This week has seen unprecedented Supreme Court action that has unleashed all kinds of mayhem on an internal level, not to mention the consequences this has had on the financial sector. Over the past few years we have seen thousands of court cases revolving around the financial sector and their methods when it comes to granting mortgages. The primary issue was in relation to the infamous Floor Clause inserted in mortgage agreements (in many cases without advising the mortgage holder!) but a Supreme Court ruling in favour of mortgage holders obligated banks to reimburse any benefits obtained which could be a few thousand euros per case. The secondary issue and the one this article referrs to has to do with reclaiming the Stamp Duty paid on the Mortgage Deed.


20th April, 20th July, 20th October and 20th – 31st January… No, I haven’t gone mad! Many business owners tremble when these four dates are mentioned because it is when quarterly taxes are due and a portion of the income earned with blood, sweat and buckets of tears goes straight into the tax man’s pocket. The economy is well on its way to recover but there are still some sole-traders out there whose businesses continue to struggle and the thought of quarterly taxes or payment of their monthly Social Security contribution can send them into a panic.
One of the first things I advise new clients to my office is no matter how difficult it gets, they must always make sure to pay Social Security and the Tax Offices within established deadlines because failure to do so can set off a series of events that can snowball and leave the business owner with a mountain of ever increasing debt when late-payment interest is added on top of an existing debt. What can one do though if it is impossible to make payments on time?


Following on from my April post on the same subject, it has been confirmed that sole-traders, professionals and business owners must pay four euros more than they have been paying since the last increase in July 2017. This is due to approval of the General State Budget which raises the minimum base rate from 919  euros to 932 euros, meaning that those who pay the minimum contribution will pay 279 euros per month from now on.

It isn’t all bad news… 520 million euros have been allocated from the State Budget to improve sole-trader conditions to include additional help for start-ups, better rates to hire employees and support for those who have children and/or dependents. This is turn will also include better pensions (we hope!).

 

 


Following on from when new Data Protection Laws were first reported, this is a reminder that the deadline for these laws to come into force is now extremely close. After four years of debate, new regulations were approved which means that in line with European Directives, come the 25th May 2018, we say goodbye to the old system and say hello to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In Spain, this means the Ley Orgánica de Protección de Datos (LOPD) is being replaced by the Reglamento General de Protección de Datos (RGPD).


We are now into the fourth month of the year and the changes keep coming! This time it has to do with the monthly contributions, sole-traders must make to Social Security but as was the case last year, the contribution was not altered in January, instead it was left until July and it looks as though the same is going to happen this July as well. The General State Budget for 2018 was approved on the 27th March of this year and in it a 1,4% increase on these monthly contributions was approved which equates to approximately 3,88 euros. I can imagine that some will breathe a sigh of relief because last year, the increase was almost double but at the end of the day, it is still less money in our pockets at the end of the month.