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Top three financial tips for expats living in Spain

By Chris Burke - Topics: Financial Planning, Inflation, Pensions, Spain, Tax in Spain
This article is published on: 22nd July 2021

22.07.21
Chris Burke | Spectrum IFA Barcelona

Hola

This month we are covering the following Hot Topics:

  • UK financial advisers are not legally able to advise EU based clients anymore
  • The important ‘rule of 72’ for investing
  • Spanish state pension inflation worry

UK investments & pension law changes
Many UK based financial advisers can no longer legally look after anyone resident in Spain or the EU due to Brexit legislation, most having already written to their clients informing them of this. However, it’s not all bad news; most UK based investments including ISAs are not tax efficient in Spain/EU, with many having to be declared annually and tax paid on any gains, EVEN if you don’t access the money. This does depend completely on your circumstances and I help people analyse their personal situation, managing their UK assets or arranging for them to become Spanish compliant moving forward.

For those with UK private pensions in drawdown, every few years to receive this money you must have a UK accountant rubber stamp this to continue. So again, you will need to find someone locally to do this for you, which we can help with.

If you have any questions or need help in respect of UK based assets, please get in touch for a free, no obligation chat/review of your situation.

Tax in Spain and the UK

The rule of 72 and poor performing investments
Implementing an investment strategy is not where your investment plan finishes; it is where it begins. Without regular reviews and maintenance there is a strong risk you will finish up with much less than you should have had. Many financial advisors here in Spain are mainly remunerated when taking on a new client, not on the performance of their investment. This is where I/Spectrum differ.

One of the many key aspects of investing is to keep a keen eye on the ‘rule of 72’, which is knowing how long before your money should double in its value. To work out the ‘rule of 72’ for your investment you use the following simple formula: divide the number 72 by the average annual interest you are receiving/likely to receive and it will tell you how many years it would take for you to double your money. So, for example, if you were averaging 4% interest per year it would take around 18 years (72/4 = 18 years), at 5% around 14 years and 6% around 12 years. To put that into a real-life scenario, if we use a starting point of €100,000 and invested over a 25 year period this amount of money would give you:

  • 4% €266,583
  • 5% €338,635
  • 6% €429,187

To put that into context, historically inflation makes your costs double every 24 years, so if your money is not well ahead of that, in real terms your monies are just keeping their present value.

Therefore, it’s imperative you really are seeing your investments growing and working for you. If they are not, I suggest you seek a second opinion and find out how you can have these optimised, because it will make a big difference to you further down the line. The main reasons for investments failing are high maintenance costs and investments that give the financial adviser a ‘kickback’. Many people don’t always understand why their investment funds are growing but their portfolio isn’t as much, and this is usually a starting point to look at.

I work in a different way, making sure it also works for the client by not using this method, but on a transparent fee basis using the best investments & platforms for the clients; not using investment funds that give the adviser more commissions, in essence.

inflation

Spanish state pension inflation worry
Back in 2011, Spain used to have a surplus state pension fund of €66 billion. This could be looked at as ‘well, at least they had a surplus; most countries have never had one’. Just before Covid started in 2019, it was €16 billion in debt. Now the state pension system, like many others, works on the principle that current workers pay for those who are retired now. The key point here is, from a percentage perspective, Spain, compared to others in the EU, has one of the highest proportions of its GDP (total country income) contributed to its state pension, at around 12%. The average ‘replacement rate’, which is the percentage of workers final salary income that they receive in retirement, was at 72% in 2019*, whereas the average in Europe is 45%. They receive, as a percentage, much more on average for their state pension compared to their earnings than their European counterparts. This is great on one hand, however this really is a great burden on Spain to provide that level of state pension to the people.

The only way Spain can carry on providing state pensions is to “increase the retirement age even higher and decrease the amount people receive” says Concepcion Patxot Cardoner, a University of Barcelona professor, as quoted by Bloomberg. That and start to move people towards saving into their own private pensions. However, this last option and the main plan moving forward is going to be difficult to achieve in a culture where only around 26% currently save into a private pension. Compare that to the UK where the latest survey showed 65% of people contribute.

