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Can sole traders deduct telephone expenses?

If I am Self-employed in Spain, (Autónomo), can I deduct mobile phone expenses?

When you work as self-employed in Spain, it´s normal to be unsure as to which expenses are  tax deductible. For certain types of expenses it is not very clear if they are tax deductible or not, as they are not clearly connected to the company activity. An example on this could be training courses, expenses related to vehicles or travel expenses and meals. In this article, we focus on expenses associated with the acquisition and use of a mobile phone,  with the intention of using it for business purpose. As there is no specific rule that regulates these particular type of expenditure we must abide by the general criterion: the deductibility of expenses is conditioned by “the principle of its correlation with income”. Those expenses proven to have been incurred in the exercise of the company activity will be deductible, while when there is no such link, or if the link is not proven sufficiently, they could not be considered as tax deductible. If the mobile telephone line is used indistinctly for private or professional purposes, you cannot deduct this cost at all.

An expense that can certainly be deductible, providing you use the phone only for work purposes, is the acquisition of the mobile phone itself. As it is considered a fixed asset you would have to apply the corresponding depreciation coefficient to the acquisition value. Don’t forget that if you deduct the phone expenses, in case of a tax inspection you will have to show reliable proof that your line is only used within the trading activity by showing a co-relation between phone calls and clients.

 

And what happens with land line expenses?

In the case you have a land line, the deductibility of the expense varies depending on where you carry out your trading activity.

If you work at an office you can deduct the entire amount of the telephone invoices. On the other hand, if you work from home, you can only deduct the percentage that results from applying 30% to the proportion existing between the square meters of the working area of your home with respect to its total area, just like you do with the rest of the supplies (in accordance with article 30.2.5º.b of Law 35/2006, of November 28, on the Personal Income Tax), unless it can prove a greater percentage of affectation.

The deductibility of any expense will be conditioned not only to its correlation with the income, but also by its justification by means of the original invoice and the registration in the books-registry that the self-employed must necessarily keep in under the “estimación directa” system.