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Commuting between Spain & UK (Implications)

Commuting between Spain & UK (Implications)

Old Jan 10th 2022, 11:12 am
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Default Commuting between Spain & UK (Implications)

Hi All

I have found many Threads about this topic but I feel none has answered my questions well enough for me to sleep happily at night

Following situation:

I am an Austrian Citizen (EU passport) currently living and workng in the UK (settled status). My wife (Spanish national) and I (+our small daughter) are planning to relocated to Spain (Catalunia) where she will get a contract there and work from there and I am planning to commute weekly for 4 days to UK (3days UK - 4 days Spain) continuing to work for my current company under a UK contract (they would be happy with that). We would have a house in both countries as I would keep my current one in UK and we would buy another on in Spain.

My current understanding of the situation is as follows:
  • I would be tax resident in both countries due to the qualifying rules each country has. Therefore my assumption is that my employer would continue to pay me normally in UK including tax and social security contributions (?)
  • In addition I would do an annual tax return in Spain and would pay any outstanding difference in tax (if applicable) that was not paid in UK already (as there is a double tax agreement between the countries)
Where it becomes more trickly I feel is the social security part (or maybe I just can't find sufficient information around this)
  • Do I need to pay social security contribution in Spain?
  • Does my employer need to pay anything in Spain?
  • How would be getting access to the Spanish Health Care System?
I may be wrong though with my assumptions above?

I don't want to become an autonomo and getting a local spanish contract with my current company is not really an option so I am trying to figure out if this endavour is actually reasonably possible?
Hope you can help me!

Last edited by alaron99; Jan 10th 2022 at 11:27 am.
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Old Jan 10th 2022, 11:20 am
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Default Re: Commuting between Spain & UK (Implications)

Thanks missile for the quick reply!

I read from you post that I would have a choice to do private health care or paying into the system? (I would do private health care all day long if this solves the issue)

Last edited by alaron99; Jan 10th 2022 at 11:27 am.
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Old Jan 10th 2022, 1:33 pm
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Default Re: Commuting between Spain & UK (Implications)

Access to the health system is contribution-based -(not residence like the UK) so if you do not contribute you cannot access it.

You say your wife will work - so her employer will make the appropriate deductions and her employment /contributions will cover the household.

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Old Jan 10th 2022, 1:54 pm
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Default Re: Commuting between Spain & UK (Implications)

Originally Posted by spainrico View Post
Access to the health system is contribution-based -(not residence like the UK) so if you do not contribute you cannot access it.

You say your wife will work - so her employer will make the appropriate deductions and her employment /contributions will cover the household.
Thanks, makes sense that if someone does not contribute, they do not have access (generally spoken of course).
Am I reading correctly though that contribution is not mandatory? (I always thought it is like e.g. in the UK)
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Old Jan 10th 2022, 2:21 pm
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Default Re: Commuting between Spain & UK (Implications)

https://administracion.gob.es/pag_Ho...#-5e92a903c302
I suppose you would fall under the cross border tax situation
If you work in one country but live in another and return there daily, or at least once a week, you count as a cross-border commuter under EU law (sometimes called cross-border or frontier worker).
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Old Jan 11th 2022, 5:34 pm
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Default Re: Commuting between Spain & UK (Implications)

This is exactly what I do. I pay tax under PAYE in the UK. I have private health insurance with Caixa in Spain.

I made a 720 declaration on assets worldwide and I will file a tax return in Spain in both the UK and Spain and settle the difference under the dual taxation treaty. I have a tax accountant that does all of this for me for a flat fee of €349 per year.

