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When can a joint tax return be presented?

A Personal Income Tax return is generally presented individually. However, people forming part of a family unit may, if they wish, choose to make the return jointly, provided all its members are payers of the tax concerned.

For the purposes of Personal Income Tax, there are two types of family unit:

In the case of marriage: The family unit consists of two not legally separated spouses and, if any:

children under legal age, except for those who are independent living

Children of legal age who are legally incapacitated and subject to extended or renewed parental authority.

Remember: legal age is18 years.

In the absence of marriage or in cases of legal separation: The family unit is formed by the mother or the father and all the children who live with one or other of them and meet the requirements indicated for the previous type.

Please note:

  • Any other family group other than the above does not constitute a family unit for the purposes of Personal Income Tax.

  • No-one can form part of two family units at the same time.

  • Membership of the family unit is determined in accordance with the situation on 31 December every year. Therefore, a child turns 18 during the year he/she will no longer form part of the family unit in that tax period. Nor will any member of the family unit who dies during the tax period.

In common-law couples, only one member (father or mother) can form a family unit with the children who meet the requirements mentioned above and, as a result, opt for joint taxation. The other member of the couple must declare individually. The same criterion applies in cases of separation or divorce with shared custody.

Once the option to pay individually or jointly has been exercised, it is only possible to amend this by filing new tax returns within the period for voluntarily filing tax returns. After this period, you cannot change the option to change the tax option. Joint tax payment links all members of the family unit; if any of the members of the family unit presents an individual tax return, the remaining members must use this same taxation system.

Minimum personal amount. In any type of family unit, the minimum amount per taxpayer is 5,550 euros per year, irrespective of the number of members in the family unit. The computation for increase by age or disability of the taxpayer will be carried out in accordance with the circumstances of each spouse. Other conditions can apply and will be discussed at your appointment.

IMPORTANT: If joint tax payment is chosen, the income of all members of the family unit must be included in the tax return, regardless of whether they are individually obliged to present a tax return. The quantitative amounts and limits established for the purpose of individual taxation will be applied in identical amounts in joint taxation, without increasing or multiplying according to the number of members of the family unit; however, the maximum reductions allowed for contributions to social security funds and to protected assets of disabled persons shall be individually applied by each participant or mutual society member in the family unit.

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