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Assisting a self-employed family member? You might qualify for benefits

If you’ve been helping out a self-employed family member, you might be eligible for benefits. Read on to find out if you fit the criteria.

4 min read

It’s no secret that being self-employed means juggling a lot of responsibilities at once. No one knows this better than the close family members of self-employed people, who often wind up shouldering some of those responsibilities themselves. If you are the relative of a self-employed worker and have been helping them with their work, you might be eligible for certain benefits. 

The Special Regime for Self-employed Workers and Freelancers (“Régimen Especial de Trabajadores Autónomos”) recognizes the position of “assistant to the self-employed worker” (“autónomo colaborador”) as a special role that differs from being outright self-employed. With this unique role comes a unique tax arrangement. Read on to find out what criteria you need to meet to qualify for the tax break, and how to register.

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Who qualifies as an assistant to a self-employed person?

In order to qualify as an official assistant to a self employed person, you must:

  • Be at least 16 or older. This is due to the fact that Spanish law doesn’t allow anyone under 16 years of age to engage in any type of professional activity.
  • Be an immediate family member. This could be a spouse, unmarried partner, first-degree relatives (i.e., parents, parents-in-law, children) or second-degree relatives (i.e., siblings, siblings-in-law, grandchildren, etc.). You must be related by blood or by law. Nieces, nephews, uncles, aunts, and cousins aren’t considered immediate family members. 
  • You can’t be registered as an employee anywhere else. If you are working as an employee anywhere else, you are no longer eligible.
  • Receive a salary for your services. The self-employed person has to pay you a salary for your assistance. 
  • Work in the business on a regular basis. You won’t qualify if you only help out occasionally.
  • Live in the same dwelling. You have to share your home with the self-employed person in order to qualify.

If you are not married to your partner, you need to be able to verify that you’ve lived together for at least five years and that neither of you are married to anyone else. You’ll also have to register as unmarried partners in the region where you live. Also, the assistant must not have been registered in the RETA in the previous five years.

Tax rebates for the assistant to the self-employed person

When you register as an assistant to a self-employed person, you’ll receive a 50% discount on your social security contributions for 18 months. After the initial 18 months, you’ll receive a 25% discount for the next six months. However, you won’t have to pay these contributions yourself—the self-employed person you are assisting has to pay them on your behalf, and register them as tax deductible business expenses. 

Unfortunately, you won’t be eligible for the flat rate social security contributions that self-employed workers make (i.e., €60 per month for the first 12 months).

Obligations of the assistant to the self-employed person

The Tax Agency treats assistants to the self-employed worker the same as employees that receive a salary. Unlike the self-employed worker who owns the business, you don’t have to file quarterly VAT or income tax returns. You only need to file a tax return, like any other employee.

However, Social Security considers assistants to self-employed people to be self-employed themselves. That means you’d be entitled to unemployment benefits under the same conditions as self-employed workers, rather than like those of employees who receive a salary.

Obligations of the self-employed worker who owns the business 

In addition to paying your social security contributions, the self employed person also has to pay you a monthly salary, and that salary needs to be fitting to the level of work you provide. Then these expenses need to be written off as tax deductible business expenses when the self employed person files their own taxes. 

Registering as an assistant to the self-employed person

Since you don’t have to register with the Tax Agency, the process for registering as an assistant to a self-employed person is pretty simple. All you have to do is register with the Social Security office by submitting form TA0521/2

You’ll need the following documents: 

  • National Identity Document (“Documento Nacional de Identidad”, DNI)
  • Family record book (“Libro de Familia”)
  • A copy of the registration with the Tax Agency of the self-employed worker who owns the business

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Regardless of whether you are a self-employed worker or a salaried employee, N26 allows you to manage your finances from your mobile phone, wherever you are. Also, N26 is a collaborating entity with the Social Security, which means that you can pay your self-employed fee directly from your account, as well as pay the Social Security contribution if you have anyone hired.

We offer personal bank accounts to fit every lifestyle, or a range of business accounts to give freelancers and self-employed people the extra support they need. Enjoy innovative features like Spaces sub-accounts that sit alongside your main account and help you organize your money however you want. Visit our compare page to find the plan that’s right for you.

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