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Can I become self employed in UK while living in Spain

Can I become self employed in UK while living in Spain

Old Oct 17th 2019, 8:30 pm
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Lightbulb Can I become self employed in UK while living in Spain

Hello all

Thanks for taking the time to read this!
Basically I live in Spain, am a resident here, have been here 8 years.
I want to become self employed and work from home in Spain. My new job would be on-line teaching which means I can work from anywhere, and also means I can return to (and work from) the UK whenever I wish to (which is currently only twice a year as I have a full time job in an English academy).

Being autonomo in Spain is incredibly expensive and it has been suggested to me that I become self employed back in the UK, pay the necessary taxes in the UK and continue living in Spain (while popping home to the Uk on and off throughout the year).

I realise that I won´t have medical cover if I don´t become autonomo but was told by another source that my NIE / DNI should get me health care here in Spain.

I want to know if everything I´m saying is viable?

- To reiterate - I won´t be living 6 months in each place , I will be based in Spain but popping back to the UK a handful of times in the year.
Thanks so much
Amy
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Old Oct 17th 2019, 10:33 pm
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Default Re: Can I become self employed in UK while living in Spain

No, that’s not a possibility. You could incorporate a limited company in the UK and only take dividends but you’d still need to pay income tax in Spain.
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Old Oct 18th 2019, 6:33 am
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Default Re: Can I become self employed in UK while living in Spain

Can I check then BritinParis - if I paid income tax in Spain, paid my taxes in the UK and was self employed in the UK (as opposed to Spain), would this not work?
I must admit I do not have a head for these things, if you can explain in layman´s terms that would be great Thank you!
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Old Oct 18th 2019, 6:39 am
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Default Re: Can I become self employed in UK while living in Spain

Originally Posted by amyliverpool View Post
Can I check then BritinParis - if I paid income tax in Spain, paid my taxes in the UK and was self employed in the UK (as opposed to Spain), would this not work?
I must admit I do not have a head for these things, if you can explain in layman´s terms that would be great Thank you!
You pay tax wherever you are tax resident - that would be Spain if you are living there. So you wouldn’t pay any tax in the UK on your income as you wouldn’t be tax resident there.

Presumably there are are also rules about only being allowed to work as self employed in Spain if you are registered there as such (just as there would be in the UK - you can’t work there as self employed without registering as self employed), but those in the know will be along to help with that shortly.

HTH.
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Old Oct 18th 2019, 6:51 am
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Default Re: Can I become self employed in UK while living in Spain

Hi oompa, thanks for that! Yes I would of course do everything legitimately and would register as self employed in the UK.
I am still registered as a UK citizen, use my doctor and dentist there when I go back and so on.
I had heard somewhere that I would have to live half the time in the UK or at least a considerable time, and move between the UK and Spain for this to work.
I wanted to clarify if that is the case and what are the exact time frames, if any?
Ideally I would live in Spain and go back to the UK say every couple of months or 3 months even...
Thanks again ya´ll
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Old Oct 18th 2019, 7:56 am
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Default Re: Can I become self employed in UK while living in Spain

So you live in Spain but pop back to the UK and use the medical system there? Plus you live in Spain, will work from Spain (even if only using a computer) but don't want to pay your dues in Spain? The phrase 'cake and eat it' spring to mind.
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Old Oct 18th 2019, 9:47 am
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Default Re: Can I become self employed in UK while living in Spain

No, I choose to use my dentist in UK because I have had her since I was a child. I do pay to see her. The same with my doctor. It´s my family doctor. I see him occasionally if anything serious comes up (I had depression for years and he helped me with that so I trust him). He is happy to see me on those occasions which is rare.
I was recommended doing this because I don´t earn a great deal and the autonomo fees here are extortionate. I would love to be self employed because here in Andalucia the majority of academies pay under the table (which I don´t like at all but have no other choice), so there is no fall back if one gets sick or becomes unemployed..
I was told it is by the books and legal to do what I am suggesting. All I wanted to know is if that is the case or not. If it is not, I will not do it. I don´t think you need to judge me for it. I was just asking for advice
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Old Oct 18th 2019, 11:07 am
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Smile Re: Can I become self employed in UK while living in Spain

Originally Posted by amyliverpool View Post
No, I choose to use my dentist in UK because I have had her since I was a child. I do pay to see her. The same with my doctor. It´s my family doctor. I see him occasionally if anything serious comes up (I had depression for years and he helped me with that so I trust him). He is happy to see me on those occasions which is rare.
I was recommended doing this because I don´t earn a great deal and the autonomo fees here are extortionate. I would love to be self employed because here in Andalucia the majority of academies pay under the table (which I don´t like at all but have no other choice), so there is no fall back if one gets sick or becomes unemployed..
I was told it is by the books and legal to do what I am suggesting. All I wanted to know is if that is the case or not. If it is not, I will not do it. I don´t think you need to judge me for it. I was just asking for advice
Amyliverpool. Please don't get offended by certain replies. Being new, you will get used to this.There are many knowledgeable members on this forum with great advice for you, so keep asking questions and take the advice you like and use it to your good.don`t be put off all the best
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Old Oct 18th 2019, 11:17 am
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Default Re: Can I become self employed in UK while living in Spain

