Until the end of October, we have been having success when registering UK citizens who are self-employed in Spain (Autonomo) using proof they have registered with both Agencia Tributaria (tax) and Seguridad Social (social security)
But, in Malaga, the criteria seem to have changed, and they are now requesting more documentation.
It’s important to understand that the information below is from a´requerimiento´ document we received for a client who is in the process of registering for residency. This document is sent out when the government feels they need to request more information before approving (or rejecting) a residency application.
For anyone who is still to apply for residency, these documents give a valuable indication as to what new documentation the authorities are currently requesting.
The´requerimiento´ states that they want the following documentation:
Documentación acreditativa del ejercicio efectivo de la actividad profesional por la que ha cursado el alta en el Régimen Especial de Trabajadores Autónomos o por Cuenta Propia (entre otra documentación habrá de acompañar, en su caso, declaración trimestral del pago fraccionado del IRPF – Modelos 130 ó 131 -, declaración trimestral del IVA – Modelo 301 -, facturas, memoria explicativa de la actividad que desempeña, autorización administrativa previa en caso de comercio ambulante en cualquiera de sus modalidades…).
Here’s a breakdown:
Documentación acreditativa del ejercicio efectivo de la actividad profesional por la que ha cursado el alta en el Régimen Especial de Trabajadores Autónomos o por Cuenta Propia
“Documentation accrediting the effective exercise of the professional activity for which you have registered in the Special Regime for Self-Employed or Self-Employed Workers”
Basically, they start by requesting documentation that proves you are working as self-employed in Spain
entre otra documentación habrá de acompañar, en su caso
“among other documentation you will need to present, in this case:”
So, doesn’t stipulate how many of these documents need to be presented and what the `other´ things are you need to present
declaración trimestral del pago fraccionado del IRPF – Modelos 130 ó 131
Quarterly declarations of personal income tax Models 130 or 131:
If you have completed a full quarter as self-employed, you will have one of these. However, if your self-employment was registered after the 1st of October, the quarterly forms won’t be submitted until January 2021, so you won’t be able to provide this.
declaración trimestral del IVA – Modelo 301
Quarterly VAT return – Form 301:
We checked the Agencia Tributarias website and a `Modelo 301´ doesn’t seem to exist, so we believe they are referring to a `Modelo 303´. If you have completed a full quarter as self-employed, you will have one of these. However, if your self-employment was registered after 1st October, the quarterly forms won’t be submitted until January 2021, so you won’t be able to provide this.
A few activities are even excluded from VAT, which means you will never submit this form.
When self-employed, you would normally raise an invoice to charge out to your clients. Unfortunately, the authorities may not take these invoices into account UNLESS you provide your client’s details and proof of payment, ideally electronically i.e. through the bank or card payment. Here’s a useful link from the Agencia Tributaria website. Your accountant should also be able to advise you on how best to meet this requirement.
memoria explicativa de la actividad que desempeña
“explanatory report of the activity carried out”
This is very open to interpretation, but it seems that they are requesting a brief description of the business activity and how/is it being carried out. Your business activity relates to an `epigrafe´, a code assigned to your activity, so is a good place to start when writing a `memoria explicativa´. A personalized description or business plan can be added to support the description.
Three dots at the end before the bracket probably means that if you think of anything else relevant that can be submitted to support the paperwork, please attach it when you reply to the `requerimiento´ or be sure to include it when compiling a first time application.
Interpreting what to present aside from the exact `models´ stipulated above (one of which doesn’t exist, but they do state VAT return so let’s assume it’s the model 303) is evidently quite hard.
We’ve put together a few ideas (we stress these are only IDEAS and certainly have not been requested by the Government), to help decipher the requirements:
Purchases relating to your activity and expenses – This can be proven using VAT invoices (facturas) in your name
Rentals relating to your activity – Contracts for offices, company vehicles, equipment etc
Appointments – any appointments with official bodies or organisations for which you have documented proof
Paper trail – if you have clients booked in for appointments, maybe these appointments relate to an invoice raised which in turn relates to a transaction or income in your account, thus proving the trail.
Professional qualifications that relate to your activity – can you provide certificates or qualifications that evidence your activity
Contracts with providers/suppliers or new clients – in the case of new clients, you may be able to bring forward some invoices to prove income
Contracts with an online service – most businesses have a card payment platform (e.g. Stripe, Paypal etc) or have a contract with the bank for a card payment machine. Also, SaaS providers, CRMs, and other subscription services essential to the business
If the same activity has been carried out in the UK or another country, before registering as self-employed in Spain, evidence of the development of the same activity abroad up to that moment could be provided to justify that the activity in Spain is a continuation of the activity developed in the previous place of residence.
All documents you present will need to be in Spanish or translated by a `traductor jurado´ official translator.
Your ´gestor´ or accountant is a good place to start when putting the documentation together. Using your Digital Certificate, they should be able to access any documents required from the Agencia Tributaria or Seguridad social and also may be able to assist with the `memoria explicativa´ which relates to your business activity, although if you can do a personalized `memoria´ / business plan that is evidently better.
Obviously, many people who have just registered as Autonomo will not have access to a lot of this documentation but it’s advisable to try and put as much of it together as possible. Who knows, they may change the criteria again and not send out more´requerimientos´.
Also, it’s our understanding that Hacienda has tightened the rules regarding first-time non-resident Autonomo registrations, so some official models may change but once again this is for a qualified account to decipher and advise.
One thing is for sure if you have received a letter of ´requerimiento´ it needs to be taken extremely seriously and you should provide as much paperwork as possible to get the approval. If the Sub Delegation of the Government consider the paperwork sent is not enough to prove the real development of activity as self-employed, then they will refuse the residencia. Which only leaves you the right to appeal, a `recurso´ This is submitted to another department in the Ministry Office who will study the case and will give a definitive answer. It can take months to get a response to a `recurso´.
Ultimately, it’s clear that the Immigration Department wants to be assured that as a self-employed person, you can support yourself economically during the period of your residency as well as any dependants, children or spouse that may rely on the main applicant. So backing up a Residency application as an `Autonomo´ or answering a `requirimiento´ with further means to economically support yourself in Spain can only be beneficial to your case.