possibility. Many parties advocated for this in Spain’s general elections in 2016. Despite not having planned for this change, the current government is facing increasing pressure from Spain’s growing quotient of autónomos.

Freelancers in Spain can claim vehicle costs and water/electricity bills

  • Current: freelancers cannot claim vehicle costs and water/electricity bills as costs
  • Possible change: where there is legitimate justification for this, freelancers will be able to claim vehicle costs and up to 20% of their gas and electricity bills as business costs.
  • Likelihood: definite – mentioned in the new law

More support for maternity leave

  • Current: freelancers taking maternity leave must organise cover to receive handouts
  • Possible change: freelancers on maternity leave will be eligible for handouts, regardless of whether they have organised cover or not.
  • Likelihood: definite – mentioned in the new law

Freelancers who pay social security late will also have smaller sanctions.

Tax changes for other business models

As well as standard self-employed models, it’s likely that there will be some changes for large businesses paying Societies tax and anyone who currently pays under the “modules” system, which is gradually being phased out. Some reductions are also likely to be made to social security payments for freelancers who form societies.

Tax aside, minimum salaries will go up to €707.60 and data protection laws will become more stringent.

Along with the official bulletin previously referenced, I used InfoAutonomos and El Economista to research this article.

Posted in Tax

3 Replies to “Changes for Spanish self-employed in 2017”

  1. I think there is a LOT of space for improvement,i mean,for country which has 49 aeroports,which i think more then a few are just abandoned,but expences still needs to be payed,then nobody knows how many cars government use,about 5000 one journalist has count,and every year they,i mean,tax payers are paying millions of euros for maintaining this fleet etc etc..

    And autonomos are paying way to much monthly fees,working all year around,also on christmas days like now,just that we have to pay basic stuff and regular fees. Spain is pretty country,i live thank god on Mallorca,its easier i think to work and live here on island,but anyway,still struggling to save money,and to have on a side something.

  2. I Want to become self employed in Spain but its too expensive,
    This look like light at the end of the tunell ! Good news

I am not able to answer all comments personally