What is tax collection?
Tax collection is the administrative function which ensures the payment of public revenue. Payment can be made within the time limit set out in article 62 (deadlines) of the Ley 58/2003, de 17 de diciembre, General Tributaria (General Tax Law), or is collected after the deadline, through payment or a final demand ruling.
Tax collection is regulated by the Ley 58/2003, de 17 de diciembre, General Tributaria (General Tax Law) and the Reglamento General de Recaudación (General Collection Regulations), approved in the Real Decreto Legislativo (Royal Legislative Decree) 939/2005, of 29 July.
What is the difference between a tax bill, a tax settlement and a self-assessed payment?
- A tax bill relates to a periodic payment corresponding to specific tax registers. These are not notified individually but through collective taxation edicts published in the Boletín Oficial de la Provincia (Official Provincial Gazette).
- A tax settlement is a payment not coupled to a periodic tax register, and is notified to the individual tax payer.
- A self-assessed payment is carried out by a person liable to pay a tax established by fiscal byelaws, and can be filed at a local council or BASE-Gestió d’Ingressos. The declaration is provisional until the Administration establishes the definitive amount due.
What is the period for payment within the deadline?
The period for payment before the deadline depends on whether payment is demanded through a tax bill, tax settlement or self-assessed payment.
- Tax bill: the period for payment is two months, but as the payment corresponds to a periodic demand for certain groups, the exact period will be that published in the Boletín Oficial de la Provincia (the Official Provincial Gazette).
- Tax settlement: the period for payment is established in article 62.2 of the Ley General Tributaria (General Tax Law).
- If notification of the tax liability is between the 1st and the 15th of the month, the period for payment runs from the day of notification until the 20th of the following month. If that day is not a working day the period ends on the first working day following.
- If notification of the tax liability is between the 16th and the last day of the month, the period for payment runs from the day of notification until the 5th of the second month after. If that day is not a working day the period ends on the first working day following.
- Self-assessed payment: this method of payment requires immediate settlement.
What happens if a tax is not paid by the deadline?
From the day after the deadline a 5% surcharge must be paid.
Should you expect to receive any documents if direct debiting is used?
If you pay by direct debit, your account will be charged with the corresponding sum and the bank is responsible for providing you the proof of payment document.
What must you do, if you do not use direct debiting?
BASE-Gestió d’Ingressos will send you a document to remind you of your liability. It can be used to settle payment at any of the financial institutions listed on it, either in cash or by charging a bank account.
If you do not receive this document, you can go to any of the BASE-Gestió d’Ingressos offices and ask for a copy.
How can you find out the amount due?
The amount due can be found in the announcement of taxes and rates published by the council in the BOP, before 31 December of the previous year. These rates can be used to calculate the amount due depending on the nature of the tax.
For taxes such as IBI (Property Tax), increase in cadastral values should be taken into account. For all property in the country these values are published in the BOE (Official Gazette) together with the Ley de Presupuestos del Estado (National Budget Law).
What can you do if you disagree with the amount levied?
The Texto Refundido de la Ley Reguladora de las Haciendas Locales (revised text of the Regulatory Law of Local Revenue Agencies) states that, if you disagree with the details on the tax bill or the collection procedure, you can appeal against the tax procedures. When the corresponding ruling has been formulated, the interested party is notified.
However, it must be noted that an appeal does not suspend the collection procedure. Therefore, if no guarantee is presented or payment is not settled, enforced payment is applied, and if the appeal is rejected the personal assets of the interested party can be seized.
Can payment be deferred or paid in instalments?
In the period before the deadline, the taxpayer can submit an application to postpone amounts due or to pay in instalments, if their economic situation makes it temporarily impossible to pay before the established deadline.
It should be noted, however, that a guarantee must be given for postponing or paying in instalments. If the full amount is covered by a joint and several guarantee from a credit or guarantee company, or by a surety bond, the interest for late payment is calculated at the official rate up to the date of settlement.
Applications can be submitted until the day of the deadline, but postponement or payment in instalments are not considered granted before the relevant guarantee is presented.
FAQs - Frequently asked questions
1. For payment of a debt within the deadline, can I defer payment or pay in instalments?
Payment of the debt can be deferred or it can be paid in instalments at any time before the deadline is reached.
The request can be presented at any of the BASE offices.
2. Every year I receive a document to fill in and pay my tax, but this year I haven’t received anything. Must I wait to receive it?
Tax bills for periodic payments, which are vehicle tax, tax on business activities, property tax and certain council taxes, are generally due on the same dates every year.
There is no surcharge if the full amount of the tax bill is paid within the time limit.
After the deadline and before notification of the final demand, there is a surcharge of 5%.
The Administration is not obliged to send reminders for these taxes, as the deadlines for payment can be published in the BOP (Official Provincial Gazette) and on notice boards at the councils and at BASE.
However, to make payment easier, BASE-Gestió d’Ingressos, sends documents to tax payers’ homes to enable them to make payments at the banks indicated.
The taxes must be paid even if the document is not received. If this happens, a copy can be obtained from any BASE-Gestió d’Ingressos office.
3. I have received notification of a tax settlement and I don’t understand when I must pay it by.
The time limits for paying tax settlements are established in article 62 of the Ley General Tributaria (General Tax Law), with the start depending on the day the certified letter is received.
If it is received between 1 and 15 of the month, the deadline is the 20 of the next month. If it is received between 16 and the last day of the month, the deadline is the 5 of the second month following.
If you receive notification on 8 September, the deadline is 20 October.
If you receive notification on 23 September, the deadline is 5 November.
4. I need proof of payment but, as the tax bill is not in my name, can one be issued for me?
The Ley Orgánica de Protección de Datos (Data Protection Law) largely restricts the possibility of passing on data to a third party. A certificate may be issued for the payment with the express written authorisation of the tax payer named on the bill, presented with their DNI (identity card) and yours, as the third party and, in the case of societies or companies, a copy of the power of attorney.
5. What should I do to have a payment refunded if I am not the person named on the tax bill?
The taxpayer must give written authorisation when a refund of a tax payment is requested by somebody other than the taxpayer themselves, with the number of the bank account the refund should be paid into.
A photocopy of the DNI (identity card) of the taxpayer and the third party must also be presented, along with the original notification of the tax bill and documentation specified on the form for refunds of tax overpayment.
6. Can I ask for tax related documents to be sent to an address other than where I live?
Yes, as long as the notifications are for taxes which are to be paid within the deadline. You should bear in mind that further communications will be sent to the address given as that for tax notifications until a request is made for this to be modified, as established in the Ley General Tributaria (General Tax Law).
7. What information should be on my tax bill?
The Ley General Tributaria (General Tax Law) establishes that letters regarding pending tax, sent to the taxpayer, should include the details which identify the taxpayer, the data to identify the tax base, and the percentage tax or tariffs applicable with the final amount of tax due.
Possible tax relief may also be indicated in cases where it is applicable.
8. Can I pay the tax for a third party?
Anybody can pay a tax bill in the name of a third party, but this does not however, imply the acquisition of rights of the liable taxpayer. Whoever pays the tax bill in the name of a third party only has the rights stated in the legal regulations.