Tax inspectors have their sights set on property rental income. | Michels

The tax declaration campaign, now underway, has its sights on incomes from property rentals, be they holiday or long-term.
In addition to the information provided for individuals by the tax agency via its website, there is also a message for those who the agency is aware are renting properties out.

“According to data available to the AEAT (the national tax agency), you have placed advertisements for property rentals with different media, including the internet. We would remind you that, in the event that you have received income from renting, you should include it in the declaration, as you should any type of income for which tax is due and which is not included in the fiscal data.”

This means that any owners who rented a property out via a website during 2015 should include the income in their declarations. The director of the tax agency department of administration, Rufino de la Rosa, has not identified any website but says that the agency has information regarding rentals which has not been provided by any website.

In the Balearics, where there is of course the ongoing debate about holiday rentals, the message may well take taxpayers by surprise, and Aptur, the association for holiday rentals, estimated that last year some 50,000 apartments were made available for holiday rental.

The annual tax declaration season began on Wednesday, this being the declaration of income for 2015 and one that will reflect the lower rates of income tax that were introduced last year. Specifically, the rates range from 19.5% for incomes lower than 12,450 euros to 46% for incomes of 60,000 euros or more.

There is an obligation to make a declaration for all income earned during the year, including any from overseas. This income naturally includes salary or earnings as an “autónomo” self-employed worker, as well as interest, dividends, capital gains and rents from properties.

There are exemptions for those with very low incomes, while anyone who earns no more than 22,000 euros from a single employer does not have to make a declaration. Even in this instance, however, a declaration will need to be made to qualify for any deductions, such as mortgage relief or legitimate expenses for the self-employed.

The deadline for declarations is 30 June. The Hacienda can prepare a statement and will, in many instances, have done so (the “borrador” draft which can be consulted via the tax agency website). If not, this can be obtained by going to tax offices (but not until 10 May). This draft will not necessarily be complete if the tax agency doesn’t have relevant information related to, for instance, deductions.

If there is any tax to be paid, it can be done so as one sum via a bank or in two instalments - one at the end of June (60%) and the remaining 40% in November. There is also a possibility to make a formal request to pay in more than two instalments.
Refunds can, if the declaration is straightforward, take up to three to four months to be made to a bank account, though they can be forthcoming earlier.

Individuals can of course make their own declarations, but it can often be advisable to have a gestor or other qualified professional to make them.