If you also take into account Spain’s tourist industry (before Covid), which is the second largest in the world employing about 2 million people and accounting for about 11 percent of the country’s GDP, you can see that things are going to need to change drastically to balance the books given the current crisis.

What does all this mean? Well, to you and I, it’s even more important that we have a plan in place, whatever that is, to make sure we have provision in retirement. I am here to talk through this with you, using professional analytics tools to help take one of the most important planning aspects of your life and break it down, step by step, making it:

  • Specific to you
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Targeted

If you would like to talk through your situation with someone consultative and knowledgeable, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Back at the races in Monza

By Jeremy Ferguson - Topics: Spain
This article is published on: 19th July 2021

19.07.21

Proudly sponsored by The Spectrum IFA Group

I was proud to finally make my Racing debut this year, carrying the Spectrum colours on the Ligier LMP4 I was racing at Monza in Italy in the European Ligier series.

We received a drive through penalty in the first half of the race when running up front, and I managed to battle back from 9th to an eventual podium place in 3rd.

Attached are a few pictures from the event, and for anyone who wants to watch the TV coverage, click here for the full race on video:

Jeremy Ferguson Spectrum IFA Group
Jeremy Ferguson Spectrum IFA Group
Jeremy Ferguson Spectrum IFA Group

New Spanish tax rules for UK ISAs and investment funds

By John Hayward - Topics: Spain, Spanish Compliant, UK investments, Wealth Tax
This article is published on: 28th May 2021

28.05.21

Brexit increases tax woes for UK nationals living in Spain

Slowly but surely, the impact of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union is taking shape. For those UK nationals living in Spain, this could mean higher, and possibly new, taxes. As I wrote last week in my Wealth Tax in Spain article, the Spanish government and regional governments are in desperate need of revenue to cover pensions and the consequences of Covid-19. One source of this revenue will be through applying taxes to people from the UK who hold investments that do not qualify for special treatment in Spain.

At The Spectrum IFA Group, trading as Baskerville Advisers S.L. in Spain, we encourage those who wish to invest to make more from their money in the bank, or those already invested, to use a “wrapper” that is tax compliant in Spain. The main benefit of this is that any tax on gains is deferred until the account holder receives benefits in the form of a withdrawal. There are also other tax advantages that Spanish compliant investments have over those that do not qualify for special tax treatment in Spain.

Part of the “compliant” nature of the products that we recommend is that the companies used to hold the investments report the values, and hence gains, to the Spanish tax authorities. They are also responsible for deducting tax from any withdrawals.

Other important factors to make an investment Spanish compliant are that the distributor (the company offering their products in Spain) must be officially registered with the Spanish authorities and that the funds invested in are based in the EU*.

Tax in Spain and the UK

We meet many people who have UK based investments such as Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs). Others invest in funds using platforms (Online investment facilities) or insurance bonds through UK based companies. Up until 31st December 2020, although gains on these investments may not have been reported to Spain annually by Spanish tax residents, they seem to have been largely ignored by accountants and gestors when completing the annual tax return in Spain. This is possibly due to the fact that the UK was part of the EU and at least part of the compliance stipulations were being satisfied. That is, the funds used were in the EU.

People think that completing the asset declaration using the Modelo 720 is some kind of tax return. It is not. Of course, it gives the Spanish tax office a snapshot of wealth, which in turn could possibly lead to wealth tax being charged, but it is not specifically designed to give the detail of the annual gains, or losses, that occurred in a particular tax year.

The picture has changed dramatically due to Brexit. If you hold investment funds in the UK, these will be some of your responsibilities moving forward:

  • You will have to report any gains each year
  • You have to itemise each element of the investment so that if, for example, you hold 20 different funds, you must detail each one
  • In addition, if your portfolio is made up of income paying funds, any dividends/coupons have to be itemised. Even cash within a portfolio has to be shown separately
  • You need to know exactly when you bought each fund

There is a lot more to consider but, as you can imagine, this is going to be a nightmare situation for many, especially for those who have bought, sold, and then bought funds again over the years.

tax in spain

We can simplify all of this.
For those who have yet to become Spanish tax resident, we can organise your investments so that you never have to experience this incredibly difficult situation. For those who are already tax resident in Spain, we can switch your non-compliant, and potentially painful, investments to compliant ones. If you wish, you can select the same types of fund that you currently hold but in a Spanish tax compliant manner. This is extremely important because it means that, if you move back to the UK without having withdrawn any money from the investment, you will have escaped Spanish taxation on gains made whilst resident in Spain. Added to that, through investment structures that we can guide you to, if you return to the UK, any gains made whilst you lived in Spain, are ignored for UK tax purposes (I will write more on this in another article).

