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Why now is a good time to be a private teacher in Spain 

If you’re considering working as a private teacher in Spain, the latest stats show why you’ll be increasingly sought-after and likely to find plenty of pupils to make a living. Here’s why. 

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Spanish families spend triple the amount they did a decade ago on private tuition for their children. Photo: Marc Thele/Pixabay

Teaching isn’t famed for being the most remunerative job one can do, and Spain is no exception. 

The average gross monthly wages of a secondary school teacher in Spain are €2,300, which can end up being around €1,800 net a month, but according to Spanish workers union UGT big regional differences mean many secondary school teachers end up getting a lower salary than that. 

Primary school teachers tend to get lower pay – around €2,000 gross a month – and again this is subject to differences between regions, experience and whether you’re working for a private or public institution (public schools tend to pay better). 

Wages for university teachers usually start low (around €2,000 gross a month) but can double over the course of a decade. 

Teaching can also be a very demanding job, as it is elsewhere in the world, and to become a public teacher in Spain you usually have to sit a state oposición exam. 

Private teaching however, referred to as clases particulares in Spanish, is emerging as an appealing alternative for those who want to make a living out of teaching in Spain. 

The country’s latest Family Budget Survey (EPF) reveals that 24 percent of students in Spain now receive private tutoring outside their classrooms.

Wealthy households spend up to five times more than poorer ones, although mid to lower income families in Spain are increasingly prioritising private tutoring for their children. 

Private teaching in Spain has gone from being seen as  a luxury service to a necessity in many Spanish households.

It’s a trend which started during the financial crisis that hit Spain in 2008, and over the course of the next decade Spanish families tripled their spending on private tutoring to a total of €732 million. 

And the pandemic has served to increase demand for private tutoring further still, spurred on by a 550 percent spike in demand during 2020.

Maths and science tutoring is what is most sought after, with the results of a 2019 study by the International Association for Evaluation of Educational Achievement showing that Spanish students are lagging behind in these two fields compared to students elsewhere in Europe and in Asian nations. 

“I don’t think that the Spanish educational system is failing,” Juan Moreno, author of the “Education in the Shadows” study which includes this latest data on Spanish tutoring, told Spanish radio station RNE.

“What’s happening is that more and more families understand that they have to invest more, they see the need for a more personal education in a climate of greater competitiveness. They want their children to have a competitive edge.”

And how about English teaching? According to Spanish private teaching website tusclasesparticulares.com, the most in-demand private classes in 2020 were English, followed by maths and then French. 

The desire among Spaniards to improve their English skills continues into adulthood, with a 2022 survey by online English school Open English finding that 99 percent of students believed that learning English could help them achieve their career goals, and 93 percent said it would serve as personal fulfilment.

Spain continues to have the lowest level of English proficiency in Europe according to a 2020 study by the EF English Proficiency Index, ranked in 33rd position globally. 

The Covid-19 pandemic and its health implication for face-to-face teaching has also meant that there’s greater acceptance among pupils and their parents for classes to be held online, allowing teachers to have more free time and save on transport costs.  It’s a modus operandi which is no doubt here to stay after the pandemic. 

So whether it’s English, French, science or maths that you’re considering teaching privately in Spain, know that there is demand to be able to make a living out of it in most cases. 

It isn’t without its challenges, and you’ll have to decide whether to work for a company or go solo at it as a self-employed worker, but private teaching is a sure-fire way for many foreigners to be able to live and work in Spain for the foreseeable future, without having to have a full-time job.  

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TAXES

La Renta: What items can you deduct on your Spanish tax return?

Find out what costs you can and can't claim back on your annual Spanish tax return or 'declaración de la renta'.

La Renta: What items can you deduct on your Spanish tax return?

Spain’s annual tax return is known as the declaración de la renta and completing it or knowing what you can claim back as an expense can be quite tricky, particularly because there are many regional differences too. 

Anyone residing in Spain for more than 183 days and earning over €22,000 a year, who is self-employed (autónomo), or moved here in the last year, must complete it. 

