The best accounting and tax advice in Marbella, Costa del Sol, Spain

Marbella, Spain – It is around midday and several clients of different nationalities are waiting for their appointment with the prestigious Welex consultancy company located in Calle Ramón Gómez de la Serna 23, Marbella, Málaga, Spain

Sara Duarte informs us that from the Welex company, lawyers and economists in Marbella, they advise clients from all nationalities about their doubts; guiding and orienting them from concerns about their properties, their social security, their pension, their economic activity; “our services are very wide from the legal, fiscal, economic and of course accounting advice which is very important», emphasises the specialist.

The range of services offered by Welex, your office of lawyers and economists in Marbella, is absolutely comprehensive: it covers everything from the creation to the liquidation of a limited company in Spain, registering a self-employed person; keeping the accounts of companies resident in Spanish territory, supervising the financial health of both the person and the company together with their income and expenses; preparing all the documentation to be presented to the Treasury from the models, quarterly and annual reports, all the annual obligations and keeping the necessary records.

In summary: our economists offer accounting services, tax representation services, services to comply with Spanish tax, accounting and commercial regulations and legal services with lawyers dedicated to civil, criminal and real estate issues.

Firstly, explains Welex’s tax advisor in Marbella, it is important to define the condition of each person: «If you are a tax resident and have no economic activity, for example, in the case of pensioners it is the great paradox; there is also another dilemma that they are experiencing and we advise them how to become residents and how to become a national in Spain».

Legally he should be a tax resident if he has more than 183 days a year living in Spain, however if he comes to enjoy for sporadic seasons, let’s say he spends 3 months in winter and a couple of months in summer, in this case he should be taxed in his country of origin but he would also be taxed in Spain on the income of a non-resident if he owns a property in Spain. Essentially, a pensioner of any other nationality living in Spain would have to pay tax on his pension and any other assets he owns in Spain if he is a tax resident.

Lately, there has been a remarkable influx of British people looking for information on how the Brexit could affect their personal lives, many owning both primary and secondary properties in Marbella or in other cities along the Costa del Sol.

Not all of them are retirees who are concerned that the departure of the UK from the European Union (EU) will eventually alter the tax base of their pensions; some are even self-employed, have their family and children enrolled in Spanish schools; others have set up companies that are part of their daily lives.

Since the Brexit referendum on 23 June 2016, endorsed by a majority of voters in favour of the island nation’s exit from the EU, everything has been a headache.

Spain is no exception, considering that 240,785 British people reside in the Iberian country, many of whom live on its islands and along its coasts.

Just in Malaga, on January 1, 2019, the registered British totalled 47,193 people and there is a considerable presence of them in the province.

They feel confused, says Sara Duarte, so they seek «our advice» to explain from the basics if their status is non-resident or resident, and what obligations they have to cover to avoid problems.

In that sense, Duarte points out that the scenario for the British could change depending on whether or not there is Brexit (the new exit date is scheduled for January 31, 2020) and whether they currently tax as non-residents as EU residents at 19 per cent with the Brexit completed and without any agreement they could go on to tax at 24 per cent.

Another of the big doubts that Welex, your expert accountant in Marbella, Malaga, Costa del Sol, is attending to is related to the new status of the British, how they will enter Spain, because they will need a visa since they will no longer be EU citizens.

To date, all European governments are testing how to work the day after the implementation of Brexit, not only to serve exporters and importers, also investors and the citizen himself who wants to receive his pension, be treated by the health service or go to study or work.

Therefore, first it is important to define with the client who approaches Welex, both British and of any other nationality, what kind of personal situation they have in Spain, and from there «make them a tailor-made umbrella» of management and attention offered by the renowned consulting firm from Marbella.

In general terms, a person resident in Spain is considered when he meets any of the following circumstances: that he has remained more than 183 days in Spanish territory, that his principal nucleus or base of his activities or economic interests resides in Spain or that the spouse does not separate legally and the dependent minor children of this person reside in Spanish territory.

Many people are not registered but really live in Spain, in fact they do not come to do tourism but to live and must register as residents; we receive clients who are pensioners who come and live in Spain as a second home but really spend all year here, we advise that they must comply as residents to avoid problems.

You are a non-tax resident when you are a tourist or when you come to Spain for a period of less than six months.