If you would like to legally avoid annual Spanish taxation on your investments, as well as the headaches and additional accountancy costs, you need to act now. The problem is not going to go away unless you leave Spain, which might be an extreme measure. It might be that your investments are in poor shape or that your UK adviser can simply no longer deal with you since Brexit. There is a host of other ways that I might be able to help you so contact me today for a free and no obligation discussion.

*Source: JC&A Abogados

More Spanish residents to pay wealth tax

By John Hayward - Topics: Spain, Tax in Spain, Wealth Tax
This article is published on: 19th May 2021

19.05.21

Valencia reduces allowance with more people having to pay
the Impuesto Sobre el Patrimonio

Further to my article from last week, and after consultation with our accountant associates, it appears that the main residence wealth tax allowance of up to €300,000 only applies after 3 years of living in the property (habitual residence). This has been questioned but, as is often the case in Spain, getting a response from the tax office can be tricky.

The tax office words that are relevant in terms of getting around this 3-year rule are “circumstances that necessarily require the change of housing”. Moving to Spain to retire or for a change of lifestyle would not generally tick that box. If there are justifiable health reasons or similar then that appears to be acceptable in terms of applying the allowance.

To emphasise the habitual residence aspect, from JC & A Abogados in Marbella: “Please note that you must live effectively and consecutively in the property for more than 3 years, so you cannot rent the house out even for one day. In addition, you have to impute a benefit in kind for the Spanish property during the same 3 years period.”

In the words of JC & A, “The 3 year period starts counting from the purchase date as long as the dwelling is inhabited effectively and permanently within 12 months as from the purchase date.”

“…..a taxpayer who bought his main home but could not live in it because it was not suitable and had to have some works that exceeded 12 months; the conclusion is that the 3-year period starts counting from the date he moved in and not the purchase date.”

Adding salt to this potential tax wound, whilst it is not treated as your main residence (even though you live there permanently), you have to pay tax on its value as if you were a non-resident.

This all seems rather inequitable but is the law as things stand.

If you would like to discuss managing your money in these volatile and uncertain times, please do not hesitate to contact.
Visit John Hayward of The Spectrum IFA Group or complete the form below.

Wealth Tax in Spain

By John Hayward - Topics: Spain, Tax in Spain, Wealth Tax
This article is published on: 10th May 2021

10.05.21

The UK tends to rely on income and inheritance taxes to generate revenue, but countries such as Spain and France, also apply wealth tax (Impuesto sobre el patrimonio). This is an asset tax and can be on cash, real estate, pension funds, shares, investment bonds, ISAs, and even cars. Portugal also has a wealth tax but this relates solely to immoveable property.

Spain eliminated wealth tax in 2008 but then “temporarily” reintroduced it in 2011 and it has been here ever since.

Each autonomous region sets their own allowances and rates after initial direction by central government. The Spanish State’s allowance is €700,000 plus up to €300,000 for one’s main residence. This is per taxpayer. It is important to note here that a property only becomes a main residence after 3 years of continuous habitation. There are a number of exceptions to this rule.

The State’s rates of wealth tax are as follows:

Lower Band Limit (€) Upper Band Limit (€) Tax rate (%)
Nil 167,129 0.2
167,129 334,253 0.3
334,253 668,500 0.5
668,500 1,337,000 0.9
1,337,000 2,673,999 1.3
2,673,999 5,347,998 1.7
5,347,998 10,695,996 2.1
Over 10,695,996 2.5

Wealth tax in Valencia has changed over the years. In 2019, it was announced that the tax-free allowance was being reduced to €600,000. With effect from 2021, the allowance is being reduced further to €500,000. This means that more and more people will become subject to wealth tax.

