Declaración de la Renta (freelancers)

If you are not a freelancer, see the basic version of how to do the Declaración de la renta linked here.

The dreaded Declaración de la Renta is the annual document all Spanish people must fill in to declare their earnings. For self-employed “autónomos”, it’s particularly important It’s basically your yearly summary of the IRPF income tax you’ve paid, which, as a freelancer, you may or may not also be required to document each quarter with Modelo 130.

This is my experience of the Declaración de la renta. Check and compare with other sources as it may not be appropriate to your business model. If you have any doubts, you should hire a gestor (bookkeeper), especially if this is the first time you’ve done the Declaración de la renta. Most will charge around €40. Even if you do seek help, however, I still recommend getting some understanding of the Declaración de la renta.

How to do the declaración de la renta

The basics

First, read the version for non-freelancers on doing the Declaración de la renta. Most of the steps are very similar. If you’re self employed in Spain, there will be a few extra things to fill in.

In particular, section E1 (“Rendimientos de actividades en estimación directa” – Page 9) is relevant as this covers activity under the “direct estimation” system most freelancers use.

(Some freelancers in Spain pay under the modules system (or other “special regimen”) instead, but this is rare and being phased out. Unless you’re already aware that you’re paying under one of these systems, chances are you’re not.)

Differences for freelancers, step by step

Below is a description of the things I did differently as a freelancer when filling in the Declaración de la renta.

Rendimientos de actividades en estimación directa (Page 9)

  • I affirmed my type of business in “Actividades realizadas”. Note: if you’re not sure what your IAE epigraph is, there is a list here. This should also be documented in the Modelo 036 you received when you originally signed up.
  • In “ingresos íntegros” (specifically, “ingresos de explotación), I typed in my total earnings as a self-employed person,
  • In “Gastos fiscalmente deducibles”, I included all my business costs. (note: the computer I bought went in “Otros servicios exteriors”).
  • If you’ve been in business for under a year, check the box which mentions “derecho a la reducción por inicio de una actividad” to claim a tax reduction.

Cálculo de impuestos (Page 33)

In “pagos fraccionados ingresados”, I filled in the amount I had already paid in using Modelo 130 at the end of each trimestre.
And that’s it! Best of luck filling in your Declaración de la renta, and do write in to share any of your tips for doing so with the community.

Next: monthly VAT declarations – Modelo 303.

Posted in Tax

4 Replies to “Declaración de la Renta (freelancers)”

  1. Hi Penelope,

    i just wanted to say thank you so much for your amazing help with navigating the Spanish tax systems for autonomos! Really, you are a star and saved me so much time and money! If you ever make it to Valencia, I’d love to treat you to a drink or two 🙂

  2. Hola Penelope.
    I note your article was dated April 30. 2014. Any changes since then?

    I am really interested as I am about to do business in Spain and would declare myself as an autonomo.
    I will be based in Pontevedra, Galicia and Barcelona.


    1. Hey Azizah! The way you input things is slightly different (you now do your Declaración de la renta online instead of having to download a special programme), but in principle the idea for freelancers in Spain is still the same. I’ve updated the article. Not sure if there’s any regional differences for Galicia and Catalonia- let us know if you find anything out! And best of luck with your business 🙂

I am not able to answer all comments personally