In 2022, 79% of Spaniards use some electronic payment system to pay for their purchases or services: before 2020, 87% opted for cash. These data from the OCU show that there is a change in trend, perhaps motivated, in part, by the legislative reform that took place almost two years ago: since then there is a limit to pay in cash, so If you were thinking of paying the invoice for the workshop in this way, think twice because the fine from the Treasury could be a few thousand euros.
Until 2021, cash payments had a limit of 2,500 euros: they decided to lower it to avoid cases of fraud in which some professionals charged for a product or service without issuing any invoice. Thus, almost two years ago, Law 11/2021 on measures to prevent and combat tax fraud changed this cap.
Pay cash with limits
Since then, as long as a professional is involved in the transaction, The maximum amount that can be paid in cash is 1,000 euros or its equivalent in foreign currency. That is, with this method, you will not be able to pay in the workshop for a repair that exceeds said figure. The same occurs with payments between professionals: a freelancer may not pay another or a company more than 1,000 euros in cash in exchange for a service or product.
Keep in mind that when they talk about cash, they are not only referring to coins and bills, they are also included all means in which the payer cannot be identified: bearer checks and any other physical means (including electronic ones) designed to be used as a means of payment.
In addition, the Treasury has wanted to prevent picaresque: this cap affects the price of the product or service, that is, the amount cannot be divided into smaller parts to be paid in cash. If the mechanical service costs 1,500 euros, you will not be able to make three payments of 500 euros.
The Treasury fine
The Treasury monitors the correct compliance with this limit and to avoid temptations it has established a fine for offenders: It will be 25% of the amount paid. So, at least, the penalty you can receive is 250 euros. If the mechanic’s service is more elaborate, you could face a penalty that exceeds the barrier of 1,000 euros.
The Bank of Spain points out that This punishment will not only be for the person who pays, but also for the person who receives the money in cash: The amount will be shared jointly. If, in addition, one of the parties involved in the transaction denounces the operation before the Tax Agency in the following three months, they will be released from the fine. It is not the only way to reduce the penalty: there are reductions of 30% for compliance, 40% for prompt payment and 65% for minutes with agreement.
As a good rule, Law 11/2021 has an exception that allows you to make a cash payment that exceeds 1,000 euros. This limit will become 10,000 euros when the person making the payment meets two conditions: be a non-professional and have a tax domicile abroad. Therefore, a tourist who fixes the car in our country will be able to pay in cash for any workshop repair that costs less than 10,000 euros.