Spain’s Finance Minister announced today that parents who received maternity or paternity payments during the last four years from the Spanish Social Security system will be able to reclaim the income tax (IRPF) they paid on those benefits from this afternoon onward. The minister added that by April of next year, all of the rebates should have been paid out.

On October 5th, a Supreme Court ruling put paid to a legal debate that had been on the table for years: whether or not maternity and paternity benefits should be subject to IRPF. While the Tax Agency argued that they should, some courts had ruled the other way. The Supreme Court eventually found in favor of the taxpayer – albeit referring only to maternity benefits, raising doubts as to whether fathers would be able to put in a claim. But last week the finance minister confirmed that men would also be eligible for the rebate.

Taxpayers will only be able to claim in the years back to 2014, given that the Tax Agency only allows for revisions to returns filed in the last four years.

Applicants will have to fill out a form to make their claims, stating merely the years during which they received said payments, and supplying their bank account details. The process can be either done online or in person at one of Spain’s tax offices.

The rebates can be applied for in two phases, with parents of children born in 2014 and 2015 able to reclaim their taxes from today onward, and those who had children in 2016 and 2017 from January onward. The process will be staggered in this way to avoid an overload of the Tax Agency website and administration.

The total cost to the public coffers will be around €1.2 billion, with the average rebate for mothers coming in at around €1,600 and fathers €383. This is due to the differing duration of leave allowed for men and women when they have a child.

Applicants will not need to supply a certificate proving that the taxpayer has received maternity or paternity benefits, given that the Spanish Tax Agency will crosscheck applications against Social Security records.

In the case of benefits received during the current tax year (starting January 1, 2018), there will be no need to make any such application, as the amounts received will be treated as exempt from IRPF and any withholding will be deductible on tax returns when filed next year.

Source El Pais

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