Your Spanish income tax return has to be filed by June 30th for the preceding year, in this case for 2021.

READ ALSO – La Renta: The important income tax deadlines in Spain in 2022

There are many different allowances or deductions that can be made on your tax return such as deductions for couples, children, single parents, elderly parents, disabilities and large families, may of which we have covered in previous articles such as this one here

This article, however focuses specifically on costs that you can claim back on your tax return. For example, can you deduct rental or mortgage expenses, property tax or private health expenses? Read on to find out. 

READ ALSO: How to complete Spain’s Declaración de la Renta tax return

Spanish pension contributions

Up to €2,000 can be deducted for contributions to pension plans or up to 30 percent of the tax base (total income).

Property tax

Those who own a property in Spain will pay the yearly Impuesto Sobre Bienes Inmuebles, better known as IBI. This is similar to council tax in the UK and one of the expenses you can claim back on your annual declaration.

The costs of renovating your main home

Keep in mind, that you can’t just deduct the cost of any renovations on your home, particularly if they’re just cosmetic, but you can deduct for any renovations which reduce the demand for heating and cooling by at least seven percent. In this case, you can apply a 20 percent deduction, with a maximum of €5,000. 

Buying or rental costs of your main home

This expense can only be deducted by those who bought their property and signed the mortgage before January 1st, 2013 and must have included it in previous declarations. In the case of those who are renting, the signing of the contract must have been made before January 1st, 2015.

The tax benefit is up to 15 percent with a maximum limit of €9,040, while the maximum deduction will be €1,356.  

Some regions will also allow you to deduct further expenses if you buy a house in a rural area or habitually live in an area at risk of depopulation, such as in Andalusia, Cantabria, Castilla La-Mancha, Extremadura, Galicia, La Rioja and Valencia.  You can also deduct expenses for the cost of buying a residence for a particular group of people, be it young people in need, victims of domestic violence, disabled people or large families.

Donations

Donations of many kinds can be deducted on your annual tax declaration, whether they’re charitable donations, donations to cultural institutions, donations for scientific advancement, innovative technologies or the environment.

Generally, you can deduct 80 percent of the first €150 and 35 percent of any donations after that. If you have any doubts as to whether the donations you made last year can be included, it’s best to check with your accountant or gestor.

For educational studies and textbooks

Many times, you can deduct the cost of education and the textbooks associated with them. In general, you can deduct 15 percent of school fees; 10 percent of language courses and; five percent of the cost of purchasing clothing for exclusively school use.

However, this does not include claiming back for all courses, unless you are autónomo (self-employed) and they are designed to help improve your business. If you’ve taken a course, it’s best to check with your gestor or accountant to see if the fees can be included on your declaration as there are slight variations between regions too.

Investments in environmental installations (some regions only)

Many regions in Spain allow you to deduct costs of investing in environmental installations such as solar panels, thermal installations, and water-saving devices. This category also includes improvements made to your habitual residence due to disability or adaptation because of technical or structural issues. Some of the main regions you can deduct these expenses include Valencia, Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, Murcia and Galicia. Unfortunately, these are not included for Madrid or Catalonia.

Domestic help (some regions only)

In some regions in Spain, you can even deduct expenses for domestic help, such as cleaners, nannies or au-pairs. This is true in Madrid, Andalusia, La Rioja and Castilla y León.

Electric cars (some regions only)

Those who make an investment in buying an electric car may also be able to deduct the cost of this, depending on where they live. This is true if you live in Valencia, La Rioja and Castilla y León.

Standout regional differences

  • The Canary Islands and Cantabria are the only two regions that allow you to deduct private health insurance and other health-related expenses, but make sure you contact your gestor to find out exactly which health costs can be claimed for.
  • Andalusia is the only region where you can deduct legal expenses.
  • Public transport costs can be deducted in Aragón and Asturias.

Please note, we at The Local are not financial experts. What we’ve learned, we’ve learned the hard way — by getting on the phone and listening to all those frustrating automated messages. 

The information above is designed to help, but if you are in doubt or unsure of exactly what you can claim back, seek professional advice.

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