Are you an affiliate? Know the tax approach of your activity

Affiliate tax obligations are the big unknown when you start earning income from affiliate marketing. You know that you must somehow declare the revenue obtained, the question is how to do it.

As I always say, regulations always lag behind social reality. Affiliate marketing is a relatively new business model for the Treasury, and officials are not very up to date on how it works or how to apply VAT and personal income tax laws. So if you go to a Treasury office to ask, you may be lucky and find the perfect person, but most likely, you will not come out with the information you need.

But don’t worry, I’m here to give you light. If you are considering becoming an affiliate and you don’t know how to approach it from a fiscal point of view or you are already in it and want to make sure you are doing things right, you have come to the perfect post .

Let’s get started!

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing consists of promoting the products or services that other people or companies sell in exchange for a commission for each sale made. There are many affiliate platforms, some national and others international, one of the best known is Amazon.

To give an example of how the affiliation business model works, to be an Amazon affiliate you need to have a website, a blog or social networks where you can promote the products you want to sell from this great online store. Each product will have a link to Amazon so that the visitor can buy it. Through a code, Amazon will know that said sale comes from your website and will pay you a commission for each sale.

With just a computer and an internet connection, a world of possibilities opens up to generate income without even having to leave home. Working as an affiliate is one of these possibilities and it is currently very fashionable.

Steps to become a member

The steps to become an affiliate and comply with the regulations will depend on your starting situation.

If you are already engaged in an activity on your own and membership is a new line of business for you, you will have the obligation to notify the Treasury of your registration in a new IAE heading that empowers you to carry out this activity. You must do it by presenting form 037.

If you do not have a running business and start from scratch with your activity as an affiliate , you will need to process:

· Registration in Social Security as self-employed with a monthly cost of €283.30 per month from January 2019, unless you can take advantage of a discount or the flat rate of 60 euros.

· Registration with the Treasury by submitting the census registration (model 036 or 037). The presentation of this model is free of charge and can be done electronically, if you have a Cl@ve or digital certificate, or on paper at the Tax Agency offices by appointment.

Registering with the Treasury serves to communicate to the Administration who you are, what activity you are going to carry out and what tax obligations you assume as of that date. Once registered, you will be obliged to periodically present the VAT and IRPF forms that correspond to you.

· Registration in the Registry of Intra-Community Operators (ROI) in case you are going to work with platforms located in another country of the European Union.

Is it necessary to be registered with the Treasury?

Absolutely yes. To be able to invoice your clients, it will be essential that you are registered with the Treasury. You must also present the VAT and IRPF forms that correspond to you periodically.

There are two types of models to present: quarterly self-assessments and annual summaries:

Quarterly :

They are the declarations through which you will enter the taxes that you must pay in the Treasury.

· Quarterly VAT ( Model 303 ). It is presented from the 1st to the 20th of the month following the accrual quarter, except in the fourth quarter when the period ends on January 30.

· Quarterly personal income tax ( Form 130 ). It is presented from the 1st to the 20th of the month following the accrual quarter, except in the fourth quarter when the period ends on January 30.

· Employee and professional withholdings ( form 111 ). from the 1st to the 20th of the month following the accrual quarter

· Rental withholdings (form 115). from the 1st to the 20th of the month following the accrual quarter

· Intra-community VAT ( Informative model 349 of intra-community operations ). It is presented from the 1st to the 20th of the month following the accrual quarter, except in the fourth quarter when the period ends on January 30.


If it were the case that in any quarter you have not obtained income, it does not even cross your mind not to present these declarations. Submit them equally, indicating NO ACTIVITY because otherwise you could be sanctioned.

 Annuals :

They are informative models, it does not involve paying any amount, but they are mandatory.

· Annual summary of VAT ( Model 390 ). It is presented from January 1 to 31 of the following fiscal year. It is presented from January 1 to 30 of the following fiscal year

· Declaration of annual income (Model 100). It is presented between April and June of the following year

· Annual summary of withholdings (Model 190). It is presented from January 1 to 31 of the following fiscal year

· Annual summary of rental withholdings (Model 180). It is presented from January 1 to 31 of the following fiscal year

· Declaration of operations with third parties (Form 347 ). It should only be submitted if you have carried out transactions with customers or suppliers for an amount more significant than 3,005.06 euros per year. The submission period extends throughout February of the following year and ends on February 28.

Is it necessary to register as self-employed with Social Security?

There is no clear answer to this question, and I will tell you why below. On the one hand, the Social Security law establishes that anyone who does self-employment must comply with the obligation to register as a self-employed person whenever they regularly, personally, and directly carry out an activity for profit. The key here is that the regulations do not clearly define what this “habitually” consists of, so rivers of ink have flowed interpreting and giving opinions on this concept.

Luckily, in 2007 the Supreme Court of Justice of Madrid issued a ruling that established jurisprudence in this regard. In said ruling, it was considered that there was no custom and therefore no obligation to register as self-employed if annual income does not exceed the amount of the Interprofessional Minimum Salary (12,600 euros per year in 2019).

As a result of this sentence, some have ventured to invoice without being self-employed when the income is less than the SMI, taking advantage of the criterion of habit established by the TSJ.

It is essential to consider this information, but it should not be the only thing that guides you when deciding whether to register as self-employed finally or not with a low income. Social Security is governed by the Social Security Law, not by what the court rulings say, and in the event of a labor inspection process, there may be problems.


It’s up to you. It is one thing to charge an affiliate commission once in a lifetime, in which case there would be no regularity. It is quite another to receive income on an ongoing basis. In this case, my recommendation is to register as self-employed and sleep peacefully at night.

In all sincerity, I tell you that it is not worth risking because there have already been cases of sanctions, and more so today, you can benefit from the reduced rate of €60. The new rate is excellent to start with because when you’re still starting, you don’t get enough income yet, and it pays to pay a smaller rate.

With this guide, we have tried to solve the most frequent questions that may arise about affiliate marketing at the tax level. Now you know that you must register as a freelancer to be affiliated and what are the models that you must present quarterly and annually to comply with the Treasury. If you have any questions, it is recommended that you consult your trusted tax advisor.

You can now start generating income with affiliation!

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