An asesor or asesor fiscal is a consultant, an accountant, who deals with matters pertaining to taxes and the Hacienda, the Spanish Tax Office.
They are used by anyone, resident or non-resident, who declares income tax to the Hacienda, be it personal or for a business and who doesn’t want to fill out the necessary forms themselves. As with all Spanish paperwork, tax forms are complex and time-consuming to complete correctly, which is why the majority of sane people employ an asesor to take care of it for them.
The question is often asked, ‘what is the difference between a gestor and an asesor?’ While there are several areas in which the duties of a gestor and asesor, and even an abogado (lawyer), overlap, the basic difference is:
A gestor is an advisor or consultant acting as an intermediary with the authorities but who does no more than could be done by a member of the public themselves. It is their knowledge of the intricacies of the system and their ability to use that knowledge to ensure that forms etc are completed correctly and in a timely manner which makes them useful.
An asesor fiscal is a professional accountant used primarily for dealings with the Spanish Tax Office, the Hacienda.
You often hear people say, ‘You need a gestor for that’, or let a ‘gestor‘ take care of it’. So what exactly is a gestor and how can he or she help you?
A gestor, basically, is an administrative consultant who works as an intermediary between you, the client, and official bodies such as Councils or Government Departments.
Paperwork in Spain is mountainous, attention to even the minutest detail is almost a religion and many procedures are so archaic and complicated that even the Spanish opt for the services of a gestor rather than try and do it themselves.
A gestor will be familiar with the workings of Councils and other government bodies, extremely useful when it comes to obtaining permits of any kind.
For foreign residents, the services of a gestor for certain things are virtually essential, no matter how good you think your Spanish has become or however much you think you know. There are so many bureaucratic pitfalls along the way, a piece of paper missed here, an ‘i’ not dotted there, that it’s generally just not worth the inevitable hassle of trying to do it yourself, especially when dealing with authority.
A gestor can be invaluable with the following:
- Legal work and tax payments relating to the purchase or sale of a property.
- Preparation and execution of a will relating to a Spanish property.
- Change of ownership of vehicles, importing vehicles, registering imported vehicles with the Spanish authorities and obtaining a Spanish license plates – a complex, and costly, procedure for individuals.
- Help obtaining a Spanish driving license.
- Arranging permits, ranging from a fishing license to a building permit.
- Advice and help with taxes, tax forms and payments, relating to everything from local taxes to national taxes.
- Advice and assistance in the setting up of a business, including help with employment contracts, opening licenses etc.
- Looking after your interests, financial and administrative, while you are away, such as renting out a property, keeping payments up to date etc.
- Obtaining an NIE number, residency etc.