One of the obligations you acquire as self-employed is paying the ‘autonomo’ fee each month. There are a few things you need to know to ensure that you don’t miss any payments, as late payment carries charges and interest.
If you fail to make provisions and it is not paid, beware, it will not be sent again to your bank account by the Social Security.
From the moment you register as self-employed a monthly direct debit should be set up at your bank account for approximately 250€ in concept of national insurance that will come out on the first of the following month.
In the situation mentioned in the introduction you have to obtain a pay-slip from the Social Security Office in order to pay it in cash at the bank. This pay-slip is valid only during the month in which it is issued.
When the fee is not paid during the corresponding month the debt increases with interests and charges: 3%,5%,10% and 20% in the consecutive months.
It is important to note that stopping the payments, whether it be without notice or even cancelling the direct debit at the bank is not considered as deregistration and therefore the debt will continue to grow.
We know of some expats that left Spain without notifying the Social Security only to return later, even after many years, only to find they had a large debt to pay before being allowed to re register with the Social Security. In some cases there are things that can be done, but not always.
There are basically three different responds to the Social Security’s request of payment at your bank. You pay it, you let it return, or, and this can create the problem, you let it go and cancel the direct debit. In some cases this has been done by the bank without the specific order of the client.
Then, months later you uncover the debt.
Just a positive note: During all this time that you are registered, weather you pay or not, you have medical care rights and this time counts as working time for your pension calculations.
In conclusion, in order to avoid problems, our recommendation is: monitor your payments each month and make sure that you provide an address where you get the post.
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