Under the Catalan Social Security system, workers have to pay their contributions in different ways, depending on the job they do and whether they work for themselves or for somebody else. Those different ways of paying are called règims de cotització in Catalan, a term meaning contribution systems.

Contribution systems:

A. The general system (règim general):
This system basically applies to people who work for somebody else in the industrial and service sectors.

B. Special systems (règims especials):
There are special contribution systems for self-employed workers, agricultural workers, domestic workers, maritime workers and coal miners.

Workers may start and stop making contributions under a particular system or under different systems on various occasions over the course of their working life. However, they only register with the Social Security system once, when they begin their first job.

The main peculiarities of the special systems and the differences between them and the general system are based on the amounts of the compulsory contributions to be made and of the economic benefits available (different from system to system).

Full general or specialised information on your rights and duties is available from your nearest branch of the General Treasury of the Social Security (Tresoreria General de la Seguretat Social). Alternatively, you can call a telephone service run by the Spanish Ministry of Work and Social Affairs and the General Treasury of the Social Security on 901 50 20 50.

Personal income tax (Impost sobre la Renda de les Persones Físiques or IRPF) is applied to earnings from work (among other sources of income). A deduction for IRPF therefore appears on workers' wage slips (the amount is variable in every case). Free information on the application of this tax and others corresponding to the Catalan fiscal system is available from the tax authority or from any union.