The income tax return if you have income from abroad

Do you have income abroad? We tell you everything you need to know to file your taxes correctly.

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If you earn money abroad and live in Spain, it is crucial to determine your tax residence to avoid double taxation. Understanding the agreements between countries and how to correctly declare your international income is essential to comply with the Tax Agency and optimize your tax return.

If you’re earning money abroad, there are a few things you should keep on your tax radar. Yes, working abroad can be the bomb as an experience and on a monetary level, but don’t forget about Uncle Hacienda.

What do you need to know?

Understanding your tax obligations: If you are doing your dabbling abroad or if your income comes from abroad, it is important that you are clear on how the tax rules affect you.

Your first mission is to find out what your tax filing responsibilities are while you’re abroad. This translates into understanding your tax resident status, which can vary depending on where you’re temporarily planting your flag.

Tax resident or not? That’s the question: Your tax resident status determines where you must pay your taxes. And no, it’s not something you can pick and choose like the menu of the day; it depends on several factors, such as how much time you spend in each country and where you generate your income.

How to know if you are a tax resident?

If you spend more than 183 days in Spain or your main economic activities or dependents are here, bingo! You are a Spanish tax resident. This means that every year you have to declare your income to the Tax Agency, regardless of whether you move to a tax haven afterwards.

So, if you’re enjoying a working adventure outside of Spain, take a moment between coffees to review your tax situation. Knowing this will not only help you avoid unpleasant surprises with Hacienda, but will also allow you to enjoy your experiences and, of course, your earnings more.

Declaring income in Spain and in another country

Without realizing it in your case there may be a double taxation both in Spain and in the country that gives income.

This is one of the first elements to avoid if you have income abroad. It tends to happen mainly with people working in those countries.

Since it is normal that they make the withholding of taxes being a worker with income. The problem arises when you have to declare the income in Spain and they are charging you the same percentage.

To understand it in a didactic way, it is that you have only one income but two deductions. The country where you receive income and Spain will charge you for the tax period as one taxpayer.

However, don’t worry, all is not lost, to avoid this double reduction there are agreements between the countries. The objective is that you pay only one income for the income you receive.

A condition that you must take into consideration is that with any type of income you must make the declaration. This means that in both countries you will have to pay certain taxes but not the same percentage.

If you live abroad there is a condition in which Spain will charge you income tax. In this case it is when you receive some income from an economic activity in Spain.

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The income tax return with income from abroad

The first thing you should know when you work in a foreign country is to know if it has an agreement with Spain. This way you will know all the double taxation issues at the time of filing your tax return.

Being a tax resident of Spain you will have to declare at the corresponding dates. Although you must consider your condition at the moment of having the IRPF.

The taxation will be established with the parameters in the IRPF document. There is the possibility of applying the tax exemption with respect to foreign income.

Application of the tax exception on foreign income.

You should review the articles found in the income tax law, specifically 7p. Since they contain the information corresponding to the particular cases in which the income tax exception applies.

In the 7P you will find the conditions considered when a tax resident is abroad. Or in case you are in Spain and receive income abroad.

The stipulations according to the income you are able to obtain abroad depends on the income obtained. Where the Tax Agency stipulates that you will not need to pay taxes if your salary does not exceed 60,100 euros per year.

In turn, this special condition has certain elements that you should take into consideration. Understanding that its application will depend specifically on your compliance with the stipulated requirements.
The first thing you should consider is the residency status of the company in Spain. The law specifically states that the company cannot have resident status in the country.
If there is a possibility that it is resident, then you must work at a fixed location abroad. The offices must belong to the company you work for, otherwise it does not apply.

Filing a tax return is like going to the dentist: you know it’s going to hurt, but at least you hope they leave you with a tax smile at the end.

Income Tax Return Process with Foreign Income

Tax rules in Spain do not beat around the bush, especially when it comes to tax havens. If your income comes from one of these places, forget about the exceptions.

Are you in a country with a tax similar to the Spanish IRPF? This is key to access certain exemptions. If not, you can always resort to the excess regime, which basically allows you not to overpay on income above a certain limit.

To make your income tax return you can do it through Renta Web, but apart from being tedious and confusing, Hacienda does not include in the draft all the deductions and situations that apply to your case automatically.

But don’t worry, filing your income tax return has become even easier thanks to TaxDown. Now you can do it all online through our website or app. Just follow the steps below and before you know it, you’ll have forgotten all about your tax return and you’ll be able to focus on more fun things:

  1. Register here.
  2. We’ll ask you a few questions to find out your situation and what deductions apply to you. It will take you less than 15 minutes.
  3. Calculate the result for free.
  4. If you want us to review and file your return, sign up for a plan. We’ll make sure everything is correct and error-free.

It’s that simple! Stay up to date and avoid surprises, making sure you pay the right amount.


In short, if you want to make sure your tax return is correct, without missing out on any tax benefits and avoiding mistakes that could cost you money, TaxDown is a wise choice – let the experts take care of the numbers while you enjoy the peace of mind knowing your taxes are in good hands!

You can now file your income tax return! Easy and secure with TaxDown

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