Duarte insists that to avoid confusion «it must be clear» that all person, whether British, European, American or of any other nationality, if owns a property in Spain «must pay tax annually».

«If you are not a resident in Spain, depending on the value of the property there are some ratios to pay, when you have assets bigger than 700,000 euros, that is something that many foreigners do not know and currently the Treasury has much greater control as with the funds that foreigners have in Spanish banks,» says Duarte. And in this case, they are obliged to present an annual declaration of their assets and pay taxes on the assets they have in Spanish territory.

In recent years, credit institutions in Spain have been sending out notices to their clients asking them to prove the origin of their income deposited in the various banks; special attention is given to accounts opened by foreigners who also receive international transfers.

This is happening, says the tax and accounting specialist, so it is pertinent to mention that as residents here in Spain, many times they have property or bank accounts or other income in their country of origin or another country which implies that «they have to tax everything in Spain as they are tax residents here».

Defining the economic activity that a person performs or will perform is very important for the tax map, deductions, tax payments, filing of returns and complying with the law in a timely manner.

Welex, your expert accountant in Marbella and tax advisor in Spain, has extensive experience in this area due to its wide range of possibilities for very personal attention, at a time when the number of self-employed workers is increasing and more and more companies are being set up; the most common company type format in Spain is a limited company (SL).

«First what is determined is what legal form it is in the interest of the person who is our client to have according to the activity that will carry out; the simplest thing is in his own name as a natural person under the special regime for self-employed workers and/or perhaps shows interest in carrying out the activity in the name of a company and this depends on a series of factors: if there will be employees, will they rent premises or will they simply carry out the activity themselves», points out Duarte.

For a self-employed person, the path is easier because it involves registering with the self-employed regime, the only thing is that they must present the declaration of individuals: «According to the Union of Self-Employed (UATAE), in 2019, will close with 75 thousand new self-employed workers which implies that the Special Regime for Self-Employed Workers (Régimen Especial de Trabajadores Autónomos, RETA) will grow to three million 254,663 contributors, the highest figure in the last ten years.

That’s right, it has its pros and cons, because of the issue of responsibility and obligations most people prefer to work for a third party, but nowadays in order to develop there are many people who decide to set up their own business under their own personality. It is necessary to consider that the activity of a self-employed person in his annual income tax return will be taxed in ranges from 0% to 45%.

Of the income obtained, for example, up to 12,000 euros per year is taxed with 19% over 60,000 euros per year at 45%; each section is taxed at a different percentage.

There are certain regulations that must be followed in order to be part of the Special Regime for Self-Employed Workers, just as a company needs to keep accounts and control its income and expenses in order to comply with all its obligations to the Treasury.

«We have self-employed workers who lived in other European countries who were not tax residents in Spain and who, on immigrating to Spain, have become tax residents. In these cases we teach them all the things they must have as the most basic, obtaining a NIE Certificate, register with the Social Security, register with the Treasury and keep track of their income and expenses; we also inform them which expenses are deductible and non-deductible for the purposes of their Personal Income Tax», says Duarte.

However, another way is that of a limited company, which is known in Spain because it limits the liability of the partner to the capital contributed as prescribed by law.

Spain has an enormous business tradition; the initiative to create a company is fundamental, but the country itself offers a series of opportunities to create a business network.

At Welex, your lawyer and economist in Marbella, we do everything for our clients, we take them from step one to comply with the tax requirements; first, we have to determine the participants of this company (partners); who will be the administrator of the company, its social object, social direction, the activity that will be carried out and how it will be called.

For the chosen name it is necessary to request a certificate from the central commercial register, five possible names are written, this central register will indicate if it refuses or accepts any; with all these requirements, together with the certificate from the central register, the partner(s) will sign the deed of incorporation before a notary formalizing this incorporation and once registered in the commercial register the company is constituted.

Other important steps, says Duarte, your expert accountant in Marbella, mean that once the company is incorporated it must be registered in the commercial register, which takes approximately four weeks, and then you must obtain the final CIF in the Treasury.

«Other steps are to register with the Tax Office the corresponding form 036 indicating both the activity of the company and the tax obligations and if the company will have employees must be registered and obtain the social security number of the company and after registration can begin to operate», she says convinced.

Something like that, in addition in Treasury it is necessary to register to obtain the digital signature of this society to have direct access for the telematics presentation of all the necessary models.

