If you are a self-employed freelance translator in Spain, you probably have a ‘gestor’ to help you to navigate Spain’s burdensome bureaucratic system. Gestors are not necessarily lawyers, but they know how to deal with red tape, reminding you to bring them your paperwork, preparing and filing tax returns and advising you in exchange for a monthly retainer. They also fill in complicated forms and decipher the unintelligible letters I receive from time to time. These scare the daylights out of me and it is a relief to be able to scan them, email them to my gestor and (hopefully) forget about them.
However, there are some tasks I know I can do for myself to save money. For example, translation agencies often ask me for certificates proving that I am up to date with my tax obligations. You must apply for each certificate individually on the website, entering the company’s name and tax code. The last time I asked my gestor to do it for me, he charged me a whopping 15 euros, so I decided to do it myself. It’s an easy process, but before you can do it, you need a digital certificate.
Installing a digital certificate on your computer is a very useful thing to do. Once you have it, you can access a wealth of information and make use of many free services on government websites. In Spain, there are several options. I got my digital certificate at the local town hall by filling in a form and following some simple instructions. Now that the file is installed on my computer, I can take care of all kinds of formalities, such as obtaining a Vida Laboral (work history), making medical appointments, and checking for notifications from the tax authority.
If you would like to make use of these services, you can choose to apply for the Cl@ve Pin, the permanent Cl@ve or the Autofirma, or even the DNIe. If you like, you can get a personal Digital Certificate from https://www.sede.fnmt.gob.es/en/certificados.
Freelance translators are busy enough as it is, but it’s worth spending a little time sorting out a digital certificate and learning how to do these routine tasks for yourself. You never know when you are going to want to apply for sickness benefit or apply for a permit at the town hall or, heaven forbid, pay a speeding fine!