In addition to the reduction in allowances for 2021, Valencia has higher wealth tax rates than the State’s own rate, as follows:

Lower Band Limit (€) Upper Band Limit (€) Tax rate (%)
Nil 167,129 0.25
167,129 334,253 0.37
334,253 668,500 0.62
668,500 1,337,000 1.12
1,337,000 2,673,999 1.62
2,673,999 5,347,998 2.12
5,347,998 10,695,996 2.62
Over 10,695,996 3.50
spanish tax

Example:
If a couple have assets totalling €2.5 million, including a main residence worth €600,000, the individual annual wealth tax bill based on the State allowance and rates could be around €600. Using the Valencia allowance and rates, the tax bill could be almost €1,800. To clarify, this is per person and payable each year.

Depending on one’s income, and if one is a resident in Spain, the amount due can be reduced. The wealth tax due cannot exceed 60% of one’s taxable base (e.g., annual pension income, savings, etc.) when adding the wealth tax to personal income tax liabilities with a minimum payment of 20% of the wealth tax due. It is important to make certain that all of one’s assets are eligible for this rule.

Property Rental Income in Spain

By Jeremy Ferguson - Topics: Spain, tax advice, Tax in Spain
This article is published on: 23rd April 2021

23.04.21

For a Spanish Resident, property rental income can be incredibly tax efficient

It is commonplace to overhear conversations or see comments on social media where people are talking about how high taxes are in Spain compared to the UK.
By my reckoning, for the average person income tax and other taxes aren’t that much different between the two countries.

What you very rarely hear people talk about though, are some of the quite frankly amazing tax breaks available here. I use the word ‘breaks’ a little tongue in cheek, but if you are a Spanish resident, the tax treatment of residential rental income is a good example of why I choose to use those words.

Many people move here from the UK keeping what was their main family home there, and deciding to rent it out on a long term basis. It is surprising how many people have no idea what a tax efficient source of income that can prove to be.

Many expenses, as well as mortgage interest, are allowable deductions. Furthermore a 60% reduction is then applied to the final taxable amount. Even lesser known is the fact there is a further annual depreciation allowance of 3% of the rebuild cost, but if this figure is not known, then this is reduced to 1.5% of the property value.

property investment Spain

As examples are normally the best way to explain how this works in practice, let’s look at one:
A couple own a UK property, which they bought for £500,000 , still owing £150,000 on the mortgage. They rent this when they move to Spain for £2,500 per month.

So their overall situation will look like this:

  • £30,000 gross annual rental income
  • £500,000 original purchase cost
  • £3,600 annual rental agent and  property management fees
  • £2,500 annual repairs and other property expenses, including legal and accountancy
  • £2,250 mortgage interest for the year
  • The property was let out throughout the year

SPANISH TAX CALCULATIONS

Tax calculations
Gross rent 30,000
Less:
Loan interest (1) 2,250
Rental agent 3,600
Repairs and other costs 2,500
Depreciation at 1.5% (3) 7,500
Total deductions 15,850
Net rental income 14,150
Deduction available for residential rental income at 60% (4) 8,490
Net taxable income subject to the general tax regime 5,660

This therefore means the taxable income due is based on a figure of just £5,560 at the clients highest marginal rate of income tax.

So let’s assume the client’s tax rate is 30.9% (which would be typical for a couple with healthy pension income); they would be paying £1748.94 in total for the rental income they received.

So if property rental income is an important source of income for you, then Spain really is an attractive place to be living. The same allowances will apply if you have a portfolio of buy to let properties in the UK rented on a long term basis.

Investment income, if coming from an appropriate investment, can also be extremely tax efficient in Spain, so if you would like to know more about how your specific circumstances might benefit, then please contact me to discuss in more detail.

I would like to thank Spence Clarke and Co, Chartered Accountants in Marbella for providing the figures in the above example, and for their ongoing support to many of our clients.

