New technologies have changed the way in which we conduct our relations with the authorities. Paper procedures are now being displaced by electronic processes, and one of the processes we can carry out is online tax payments. This post tells you how to do it.

You can present many taxes online, and pay with your computer or mobile. Road tax for your car, property tax on your flat, income tax or quarterly VAT if you are self-employed or have a company. You will also have to pay tax if you buy a house (tax on property transfers) or if you receive a legacy (inheritance and donation tax). All these are examples of taxes which, in some cases, you will pay to your town hall, in other cases to the tax authority in your autonomous community, or to the state tax authority.

Tax payments using your mobile or ATM

One alternative for tax payments is to pay them directly at a Banco Santander ATM or using the App Santander. If you are a customer of the bank, even if you do not have the application, you can download it, because one of the facilities it offers is tax payments.

  • Go into the application, and click the "Bills and taxes" tab.
  • In this menu, choose which payment you wish to make (bills or taxes). You can enter the data manually, or scan the bill using your mobile's camera.
  • Follow the instructions in the app, and complete payment in a matter of minutes.

The procedure for paying taxes with a Santander ATM is similar. You will only have to use your card at the ATM - in the menu, select the option "Surcharges, payments and others", and then "Payment of taxes and charges". Again, you can either enter the data manually (issuer, reference, identification and amount), or bring up the bill to the ATM's reader and scan it. If you agree with the data, click "Yes" to confirm the operation, and take your receipt at the end.

Tax payments on the website

You can also pay tax bills via the website.

  • Go to your individual account with your ID and password.
  • Click on Payments in the Accounts and cards menu.
  • In the Payments and bills section, click on Go to taxes..
  • Choose the account you wish to use to pay, and then enter the code of the issuer and the other data.

If you have a company, you can also pay bills and taxes using the App Santander Empresas. Enter with your group, user name and code, and click on "Payments" / "Payment of bills" in the menu (3 horizontal bars, top right).

You can also do this via Online Banking for companies, entering with the same codes, and selecting "Payments and collections" / "Other payments" / "Online payments" on the upper menu.

Advantages of paying tax online

Speed, comfort, simplicity, security and cost savings are some of the advantages of paying your tax via Internet. You do not have to queue or print out a lot of paper. Moreover, you do not have to go into town to carry out this procedure, which you can now do from your sofa at home. Nor do you have to observe the authority's timelines, because you can present your taxes at any time (within the deadline set, of course), 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. And finally, the online procedure is secure because access, user names and payment gateways comply with security protocols.

The process, step by step

So, how can taxes be paid online? It is not a difficult process. All you have to do is follow the instructions on the website concerned, which usually have a "help" button if you need any clarifications.

By way of a summary, the online tax payment process consists of the following:

1. Find out which authority collects each tax

Once you know the authority you have to deal with (local, autonomous community, or state level), go to its website, where you can carry out a number of processes online, among which tax payments.

2. You will have to authenticate your identity to enter the website

This means you will have to use a method to prove it is you carrying out the procedure, and that no one is attempting to steal your identity, You can do this with an electronic ID or an approved electronic certificate, such as those issued by Spain's Royal Mint (Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre) o Camerfirma. Some authorities, such as the Tax Authority, permit authentication using a third method, known as "Cl@ve Pin", a combination of data from your ID card and a code sent to a mobile phone number.

3. Select the tax you wish to pay

When you have registered on the authority's website, you must go to the tax you wish to pay, and fill in the form. For payment, the system will open up a secure payment gateway to pay the tax electronically. Normally you can pay by card or by charging to an account, but always through a partner entity within the system (practically all banks and savings banks operating in Spain, including Banco Santander).

To complete the procedure, the partner entity managing the collection will generate an "NRC" (complete reference number), which will identify the tax payment made, and which will be necessary to enable the authority to complete the process.

Where can you find the NRC code if you are a Santander customer?

To check the NRC go to the bank's website with your identity document and access code. We can see this in two simple steps:

  • Select "Accounts and Cards"/ "Income Tax" in the top menu.
  • In Income tax, click on "Payments/direct debits”. Then select the charging account and click "Accept".

How to pay municipal taxes

The above is the most common process when we wish to pay state taxes, income tax or the quarterly VAT return. To pay municipal taxes which you have not arranged to be debited by your bank, such as property tax or road tax, the process is quite similar, although it can vary from town hall to town hall. Basically you will have to authenticate yourself on the local authority's website (with a certificate, electronic ID or user name and password), and enter the details on the municipal bill. Payment will then ensue via a secure gateway. In some cases you can do this by credit card, and in others you will have to have a bank account with one of the partner financial institutions.

As you have observed, online tax payment is a secure, simple process. All you have to do is follow the necessary steps indicated by the authority and your bank.

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