You do not need to pay social security in Spain.
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Old Jan 12th 2022, 8:56 am
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Default Re: Commuting between Spain & UK (Implications)

The question is, whether new transfrontalier arrangements can be set up between the UK and the EU, post Brexit. It was an EU scheme so unless there has been an agreement made to continue it, the UK will no longer be included in the scheme. I don't know if an agreement was reached on this or not.
Of course anyone who was already working as a cross border worker in either direction before the end of transition, is protected by the Withdrawal Agreement and can carry on as they are. But whether or not they could for instance change employers and obtain a new S1, would again depend on an agreement having been reached.
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Old Jan 12th 2022, 9:53 am
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Default Re: Commuting between Spain & UK (Implications)

Originally Posted by EuroTrash View Post
The question is, whether new transfrontalier arrangements can be set up between the UK and the EU, post Brexit. It was an EU scheme so unless there has been an agreement made to continue it, the UK will no longer be included in the scheme. I don't know if an agreement was reached on this or not.
Of course anyone who was already working as a cross border worker in either direction before the end of transition, is protected by the Withdrawal Agreement and can carry on as they are. But whether or not they could for instance change employers and obtain a new S1, would again depend on an agreement having been reached.
I was of the opinion that one of the most talked about aspects of Brexit was that it immediately meant the end of cross border workers even for those settled before Brexit.
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Old Jan 12th 2022, 10:00 am
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Default Re: Commuting between Spain & UK (Implications)

Originally Posted by Chipmonk View Post
I was of the opinion that one of the most talked about aspects of Brexit was that it immediately meant the end of cross border workers even for those settled before Brexit.
It's a protected right under the Withdrawal Agreement, Chapter 2 of the WA applies.
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Old Jan 12th 2022, 10:03 am
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Default Re: Commuting between Spain & UK (Implications)

Originally Posted by Chipmonk View Post
I was of the opinion that one of the most talked about aspects of Brexit was that it immediately meant the end of cross border workers even for those settled before Brexit.
Yes that was certainly talked about a lot, but I am sure that those settled and correctly issued with S1s that predated the end of transition ended up being protected.
Other very talked about aspects of Brexit included the end of the SI and the end of the EHIC scheme. In the event, I believe that people protected by the WA can still be issued with S1s when they reach retirement age (not sure about people who move post Brexit), and certainly a separate arrangement was made with the UK issuing GHICs that are basically the same as EHICs so nothing has changed there.

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Old Jan 12th 2022, 10:05 am
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Default Re: Commuting between Spain & UK (Implications)

Originally Posted by Bomber Harris View Post
It's a protected right under the Withdrawal Agreement, Chapter 2 of the WA applies.
So are you saying that somebody who makes the move post Brexit and is therefore not covered by the WA, does not have that right?
That's what I thought but I didn't know if anything had been agreed subsequent to the WA.
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Old Jan 12th 2022, 10:15 am
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Default Re: Commuting between Spain & UK (Implications)

Originally Posted by EuroTrash View Post
So are you saying that somebody who makes the move post Brexit and is therefore not covered by the WA, does not have that right?
That's what I thought but I didn't know if anything had been agreed subsequent to the WA.
I don't know what steps would apply now if someone hasn't got the protected right under the WA. I would guess that they would need to apply for a work visa now just as non EU citizens have always had to.
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Old Jan 12th 2022, 10:27 am
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Default Re: Commuting between Spain & UK (Implications)

Regardless of laws after Brexit, it certainly isn't something most people would enjoy. It's different when you live in Germany and commute to Switzerland, Ireland/Northern Ireland but especially with a small daughter, it's not really quality of life commuting between the UK and Spain. Especially with German language, it's probably easier to find a job in Barcelona or a company in the EU that allows work from home. Apart from quality time spent with the child, you also reduce your environmental footprint and don't have the hassle with pensions, currency etc.
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Old Jan 12th 2022, 10:34 am
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Default Re: Commuting between Spain & UK (Implications)

Originally Posted by Bomber Harris View Post
I don't know what steps would apply now if someone hasn't got the protected right under the WA. I would guess that they would need to apply for a work visa now just as non EU citizens have always had to.
Yes I am pretty sure they would have to apply for a work visa but assuming they had that, would they benefit from social security coordination via S1s, ie would they have health cover in their country of residence via their NICs? As far as I know; as things stand they wouldn't.
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Old Jan 12th 2022, 9:47 pm
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Default Re: Commuting between Spain & UK (Implications)

Originally Posted by Chipmonk View Post
I was of the opinion that one of the most talked about aspects of Brexit was that it immediately meant the end of cross border workers even for those settled before Brexit.
I just came across this - no help to the OP but it does explain about cross border working arrangements established before the end of transition.https://www.urssaf.fr/portail/home/w...questions.html
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