Originally Posted by amyliverpool View Post
No, I choose to use my dentist in UK because I have had her since I was a child. I do pay to see her. The same with my doctor. It´s my family doctor. I see him occasionally if anything serious comes up (I had depression for years and he helped me with that so I trust him). He is happy to see me on those occasions which is rare
That's fine if you're paying for it - I think the comment above was because it sounded as though you were using the NHS for medical care when not a UK resident! If it's private medical, that's very different.

To be considered tax resident in the UK, it's 183 days a year irrc.
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Old Oct 18th 2019, 11:21 am
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Default Re: Can I become self employed in UK while living in Spain

Thank you. Very kind of you to respond El Collado Kid. Un abrazo
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Old Oct 18th 2019, 11:21 am
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Default Re: Can I become self employed in UK while living in Spain

ok, I see oompa.
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Old Oct 18th 2019, 1:17 pm
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Default Re: Can I become self employed in UK while living in Spain

This is a technical explanation of how this would be viewed in France. I don't know if Spain sees it the same, but most EU countries do follow similar rules.

If you are self employed then you and your business are one and the same entity. Everything that you earn is yours to spend as you wish. You declare it on your personal tax return and pay income tax on it.
As opposed to, if you own a company then the company turnover is kept separate from your own personal income, ie what you draw in salary and dividends.
So, it is possible to live in one country and own a company in another country. You as a "natural person" pay income tax on your salary and dividends in the country where you live, and your business as a "legal person" pays corporate tax on its profits in the country where it is established.
But if you and the business are one and the same, none of that applies. Income tax is payable where your bum is when you do the work. If you did in fact live in Spain but return to the UK to do a substantial part of the work then you could be classed as a cross border worker. If HMRC approves this arrangement you would pay income tax and NICs in the UK and your healthcare in Spain would be covered by virtue of your NICs. (This will probably no longer apply after Brexit because it's an EU arrangement).
But if your bum is in Spain when you do all or most of the work, you have no tax liability to the UK. Why would you have? You can't just randomly decide to pay tax in a country other than the one you live in. If you live in Spain you can't decide you will pay tax in Greece, Italy, France, the UK or wherever, because tax rates are lower. That is basically what you seem to be suggesting but if you could do that, then everyone would choose to pay tax in whichever country has the lowest tax rates. So there has to be firm rules to determine where tax is paid. Those rules are contained first of all in each country's fiscal law, which sets out the criteria for fiscal residency, and then in cases with an international dimension, in tax treaties between different pairs of countries and sometimes by EU directives.
Hope that gives you a clearer perspective on the issues involved.

Last edited by EuroTrash; Oct 18th 2019 at 1:20 pm.
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Old Oct 18th 2019, 1:47 pm
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Default Re: Can I become self employed in UK while living in Spain

Thank you EuroTrash for this lengthy explanation. Very good of you to explain. As I said, I don´t have a head for a lot of this stuff, but what I have understood is that I must, by law, be autonomo / self employed in Spain if I live the majority of the year in Spain, right? And what I have suggested in my initial thread is simply not possible. Is that right? Thank you again for your time. I do appreciate it.
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Old Oct 18th 2019, 4:25 pm
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Default Re: Can I become self employed in UK while living in Spain

Originally Posted by christmasoompa View Post

To be considered tax resident in the UK, it's 183 days a year irrc.
It's not as simple as that now. Believe it or not, you can be deemed UK tax resident if you spend only 16 days there!

It's a very complicated system. See here

​​​​​​​https://www.gov.uk/government/public...-test-srt-rdr3


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Old Oct 19th 2019, 12:51 pm
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Default Re: Can I become self employed in UK while living in Spain

Originally Posted by amyliverpool View Post
Thank you EuroTrash for this lengthy explanation. Very good of you to explain. As I said, I don´t have a head for a lot of this stuff, but what I have understood is that I must, by law, be autonomo / self employed in Spain if I live the majority of the year in Spain, right? And what I have suggested in my initial thread is simply not possible. Is that right? Thank you again for your time. I do appreciate it.
Yep that is about the size of it, as I understand things.
If you want to be self employed in the UK you would have to actually physically be in the UK when you carry out most of your work.
As you say, for a self employed person this is normally, but not necessarily, the same country where you live for the majority of the year.
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