The hospitality industry is one sector of the economy with a lot of autónomos. File photograph. / SUR

Self-employed in Spain can still apply for Covid-19 financial aid until June

The help is for those who have had their incomes cut, but authorities are also warning ‘autónomos’ not to forget including subsidies on tax returns

Eugenio Cabezas
EUGENIO CABEZAS

The Spanish government has extended the availability of the core Covid-19 financial subsidies for the self-employed until at least the end of June.

So-called ‘autónomos’ can benefit from payoffs for having had their normal business activity suspended under the exceptional circumstances and can also reduce Social Security contributions for a period.

The help can also be claimed if the autónomo has other income coming in, up to a certain minimum level.

Of the 3.2 million self-employed in Spain, some 110,000 are still claiming Covid-19 benefits.

Furthermore, the government’s ICO loan agency has 9bn euros set aside for business loans, 2bn of which is for the tourism sector.

Other forms of financing self-employed activities and bridging difficult periods available through banks include factoring, where debts are collected in advance, and promissory notes to be paid by the debtor over time.

Crowdfunding

A further form being used by autónomos is crowdfunding, where the general public is asked to support.

The authorities are warning however that autónomos shouldn’t forget to include any subsidies from last year in their 2021 tax return - due to be filled in over the coming two months - as these subsidies may not automatically be included on the draft return forms sent out by the tax office.

Although there were far fewer subsidies given to the self-employed in 2021 than 2020, there are still a significant number of people affected who may get caught out.

Furlough scheme

For example, some 467, 000 workers in Andalucía who were on the ERTE furlough scheme got 210 euros each from the regional government which has to go on the tax return as if it were income from work. Those filling in the tax return should be careful it doesn’t appear in the section for subsidies as well, meaning it would be counted twice.

Cryptocurrency reminder

Autónomos are also being asked to make sure that any transactions in or purchase of cryptocurrency are included. These are being targeted by the tax office for the first time.