Questions and answers to your tax, social security and unemployment issues during COVID-19 crisis.

27th March 2020

What is a Temporary Employment Regulation File (ERTE)?
It is the procedure that companies must carry out when, as a consequence of economic, technical, organizational or production causes, they have to temporarily suspend all or part of their activity and as a consequence must suspend employment contracts or apply a temporary reduction of the working hours for their employees.
In the case of COVID-19 crisis, the ERTE is used as a temporary measure; the company will not have to pay any compensation to the affected workers, without prejudice to their right to receive the corresponding unemployment benefits.

During the period established in the ERTE, does the company have to pay wages or Social Security contributions for its workers?
While the ERTE is in place, the company does not have to pay wages to the workers affected by the suspension. Likewise, in the event that the ERTE contemplates the reduction of working hours, the company will only pay the proportional part corresponding hours worked and the rest will be paid by the unemployment agency.
Regarding Social Security, the Company will not have to pay this if it has had to close due to the force majeure motivated by COVID-19. These are the companies that were forced to close when the State of Alarm was published.
Those Companies that were not forced to close but have been able to apply for an ERTE due to the lack of production will be liable to continue paying social security for their employees.

Will I have to pay social security at the end of March?
Yes. The social security for staff that is charged at the end of March corresponds to February, you are due to pay the full amount. The social security for “autonomo” will also be charged at the end of March, however you are only liable for this up until the 14th March, so the Social Security should reimburse you the difference.

What can I do if I cannot pay the social security at the end of March?
You should inform your adviser so that they can arrange for the staff social security to be paid in monthly instalments. Alternatively you can apply for an ICO loan from the bank to cover these costs.

What if I do not have the funds to pay staff wages?
You need to speak with the bank to obtain an ICO loan.

Is there a date forecasted for the control of borders?
Yes. On the 25th March the legal order was published announcing that the control on borders has been extended to the 11th April.

Do I still have to present my business tax forms in April?
Yes. Only the IGIC tax forms have been deferred until the 1st June 2020.

If I decide to close my business because it has been affected by the COVID-19 crisis can I still apply for unemployment benefit?
Yes, so long as you can prove that the closure has been directly related to this crisis.

Can I claim the unemployment benefit being self-employed even if I haven’t been registered for very long?
Yes. So long as it is related to the COVID-19 crisis.

What if the activity I carry out is not one that was forced to close. Can I still get the unemployment benefit?
Yes, so long as you can prove your reduction of income is related to the COVID-19 crisis and is 75% less than the previous 6 months.

How long can I receive the unemployment benefit for as a self-employed person affected by the COVID-19 crisis?
The duration is initially one month; however this will be extended in accordance with the duration of the State of Emergency.

When can I apply for the unemployment benefit as self-employed?
As from now until the 14th April. However, if using an adviser you will need to give them enough time.

From when will the unemployment benefit begin if self-employed?
From the 14th March 2020.

When will I receive the unemployment benefit?
Between the 7th and 10th of each month. Taking in to consideration the number of applications it is more than likely that this will be May.

Do I need to continue paying my monthly social security “autonomo”?
You are liable to pay social security up until the State of Emergency. You should pay the month of March and the Social Security will reimburse the difference.

What will my bank want from me if I wish to apply to freeze my mortgage prepayments on my home?
If the COVID-19 crisis has resulted in your unemployment then you will need to submit a certificate issued by the unemployment office, which shows the monthly amount received as unemployment benefits or subsidies.
If you are self employed and your business activity has been suspended then you will need to submit a certificate issued by the Tax Administration or the competent body of the Autonomous Community, where appropriate, proving the termination of the activity.

The following information on the number of people living in the house:
I. Family book (libro de familia) or document to prove your domestic
partner, or marriage certificate if not Spanish.
II. Historic Certificate of Registration in the Town Hall (Certificado de
empadronamiento HISTORICO), for each person registered as living in the
home at the time of application and the previous six months.
III. Declaration of disability, dependency or permanent incapacity to carry out a work activity.

Proof of Ownership:
I. Simple note from the property registry index service for all members of
the family unit.
II. Purchase Deed of the home and granting of the mortgage-backed loan.

Responsible declaration of the debtor or debtors regarding the fulfilment of the requirements demanded to be considered without sufficient economic resources according to this royal decree-law. The bank will provide this for you to complete with your details and sign.