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Spain. Limits on cash payments

Júlia Tax Answer


Article 7 of Law 7/2012 of 29th October, on changes in the tributary and budgetary regulation and modification of the financial regulation to increase preventive actions and fight against fraud, sets a limit on payments in cash as for specific operations. It specifically states that no operations in which one of the participants acts as employer or professional may be paid for in cash, for payments of €2,500 or more - or the equivalent in foreign currency.

However, the limit will be €15,000 - or exchange value in foreign currency - for individual payers who prove not to have a Spanish tax address and do not act as employers or professionals. To calculate said amounts, the amounts of all operations or payments for which the delivery of goods or the rendering of services has been made in instalments will be added. Payments in cash mean those means stated in article 34.2 of Law 10/2010 of 28 April on the prevention of money laundering and of the financing of terrorist activities. Those particularly included are:

  • National or foreign paper money and coins.
  • Cash checks in any currency.
  • Any other physical or electronic means conceived to be used as means of payment to the bearer.

As for operations that cannot be paid in cash, those taking part in the operation shall keep proof of payment for five years from the date thereof to prove that it was carried out using a payment method other than cash. Likewise, taxpayers must provide this document whenever required to do so by the Tax Agency.

This limit will not be applied to payments and deposits made in credit institutions. Noncompliance with any of the aforementioned limitations on payments in cash will constitute an administrative offence. Persons and organisations that make payments in cash, as well as those that receive partial or full payments in cash, will be considered offenders. Both the payer and the payee will be liable for the committed offence and for the imposed sanction.

The Tax Agency may go against one of them or against both without distinction. The offence will be rated as serious. The base of the fine will be the amount paid in cash for operations of 2,500 euros or more, or 15,000 euros, or the exchange value in foreign currency, depending on which of the two previously mentioned cases is concerned .

The sanction will consist of a proportional money fine of 25% of the base of the sanction. This action will not entail liability for those who take part in the operation as long as they report it before the Tax Agency within three months after the date of payment, stating the type of operation, the amount paid and the identity of the other party involved.

The report that the other party involved may file afterwards will not be taken into consideration. The simultaneous filing of reports by both participants shall not exonerate either of them from liability. Said offence will expire after five years counted from the day in which the offence was committed. The sanction on the offence will expire after five years, counted from the day after the resolution imposing the sanction is made final.

Josep Navarro's picture
Josep Navarro es Licenciado en Económicas por la UB, especializado en Inspecciones Tributarias, con más de 25 años de experiencia en asesoría fiscal para empresas y particulares en España.