Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ser Autónomo: Modelo 37 & TA.0521/1

The low-down on how I became a self-employed TEFL Teacher in Spain. A Gestor (look for gestoría or asesoría in the phonebook) will charge a good 70€ for doing the paper-and-leg-work to register you as autónomo - you can do it yourself.

This is what I found out... they are only guidelines, don´t take it as bible as things change and you should always ask along the way to make sure it fits you and your circumstances!:

Modelo 037

Firstly, you can download the necessary form (modelo) from the Agencia Tributaria (or you´ll have to pay for them on the spot!). You will need to complete the Mod 037 to register with the Censos as autónomo (dar la alta), change your details, or when you cease to be self-employed (dar la baja). As is usual with legal forms, they are largely impenetrable, even when armed with a good dictionary! You can download the instructions which help a little and I completed the obvious (name, address, etc.) then asked for help as I went along to the local Agencia Tributaria and Tesoreria General de la Seguridad Social (both open weekday mornings 8.30-14.00). In the end there were many sections that didn´t need completing; here are the ones that did for me:

Modelo 037
  • 101 (NIE Tarjeta de Residencia)
  • 102 Surname, Name
  • 111 Alta X
  • 2 Identificación: Domicilio fiscal en España
  • 3 IRPF
  • 600 Alta 602 Fecha
  • 609 Estimación directa simplificada 650 Fecha
  • 4 IVA 501 "SI" (teaching is free of value-added tax)
6 Declaración A) Actividad
  • 402 "826"
  • 404 "A05"
B) Lugar
  • 413...421 Dirección (home address)
  • 422 "10" m2 (my office space at home)
  • 424 Alta X 425 Fecha

Then print and sign. There are two copies, one for you (contribuyente) and one for administration, you have to take these to your local Agencia Tributaria Censos Desk, they stamp them. Ask for "etiquetas", stickers with your bar code to be stuck on your tax returns. then you need to take a photocopy of your copy along to the local Tesorería. I print a third copy so you don´t need to find a photocopy shop in between.

OBVIOUSLY, take your NIE/Tarjeta de Residencia/passport/work permit and a PHOTOCOPY of it. Take a passport photo with you too, just in case. It´s a pain when you think you´ve got everything sorted and you have to go away and come back with a photocopy, count yourself lucky if they do it for you!


For the Tesorería take your copy and a photocopy of Mod 037 and you need to complete the TA.0521/1 Solicitud Simplificada which is your Social Security cover.


1 Datos de Solicitante: Name, address, Social Security Number.
2 Datos Relativos a Solicitud:
  • Alta X Fecha
3 Datos Relativos a la Actividad Profesional:
  • 3.2 "826"
6 1.6 X Domicilio

7 Datos Para la Domiciliación del Pago de Cuotas
  • Bank details, NIE
4 Opciones
  • 4.1 Base Mínima X
  • 4.2 Mutua No. (If you are ill, they cover you. In the Tesorería they listed the Mutuas and I chose one I knew was in my town.)
Print and sign.

Now you are registered as self-employed you will pay monthly social security (automatically deducted from your bank account) and have to do the quarterly IRPF tax return Modelo 130, which will be discussed next.

NOTE: The date you put for the alta/baja is for the date when you started work/finished, it doesn´t have to be the same date as when you do all the paperwork. When you need to unregister yourself (typically in August) you go through exactly the same process, this time marking the baja boxes.

How to Become Self-employed in Spain - Dar la alta como autónomo - as a TEFL Teacher

After a couple of years and a couple of posts as a TEFL teacher in Spain you quickly realise that the conditions of employment in Language Academies and Agencies frequently leave a lot to be desired. As a teacher you often have very little to do with your boss but have a very direct relationship with your students. If you start wondering how the sharks can take a 50% cut (or more!) and are confident with your teaching skills and ability to build a good rapport with students, then it´s time to become self-employed. Many teachers do classes off the books, in my case I prefer to give classes to adults, specialising in Business English, so I wanted to give it a go to see if I could become professional and then take on in-company classes which nowadays largely prefer above-board status.

The beauty of setting up in teaching is that apart from books, YOU are the resource, so it´s relatively inexpensive to get going. The services of a Gestor are worth it in the long run, especially when it comes to completing the annual IRPF tax return. The Gestor is a legal financial advisor who takes care of taxes and accounts making it easier to keep on top of things.

The advice I got before becoming self-employed from another teacher was to make sure that you are ready to be able to declare yourself - if business is slow, you could pay through the nose in taxes. I decided to build up a sufficient client base, become self-employed for a trial period and then when I was confident it was working employ the services of a Gestor (approx 45€/month). Gleaning information about being self-employed from the internet has obviously been important, as well as improving my Spanish and using the internet as a promotional tool.

A Gestor will charge a good 70€ for doing the leg-work to register you as autónomo - you can do it yourself. Trial and error - I always get there in the end! This is what I found out... these are only guidelines, don´t take it as bible as things change and you should always ask along the way to make sure it fits you and your circumstances!

In the next blog I´ll show you how to survive!