Taxes in Spain after BREXIT

By John Hayward - Topics: BREXIT, Living in Spain After BREXIT, Spain, Tax in Spain
This article is published on: 12th April 2021

12.04.21

The Times They Are a-Changin’ (Bob Dylan:1964)

With the first three months of the year having seemingly whizzed by, I feel that there is a more positive feeling (generally) compared to a few months ago. More and more people are (slowly) receiving a vaccination of one brand or another. At the same time, we feel disappointed and worried that this could be a short reprieve if people lose their patience. We have witnessed crowds acting as if there is nothing out there to worry about. We may well see wave after wave of Covid-19 as the months and years go by. The main thing is to control it and, hopefully, an annual vaccination will be the least of our concerns.

Away from Covid-19, over the coming days and weeks I will be sharing my experiences relating to the concerns of others and their taxes in Spain, France, the UK, and even the USA. This information will cover income tax, capital gains tax, wealth tax, and inheritance tax in Spain and their link with taxes in other countries. I will also explain how I have helped people solve the bank charges problem, how I was able to find pension funds that the person didn´t know they had, and how I have happy clients whose investments have produced increases at a time when a lot of people have believed that the investment world is in dire straits (Perhaps relying a little too much on certain news channels and newspapers).

brexit

Since Brexit, there have been quite a few changes in Spain and I am certain that there are more to come. This has been a pretty steep learning/development curve and, as so often happens in Spain, opinion is rife. Knowledge, however, seems to be in short supply. It is quite frightening how many different answers you can get for the same question. Over the last few months, I have been studying the Spanish Tax Office’s information, steering clear of blog sites. At the same time, I have had meetings with my economista on various tax matters. Familiarity of investments outside Spain is lacking by many lawyers and accountants in Spain. It is for people like me and my colleagues to educate and liaise with clients and also with the professionals themselves.

With most countries having a focus on higher taxes or lower allowances in order to pay for the welcome support provided over the last year or so, and the likely consequence of higher inflation, it has become even more important to have savings and investments in the most tax efficient structures.

SIGN UP TO MY EZINE TO RECEIVE INFORMATION ON LIVING IN SPAIN AS AN EXPAT AFTER BREXIT

John Haywood Spectrum IFA Spain

Are you self employed in Spain – What expenses can you claim?

By Chris Burke - Topics: Self-employed in Spain, Spain
This article is published on: 26th March 2021

26.03.21

I find people are not always aware of what they can and can’t claim back as expenses in Spain, mainly as there is no easy to understand list explaining this to you. Try asking your accountant and even they might not give you exactly what you need to understand, so, I will try to explain as clearly as possible. The following is what you can claim for, in all times, as long as you have a receipt with your name on and the payment details, using a card/account in your name (adding your NIE/TIE to the receipt is even better, thus providing you with a VAT invoice, or factura simplificada as its known):

Lunch – inside Spain you can spend €26.67 (How did they get to that amount?) and outside Spain €48.08. For a work trip away, you have an allowance of €53.34 for food, and outside of Spain €91.35. This does not include accommodation, which seems to be not capped (I would be careful here obviously).

For freelancers who work from home, Spain’s tax authority specifies certain partial deductions, such as supply expenses (water, electricity, gas, telephone, internet). The deduction is 30% of the expenses in proportion to the square meters of area at home you use, so for example an office. Not many people are aware this also includes for any home you own, on the mortgage interest part of the payment. So, if the space you work from home is 15% of the surface area, you can deduct that proportion. However, you must register your home address as your centre of economic activity when registering as an autónomo. As an autónomo, if you also partially use a vehicle for business, 50% of expenditures on it are deductible for income tax and VAT.

Car hire/leasing is covered, and generally a better way to go than purchasing a car in many cases.

Other things included as deductibles are charity donations (a specific amount) and varied work expenses, so paper, mobile phones and the contract, printers and their costs, client entertaining, travel expenses outside of food/beverage and work events. Usually, a good accountant will send you anything they aren’t sure about before they declare your expenses, so you can confirm what they are and you can then see if they are covered.

