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To do or not to do

To do or not to do

Old Feb 7th 2016, 1:45 pm
  #16  
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Default Re: To do or not to do

Originally Posted by BigD Nerja View Post
Mhf, I obviously misunderstood I thought the question was regarding state benefits such as unemployment, housing etc... I know nothing about state pensions.
Regarding the Hacienda; if we assume that you are correct and somehow they say to an individual prove you have not been in Spain for 183 days it would be simple to say that you haven't and that you travel back to the UK or any other country on a regular basis and you remain domiciled in the UK for tax purposes.
Hacienda work closely with the utility companies and share lots of info. If they can see that there is regular consumption of, say, electricity, then they will assume that you are living there - unless you prove otherwise.

If you are non-resident, then the authorities can ask to see your certificate stating such!


... and @BigD, this thread is actually about being resident or not. Somehow benefits were introduced into the thread but as there aren't any for most expats, it's a null question!
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Old Feb 7th 2016, 2:10 pm
  #17  
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Default Re: To do or not to do

@snikpoh the thread was originally about the advantages or otherwise of being a permanent resident, it quickly drifted onto tax and the powers of the Spanish authorities before 'coastal' asked about benefits in post #8 to which I and 'mfh' responded. As I said in post #9 I don't think I've ever met anyone in receipt of them which if there isn't any would explain why.

Regarding the Utilities myth, I have heard this before but it is simply not true for several reasons. How would the authorities know who is at the property? It could be let, it could be empty with appliances on, a couple may live there but only 1 pays the bills, they have no way of knowing. There is also the logistical side of this; are we really to believe that the Spanish tax authorities can liaise with all the Utility companies and cross check when we all know how inefficient the Spanish system is.

You do not have to prove your status to get a non-resident certificate, mine is done automatically by my bank.
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Old Feb 7th 2016, 2:14 pm
  #18  
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Default Re: To do or not to do

To the original poster;

The advantages and disadvantages will depend on your personal circumstances.

Legally you are obliged to register as a resident if will spend more than 183 days in Spain in any calendar year. This has tax implications.

Practically do what you are comfortable with, if you have moved lock stock and cut off ties to your previous country then I would suggest register. If you maintain a UK base then again you must follow your conscience.
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Old Feb 7th 2016, 2:15 pm
  #19  
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Default Re: To do or not to do

OK thanks guys, so if i do stay 183 days, i am legally entitled to a Spanish residence, rather that a temporary holiday kind of stay i guess, thanks i will try this and see if i can become living in Spain permanently.
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Old Feb 7th 2016, 4:02 pm
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Default Re: To do or not to do

Originally Posted by BigD Nerja View Post
To the original poster;

The advantages and disadvantages will depend on your personal circumstances.

Legally you are obliged to register as a resident if will spend more than 183 days in Spain in any calendar year. This has tax implications.

Practically do what you are comfortable with, if you have moved lock stock and cut off ties to your previous country then I would suggest register. If you maintain a UK base then again you must follow your conscience.
Not true.

You are legally obliged to register on the list of foreigners after 90 days.

After 183 days you automatically become tax resident and are legally obliged to submit a tax return.


How can you say "follow your conscience" when the law is quite clear?

Originally Posted by coastal View Post
OK thanks guys, so if i do stay 183 days, i am legally entitled to a Spanish residence, rather that a temporary holiday kind of stay i guess, thanks i will try this and see if i can become living in Spain permanently.
No. You are legally entitled to be in Spain from day one as a member of the EU.
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Old Feb 7th 2016, 4:32 pm
  #21  
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Default Re: To do or not to do

Snikpoh if you want to nitpick at least get it right, it's within 90 days not after (see post #10) I used the figure 183 as if you intend staying cumulatively for more than this you need to register within the 90 day limit as a resident. But you knew that anyway.

Regards following your conscience a great many expats in Spain do this when the law is quite clear. Hardly anyone pays for a TV licence but will watch BBC, subscription channels are streamed over the Internet denying revenue to the provider, tradesmen ask for cash payments and consumers give it, employers issue 10 hour contracts when employees work 40, I could go on.
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Old Feb 7th 2016, 4:50 pm
  #22  
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Default Re: To do or not to do

We seem to go through this same issue at least monthly. I understand the 183 day rule which many other countries apply as well. It makes sense that if one moves permanent then you have 183 to start putting things in place to become resident in both the physical and fiscal way. Of course some may well own or even rent long term while retaining a property in the UK intending to flit between the 2 as a way of life. Rules say the 183 day rule is black and white (by the letter of the law that is correct) however you may slip one year a number of days over 183 in Spain the following year a little less than 183 in Spain and over 183 in the UK. That is where it gets both awkward and messy do you keep changing tax residency? Or do you use common sense and simply stay UK resident. Main thing I would say is ensure you pay your full UK tax dues, (you must pay tax somewhere or one or the other will come after you) , ensure if a Spanish property owner you pay all Spanish taxes due re home ownership including non residents tax, ensure YOU DO NOT sign on the padron. Obviously if you are way over the 183 days or indeed full time in Spain then just become fiscal resident and get on with life. The 90 day rule again is a bit down to common sense do you go through rigmarole of physical residency to stay say 100 days ? ( I know they say you should but is that realy sensible) . I have known people who blagged it for years not becoming resident, not condoning that but I bet many on here know of similar. Anyway that's my take on the matter.
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Old Feb 7th 2016, 5:13 pm
  #23  
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Default Re: To do or not to do

