How can you claim the maternity exemption on your taxes?

See what steps you have to take to request a refund for taxed maternity benefits received between 2014 and 2018
In October 2018, the Supreme Court issued a ruling that stated that maternity benefits are exempt from personal income tax. As a result, Social Security will not be able to deduct this tax from the benefits it offers in the future and, furthermore, it is possible to claim any amounts withheld for this reason in any benefits received since 2014. Find out more details about this measure and how to claim your income tax maternity exemption.
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Personal Income Tax maternity exemption, new decree

The IRPF, or the personal income tax, is a tax on the income of residents in Spain in a financial year (i.e. one year). This tax is progressive, meaning that its amount depends on the income received, taking into account the nature of the tax and the family and personal situation of each taxpayer: the more you earn, the higher your personal income tax will be, considering aspects such as the number of dependents or your marital status, among others.

The Supreme Court ruling of October 3, 2018, states that Social Security benefits received by female employees in the 16 weeks of leave after the birth of a child are exempt from Personal Income Tax. As a result, ever since that date, Social Security has stopped withholding Personal Income Tax from maternity benefits. Moreover, taxpayers who have had amounts withheld in the months leading up to the ruling don't have to file any paperwork, since their 2019 Income Tax return will already include these benefits as exempt income and will allow deducting the associated withholdings.

Maternity benefits from previous years

Although the Supreme Court ruling went into effect in 2018, the Ministry of Labor has announced that any past or outstanding benefit payments are also subject to this measure. Thus, taxpayers who had children and who received the aid in 2014 and 2015 were able to request a refund from the Tax Agency starting last December. This same tax, linked to maternity benefits received in 2016 and 2017, can be requested from January 2019.

How to file for the refund

Although the period for claiming the refund varies, the procedure that those taxpayers who received the benefits between 2014 and 2017 have to follow is the same. There are two options: electronically or on paper.

Whichever filing method is chosen, the person who received the benefit must start by downloading an online form created specifically for this purpose, and available on the Tax Agency website ( The taxpayer who claims the Personal Income Tax refund is asked to specify how many years they received the aid, in addition to the bank account where they wish to receive the refund. These are the only two details required, and it is not necessary to attach a Social Security certificate or any other document to show that you have received this benefit: the Tax Agency will be responsible for requesting any information that it needs directly from Social Security.

Those who opt to file the finished form electronically, which is what the Tax Agency recommends for faster processing, must do so using the same means that are provided for filing the Personal Income Tax return, i.e. the Clave PIN system, the RENO system or the electronic certificate. Taxpayers who prefer to submit the form on paper can do so at the Tax Agency's registration offices.

Paternity benefits

In addition to making it possible to claim an exemption on one's Personal Income Tax for maternity benefits, and even if the Supreme Court does not refer to this specifically in its ruling, the Tax Agency has interpreted said ruling broadly, which allows male taxpayers who have received paternity benefits to also claim this exemption. To do this, the same procedure indicated above has to be followed.

For some months now, thanks to a Supreme Court ruling, it has been possible to claim a Personal Income Tax exemption for maternity and paternity benefits using a simple form. If you had a child between 2014 and 2018, you can now request to have this tax refunded.

BBVA is not liable for the content, truthfulness, accuracy, adequacy, integrity or timeliness of the information included in the articles, which were prepared by third parties external to BBVA. The article is for information purposes only. It is not binding or compulsory and it does not constitute a commercial offer or contractual commitment on the part of BBVA.

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