The following are importantly NOT covered and cannot be claimed as an expense:

Dry Cleaning
Purchasing of a car (even if solely for work)

Social Security in Spain

If you are earning more than the annual Spanish minimum wage as a self-employed worker or as an autónomo, you will have to pay social security contributions. If you are eligible and don’t pay social security, you won’t get any benefits. These contributions entitle you to health care and, after you’ve paid into the scheme for 15 years, a state pension. You can pay more than the basic amount to get a higher pension or make additional contributions to be covered for accidents or sickness at work.

The current monthly cost to be an autonomo is €289, whilst for many people the first year starts at €60 per month. For months 13–18, you’re eligible for a 50% discount, and from months 18-24, a 30% reduction and after 24 months it reverts to the standard rate. There are also reductions up to 50% if you are on maternity leave. The amount will differ depending on your age (over 50 it is slightly more) and you will need to make these payments even if you don’t earn anything.

Do I need financial advice

Is it better to be self employed
or run a Spanish company?

Setting up a Spanish company costs initially around €2,000 and has a monthly running cost of around €400 per individual approximately. There are also annual reporting costs and declarations, and it costs a similar amount to close a Spanish company down as to open it, so make sure you have thought this through before proceeding. In essence, if you believe your annual income will be above €80,000 then it would be worth looking into this structure. It is a lot more complicated, expensive and administrative. It might be best to run your business for a few years as an autonomo, see where you are and then look into setting up a company. It is also time consuming to close a Spanish company down.

Spanish CGT on UK Principal Residences

By John Lansley - Topics: Captial Gains, Spain, Tax in Spain, UK property
This article is published on: 25th March 2021

25.03.21

New residents in Spain wanting to sell their home in the UK, face a small but perhaps very costly change due to Brexit. John Lansley explains.

Like the UK, Spain has a favourable tax regime concerning your home – your principal residence. Here, any gain arising on selling your home can escape tax as long as you use the sale proceeds to purchase a new main residence. If you sell a property for €500,000 and then reinvest €250,000 in a new home, releasing monies for other purposes or simply downsizing, then only half of the gain attracts this exemption and the other half faces a tax liability.

Those over the age of 65 who sell their home enjoy full exemption, whether or not the proceeds are used to buy a replacement.

One little-known feature is that the rules apply to a property anywhere in the EU or EEA, which has been your only or main residence. Therefore, if you move to Spain from another EU/EEA country, selling your old home and using the proceeds to buy a new one in Spain will enjoy exemption, as described above.

However, while this exemption previously applied to those moving to Spain from the UK, Brexit has meant that the UK is in neither the EU nor the EEA, and therefore the sale of your home in the UK, when you have become tax resident in Spain, will expose the full amount of the gain to Spanish Capital Gains Tax.

property investment Spain

So, even if you want to use the proceeds, in full or in part, to purchase a new home in Spain, doing so after your arrival will result in a potentially very large Spanish tax bill, which could reduce quite substantially the amount you have available.

What are the Capital Gains Tax rates in Spain?

  • Up to €6,000 19%
  • €6,001 – €50,000 21%
  • €50,001 – €200,000 23%
  • Over €200,000 26%

If, for example, you are selling a UK property for the equivalent of €500,000, which you bought for the equivalent of €200,000, doing so now you are resident in Spain would produce a tax bill of €70,880, whereas selling before the end of 2020 (and of course reinvesting the proceeds in a new home in Spain) would have meant a zero tax bill.

What is the answer?
The best course will probably be to sell your UK home before arriving in Spain, but check that it does indeed qualify for the full principal residence exemption in the UK first. Selling UK property is usually more predictable than property in other countries, but it shows very clearly that timing can be extremely important. Any delay in exchanging contracts (the operative date) until after you arrive in Spain could prove very expensive.

The desire to tie together the sale of one home with the purchase of a replacement is something we’re used to doing in the UK, but in this case it would appear more sensible to sell your UK property, rent temporarily in either the UK or Spain, and only then purchase your new home in Spain.

moving-to-spain

Residence in Spain
Since Brexit, moving to Spain has become much more difficult. Working here, or coming here to retire, necessitates much more than it used to, and Spain’s Golden and Non-Lucrative Visa schemes will have to be utilised. The Golden Visa requires the purchase of property valued at more than €500,000, so any unexpected Spanish Capital Gains Tax bills might threaten your ability to do this.

