Self-employed workers may change their contribution base up to six times a year by providing proof of income
The recent publication in the Spanish Official State Gazette of Royal Decree 504/2022 of 27 June updates the regulations for workers included in the Special Regime for Self-Employed Workers (RETA).
As has been announced in recent years, and more insistently in this legislature by Mr. José Luis Escrivá, Minister of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, this new Royal Decree has been published in which the first steps are taken to implement the contribution system for self-employed workers based on their net income, i.e. the way has been taken for the contribution bases, and their respective monthly fees to be paid, to be linked to the actual turnover of the professional or economic exercise carried out by the persons included in the RETA.
When will the rule become effective?
For this purpose, from January 2023, the effective date of the regulation, workers in the Special Scheme for Self-Employed Workers will be able to change their contribution base for which they are obliged to pay contributions up to six times a year, choosing another, within the minimum and maximum limits applicable to them in each financial year, provided that they so request from the Social Security General Treasury, with the following effects:
- a) 1 March, if the application is made between 1 January and the last calendar day of February.
- b) 1 May, if the application is made between 1 March and 30 April.
- (c) 1 July, if the application is made between 1 May and 30 June.
- (d) 1 September, if the application is made between 1 July and 31 August.
- (e) 1 November, if the application is made between 1 September and 31 October.
- (f) 1 January of the following year, if the application is made between 1 November and 31 December.
What is the procedure to follow?
Together with the request to change their monthly contribution base, workers must make a declaration of the net economic income they expect to obtain from their economic or professional activity under the terms provided for in the regulations, on the registration of companies and affiliation, registrations, deregistrations and variations of workers’ details with the Social Security.
On the other hand, and with regard to communications on affiliation, registrations and variations, these will be obligatory and will be made exclusively by electronic means, with the following particularities to be considered:
- Membership and up to three registrations within each calendar year shall take effect from the day on which the person in question meets the requirements and conditions for inclusion in the scope of application of this special scheme, provided that they have been applied for in accordance with the terms established.
- Other registrations which, where applicable, occur within each calendar year shall take effect from the first day of the calendar month in which the requirements for inclusion in this special scheme are met, provided that they have been applied for within the established terms.
- Registrations requested outside the regulatory period shall also take effect from the first day of the calendar month in which the requirements for inclusion in this special scheme are met. In such cases, and without prejudice to the administrative penalties applicable for late payment, the contributions corresponding to periods prior to the formalisation of the registration shall be payable and shall produce effects in terms of benefits once they have been paid, with the legally applicable surcharges and interest, unless, due to the application of the statute of limitations, these contributions are not payable and therefore not valid for the purposes of benefits. In such cases, the Social Security General Treasury will inform the Labour and Social Security Inspectorate of the registrations requested after the statutory deadline.
In addition, self-employed workers must communicate the economic activity or occupation that determines their inclusion in this special regime when applying for registration in it, as well as any subsequent changes that occur in them, by means of the corresponding variation of data. When self-employed workers simultaneously carry out two or more activities that give rise to their inclusion in this special regime, they shall be registered in it only once, and they must notify all their activities and the corresponding data in the application for registration or, if there is multiple activity thereafter, by means of the corresponding change of data.
The same procedure shall be followed in the event that their situation of multiple activity changes or ends. On the basis of these declarations, the Social Security General Treasury will inform the mutual insurance company collaborating with the Social Security with which the worker has formalised coverage for temporary incapacity due to common contingencies, occupational accidents and diseases and cessation of activity of the activities carried out at any given time.
With regard to the withdrawal of workers from this special scheme , they shall produce the following effects in terms of contributions and protective action:
- Up to three withdrawals within each calendar year shall take effect from the day on which the self-employed worker ceased the activity that led to his inclusion in the scope of application of this special scheme.
- The rest of the withdrawals which, where applicable, occur within each calendar year, shall take effect on the expiry of the last day of the calendar month in which the self-employed worker ceased the activity which led to his inclusion in the scope of application of this special scheme.
- When, despite having ceased to meet the requirements and conditions for inclusion in this special scheme, the worker does not apply for withdrawal or applies for it in a form and within a period other than those established for this purpose, or the withdrawal is carried out ex officio, the withdrawal thus maintained shall take effect in terms of the obligation to pay contributions, but he shall not be considered in a situation of withdrawal in terms of entitlement to benefits. Again, as in the case of registrations, the Social Security General Treasury will report to the State Labour and Social Security Inspectorate any cancellations requested or carried out outside the regulatory period.
It should be remembered that applications for registration and deregistration and notifications of changes in the details of workers in this special scheme must be accompanied, by electronic means, by the necessary documents and means of proof.
By way of example, they must be attached to the applications or may be requested by the body: documents accrediting that the applicant holds ownership of any individual or family business or of an establishment open to the public as owner; proof of payment of the Tax on Economic Activities or any other tax for the activity carried out; copy of the licences; permits or administrative authorisations that are necessary for the exercise of the activity in question; copy of the contract concluded between the economically dependent self-employed worker and his client; documents accrediting the self-employed worker’s participation in companies or communities of goods or his membership of professional associations; or a declaration of responsibility by the interested party and any other documents that may be required, for these purposes, by the General Treasury of the Social Security.
In summary, it can be seen how, with all the changes implemented in this Royal Decree and its subsequent regulatory development, the aim is to organise a contribution system, theoretically fairer and more efficient, based on flexibility and on the real income of self-employed workers, which will allow the new pension system approved on 1 July 2021 to be sustained.
The new system will come into force in January 2023 and the contribution rates and bases will be established in the General State Budget Law. To this end, the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration is currently in dialogue with the social partners and self-employed workers’ associations with a view to setting the contribution rates and bases from 2023 onwards.
The AddVANTE labour management department remains at your disposal for further information or to resolve any queries that may arise in relation to this article.