Taxes in Europe Database v2
The legal basis of the Spanish Social Security System in its current shape is the General Law 26/1990, of 20th December on Social Security, and the RDL 1/1994 , of 20th June. Law 36/2014, of 26th December.
The Spanish territory.
The State, through the Social Security System, guarantees the necessary social protection according to the contingencies and risks laid down by law, to those persons included within its area of application:
General Social Security Scheme: persons included
The Spanish Social Security System is mainly based on a pay-as-you-go scheme financed partly by contributions from earnings and partly by transfers from the Government Budget.
Employers Social Security contributions are a fixed proportion of covered earnings, between a floor and a ceiling, which vary by broadly defined professional categories. Currently, eleven categories are distinguished. For the first seven of them, floor and ceilings apply to monthly earnings. These floors and ceilings are shown below for the year 2015. They are approximately equal to, respectively, the professional minimum wage and three times the former minimum wage. For the last four categories, floors and ceilings apply to daily earnings.
Engineers and University Graduates
Qualified Technicians and Assistants
Clerical and Workshop Supervisors
Clerical Officers and Assistants
Subofficers and Skilled Workers
Workers lower than 18 years old
Social Security contributions made by taxpayers are addressed to cover the following contigencies:
Social security contributions are calculated on the total monthly pay received by the employee, excluding public transport and other items under some requirements: death indemnities, per diem allowances and travel expenses, redundancy compensation and other minor items.
As stated before, there is a minimum floor and a maximum ceiling or contribution base for the first seven professional categories of employees (from engineers to administrative assistants); for the other four categories the minimum and maximum bases are computed on a daily basis.
Social security contributions are calculated on the total monthly pay received by the employee, excluding per diem allowances and travel expenses, distance and transport supplements, petty cash allowances, work clothes and uniforms, death indemnities, relocation expenses and other minor items.
The Spanish Social Security System provides a wide variety of deductions in the social security contributions mainly aimed at promoting permanent employment and to facilitate labour participation among some of the most disadvantaged groups of the Spanish labour market.
Aimed to foster new indefinite hirings, the Royal Decree Law 1/2015 establishes a new incentive for employers hiring new workers under a non-fixed contract, which may also apply a "reduced rate" involving the fixing of a minimum exemption on employer contributions for common contigencies (the first EUR 500 on a monthly basis are exempt). This exemption will apply for a 24-month period for companies meeting certain requirements.
The tax rate is the percentage applied to the tax base. Tax rates are fixed every year by the General Budget Law.
For 2015 the rates applied for both employers and employees are the following:
General Benefits Fund
Unemployment (general rate)
Unemployment (fixed duration - full time)
Unemployment (fixed time - part time)
Wage Guarantee Fund
Basically on a monthly basis.
The body in charge of collecting Social Security Contributions is the General Treasury of the Social Security (Tesorería de la Seguridad Social).
Apart from the General Scheme of the Spanish Social Security System (RGSS) to which we referred above, one may find some special schemes such as:
It is also worth mentioning the Government Employees Scheme that covers public servants (both military and civil) currently employed by the Central government and by Regional and Local government.