In some areas it can be advantageous to become resident, huge discounts on flights and ferries throughout Spanish territories.
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Old Feb 7th 2016, 5:17 pm
  #24  
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Default Re: To do or not to do

I think Bob has nailed it; pay tax somewhere and use common sense.
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Old Feb 7th 2016, 6:09 pm
  #25  
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Default Re: To do or not to do

[QUOTE=snikpoh;11860272]Hacienda work closely with the utility companies and share lots of info. If they can see that there is regular consumption of, say, electricity, then they will assume that you are living there - unless you prove otherwise.

If you are non-resident, then the authorities can ask to see your certificate stating such!


/QUOTE]

I would imagine they do when required . However personally I can't imagine this being done as a matter of routine, more when the authorities are made aware that someone is fiddling the system full time and in a sufficient way or with sufficient wealth/assets to make it worth the authorities time and effort. I have in the past conducted checks on such things and believe me it is a time consuming investigation not taken lightly. I don't know about in Spain but in the UK you have to satisfy the required authorities that there is a need and evidence to enquire into such matters. Data protection/right to privacy etc. Now I am sure I will be told this is Spain not UK, that's as maybe but they still need the time and people to make such enquiries. You may use electricity when not there, background heating, de humidifiers etc. You may allow friends and family to use your property when you are not there not renting just letting them use it, isn't that one of the reasons we non residents pay non residents tax? I wonder just how many times this check of utilities has actually been used and proven in court?

As for non resident certificate I thought that was why our banks charge us non residents every two years to complete and submit the non residents certificate to the authorities so they should already have that.

I do remember reading a few years ago that the Guardia had turned up at someone who was living full time in Spain while claiming to be non resident and telling them either come off the padron or comply with residency rules. Hence why as a TRUE non resident I would never sign on the padron and have never actually been asked to do so even to buy a vehicle. If I totted my days in Spain in a tax year and found I had spent say a fortnight over 183 days I would as I previously said apply common sense.

Last edited by bobd22; Feb 7th 2016 at 6:57 pm.
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Old Feb 7th 2016, 9:29 pm
  #26  
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Default Re: To do or not to do

If the Spanish authorities decide you are resident it is only an issue if you have assets in Spain. They can't access or freeze assets you have in the UK (or anywhere else) just because they have hunch you might have lingered there for more than 183 days in a year.
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Old Feb 7th 2016, 9:39 pm
  #27  
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Default Re: To do or not to do

Coastal, if your concern is your legal entitlement to residence in Spain this is straightforward. Move to Spain and rent or buy, as long as you can support yourself you won't be asked to leave. There are rules about how much you must have in savings and how much you must earn, but if you live there and don't request support of any kind you won't be challenged about your presence.

Originally Posted by coastal View Post
OK thanks guys, so if i do stay 183 days, i am legally entitled to a Spanish residence, rather that a temporary holiday kind of stay i guess, thanks i will try this and see if i can become living in Spain permanently.
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Old Feb 8th 2016, 1:08 pm
  #28  
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Default Re: To do or not to do

Thank you everyone helping us to decide what to do about the Spanish residency, I think the best thing will be to have everything done as the Spanish law requires, after all, as they say "while in Rome do as the romans do", isn't it?
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Old Feb 8th 2016, 2:04 pm
  #29  
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Default Re: To do or not to do

Originally Posted by Fred James View Post
You don't have a choice in the matter. If you spend more than 183 days in Spain in one calendar your, you are deemed to be fiscally resident and then you will pay tax on your worldwide income and possibly your worldwide assets. The income tax rates in Spain are generally higher than in the UK, but there are still some benefits to being tax resident from the point of view of capital gains and inheritance tax.
Hi Fred you mention a CGT benefit over the UK may I ask what that is?
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Old Apr 6th 2016, 5:41 pm
  #30  
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Default Re: To do or not to do

I know your post was some time ago, but I never answered it - sorry for that.

There are significant advantages to being tax resident in Spain with regard to Spanish CGT.

Tax residents are allowed 100% roll over relief if they reinvest the proceeds of the sale of their permanent residence in another permanent residence, even if that might be in another country.

Tax residents over 65 are totally exempt from CGT if they sell their permanent residence.

Although there were changes a few years ago to harmonise the tax paid by both residents and non residents (the tax rates were different) the two situations I have described do not apply to non residents because as non residents, any property they sell in Spain could not qualify as their permanent residence.
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