Similarly, the Non-Lucrative Visa requires you to demonstrate your ability to support yourself. If your capital is severely depleted due to an unwanted tax bill, that might prove more difficult.

As always, it pays to seek professional advice, and we will be happy to help you make sense of these rules and apply them to your own circumstances.

Spain’s Golden and Non-Lucrative Visas

By John Lansley - Topics: Golden Visa Spain, Spain
This article is published on: 17th March 2021

17.03.21

Prior to Brexit, British residents had the freedom to live, work and travel anywhere in the EU, subject to local requirements, but those wishing to move to an EU country since 31.12.20 face a number of hurdles. Fortunately, there are two schemes that make a move to Spain much easier than would otherwise be the case, which is good news for those who have held long-cherished hopes of a retirement in sunnier climes!

Both schemes have similar basic requirements:

• You must not be a citizen of an EU or EEA state, or of Switzerland, and must be over 18 years of age
• You cannot have a criminal record (past 5 years)
• You must have health insurance, either via a state scheme or from a Spanish insurer
• You must not have entered or stayed in Spain illegally

Spain’s Golden Visa

Golden Visa
Coming from the UK, you will of course not be a citizen of an EU state, but you would need to comply with the other points above and certain others, depending on your situation. The most important aspect is that you must purchase a property in Spain for at least €500,000, without using a mortgage or other loan, and that you can demonstrate you can support yourselves financially. No specific amounts are quoted, but clearly you must be able to prove that the cost of running a property of this value plus general living expenses can be met, the figures mentioned below being a useful guideline.

There are alternatives – rather than investing €500,000 in property, investments of €1million in a Spanish bank deposit or in a Spanish company, or €2million in Spanish bonds, will also qualify you for a Golden Visa.

What are the benefits?
1. The Visa will apply to the main applicant and his/her spouse, plus minor children. Adult children or dependent parents can accompany them, but full details will need to be provided.
2. It allows the holder to work in Spain, subject to meeting local requirements.
3. The Visa holder does not need to reside in Spain or spend a certain amount of time here in order to renew it.
4. The Visa provides a residency permit for one year initially, and can then be renewed for a further two years and then 5 years. After 5 years, you can apply for permanent residency and, after 10 years, Spanish citizenship (if you have actually resided in Spain during that time).
5. The Visa allows travel within the Schengen area for 90 days out of any 180 (the same as the current restrictions for those resident in Spain).
6. The property can be sold once permanent residency is obtained.

spanish tax

Non-Lucrative Visa
Again, if you are coming to Spain from the UK, or any other non-EU country, you will satisfy the first general requirement above, but you will also need to meet the other requirements. However, the non-lucrative visa is aimed at those who do not need to work and as such will appeal specifically to those who are retired but who have sufficient income, because you are not allowed to work. It’s also known as a retirement visa for this reason, but it is also possible to undertake work as long as it is for clients based outside Spain.

In addition to the above qualifications, it is necessary to demonstrate income of at least €2,151.36 pm for the main applicant and an additional €537.84 pm for each additional family member. This can be in the form of pensions or investment income, but if in the form of dividends from a company it may be necessary to provide confirmation that no work is performed for the company concerned.

The visa needs to be applied for at the Spanish Consulate in the country of residence of the applicant, and only when the visa is granted can the applicant move to Spain.

What are the benefits?
1. As above, the visa can be applied for the main applicant and spouse, plus minor children and dependent children over the age of 18.
2. The visa provides an initial one year residence permit, followed by the ability to renew for a further 2 years, then another 2 years, and after that for a further 5 years. After 5 years, permanent residency can be applied for.
3. The ability to travel within the Schengen area, as above.
4. Even though you are unable to work in Spain, you are permitted to work remotely with clients located outside Spain.

Other Issues
Remember that being able to live in Spain, and spending most of the year there, will mean you will be fully exposed to Spanish taxes. Also, coming from a non-EU country will almost certainly mean your investments and perhaps some sources of income may no longer be suitable. For these reasons, it is essential to take professional advice well in advance of a move to Spain in order that any rearrangements can be considered.