Taxes and obligations to comply with the Treasury in Spain

As for the quarterly taxes paid by companies, Duarte comments that there are three ratios in the VAT: 4% is the super reduced one which is for first need products; then there is the reduced tax rate of 10% for food not included in the previous one, the sale of first construction housing and others, and finally 21% which is the most general VAT; VAT returns are presented quarterly although there are large companies that present these returns monthly.

In the case of a limited company, it has the obligation to present the corporation tax in Spain annually, six months and 25 days after the conclusion of the tax period, normally it happens before July 25th of the following year to declare income, expenses, benefits, losses; and the tax rate is usually in general terms at 25 per cent.

«Advance payments of corporate tax are also made once profits are earned, they are required to make instalment payments in the subsequent tax year… three payments a year are due the first 20 days of April, October and December. If profits have been obtained in July, which is when the tax is filed, it is normally 18% of the taxable base but it will depend on the modality chosen», says Duarte.

Then there are the annual returns. We must highlight the famous model 347, the expert accounting advisor in Marbella Welex, indicates that this is a fairly important requirement that should not be left unattended.

«In our experience, it has not been taken seriously enough, but it is very important that it is handled correctly, it’s an informative declaration is not a tax payment; it is an informative declaration in which the Treasury has a great deal of influence because it is a model that is presented by the company, its suppliers and clients; what the Treasury does is compare the client’s declaration with that of the suppliers and vice versa… everything must fit and in the event of any discrepancy, the Treasury knocks on the door, so special care must be taken with this model», points out Duarte.

Welex, your multilingual lawyer and economist in Marbella, normally checks these amounts for its clients, not just the accounts because then there are missing invoices that the clients have not sent: what this outstanding specialist consultancy firm does is check with its network of clients and suppliers that all the invoices they are declaring are the same figures from their clients.

Another tax to be taken into account is the wealth tax, Duarte states that both tax residents and non-residents present it and for non-residents all their wealth in Spain must be declared: properties, bank accounts… all their assets in Spain… and if this exceeds 700,000 euros they will be obliged to present the wealth declaration.

In the case of residents, it includes all the assets they have worldwide, the tax rate depends on what each autonomy has absolutely regulated; Malaga and Marbella depend on the Junta de Andalucía and this marks a scale from 0% to 3.03% from 700,000 euros.

Then there is the accounting closure, once a year is finished Welex proceeds to close the accounts which implies one of the most arduous tasks but that the professional team of first quality of Welex handles perfectly.

And they do it under a clean and meticulous responsibility; the consultancy from Marbella has a control sheet in which it reviews that the accounting of each company is correct.

So it verifies that all taxes are presented in time and form, checks that everything has been accounted for, that the declarations are correct: the taxes presented in time and form; the deductions made. Everything is verified so that there are no errors; the reconciliation offered by Welex is very professional and accurate.

«We want everything to be in order, it is important for us that our clients feel safe, protected and well advised; when everything is in order there is a way to avoid fines and not get into trouble with the Treasury», says Duarte.

Professional services are essential, especially when you are a foreigner seeking to reside in another country, but also for nationals seeking to carry out an economic activity. 

Welex lawyers and economists in Marbella offer a comparative advantage by having legal, accounting, tax and economic advisory services in several languages not only in Spanish, but also in English, Dutch, French, Portuguese and German. 

As the prestigious firm argues, in Spain it is important not to get into trouble with the Treasury, it is necessary to comply with all current regulations. In any case, it is better to be safe than sorry…

Do not hesitate to contact this law firm and economists in Marbella, the heart of the Costa del Sol Spain, for any consultation of tax, accounting, commercial and legal nature.


Welex is an established family law firm in Spain and divorce lawyers in Marbella and on the Costa del Sol; it has earned its prestigious reputation in recent years.

Welex is an established law and accountancy firm in Marbella and on the Costa del Sol; it has earned its prestigious reputation in recent years. With Welex, your family law lawyer in Spain, clients will find effective and appropriate advice to their own circumstances, «each client is different so the service is personalised», both accounting, tax advice, commercial law, civil law, family law and criminal law, addressing all matters related to real estate transactions, wills and inheritance among other services, can assist you in your affairs from a multidisciplinary perspective under the same roof.

Do you want to get married in Spain? Do you want to get divorced in Spain? Don’t hesitate to contact our family law firm in Marbella now!

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