Residency For British Citizens in Spain and the 3/6 Month Confusion

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Posted and filed under Newsletters, Paperwork (NIE, Residencia, Padron), Taxes in Spain.

Residency For British Citizens in Spain and the 3/6 Month Confusion

From time to time we have clients say to us that on many websites it says after 3 months you must get residency, and on others that after 6 months you are legally resident.

This causes a great deal of confusion to those intending to move to Spain (especially prior to Brexit) and wanting to get their paperwork in order

 

Spanish Residency in Orihuela

 

The first issue is that if you are are planning to reside in Spain more than 3 months then you should apply to be resident, to have the right to reside in Spain. This link explains more:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/residency-requirements-in-spain

You will see in this link above that there were changes to the residency regulations in July 2012 and the Spanish government introduced new residency requirements for all EU citizens, including British nationals.

Under the new rules, EU citizens applying for residency in Spain are required to produce evidence of sufficient financial means to support themselves (and dependants). Applicants may also be asked for proof of private healthcare insurance. We can help you with all the information on how to become a Resident (contact Gema for any doubts on this). Then you have the right to reside in Spain, but that is different to being a tax resident of Spain.

So the FIRST STAGE if you are going to live in Spain: you apply for Spanish residency. Then when you start getting benefits as a Resident.
Do you need to pay taxes in Spain, or not? This is the SECOND STAGE.

More information about How to Get the Spanish RESIDENCE PERMIT.

 

Tax Residency in Spain

 

The 6 months comes in as if you live less than half a year in Spain you usually do not need to pay resident taxes in Spain, but if you live more than 183 days a year you do, even if your business is in the UK (with some exceptions).

If you follow your way through this link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-spain , go down to TAX, then click on “If you leave the UK to live abroad“, there you will see “You must tell the HMRC if you are leaving the UK to live abroad permanently.

You don’t need to tell HMRC if you’re leaving the UK for holidays or business trips.

Many clients have queries about how they will be taxed as a Spanish Resident, about the double-taxation treaty between Spain and Britain and about if they can avoid having to pay taxes in Spain. You will find many of the answers in this tax section that you need.
https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/work/taxes/income-taxes-abroad/index_en.htm

In most cases, they cannot.

If someone is living in Spain, then they are deemed a tax resident and have to pay taxes to that country, just the same as in other countries. Everyone knows someone who lives in Spain but still pays their taxes in the UK. There may be a reason for that, for example, UK rental income is taxed in the UK, but the person is still liable for Spanish taxes on this and may have to declare it, which is where the double taxation treaty comes into play.

Tax is a specialist subject and people should ensure that they know the facts before making major life changes. Now more and more information is being shared between countries and you should make sure you understand your tax residency status (sometimes people may spend less than 183 days or half a year living in Spain but because their family are based in Spain, may still be liable for Spanish taxes).

 

Is it a Choice?

But the main facts you should remember are:

  • It is not a choice where you pay taxes: after 3 months living in Spain you need to apply for the right to reside there.
  • If you are going to be living in Spain more than 183 days per year (6 months) then you need to talk to someone about tax residency.

Please remember and do not forget to advise your friends and family that Spanish Solutions can help with obtaining Residencias and with Taxes.

134 Comments

  • Linda Van

    On March 8 my nephew left Spain to visit England. Is he allowed to stay 183 days from his return to Spain? Would he be allowed to visit the UK for a week and then return to Spain until his 183 days are up or would he be
    refused entry entry after his visit?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Linda,

      Thank you for your enquiry,

      As Spain and the UK are part of the EU we are allowed to move freely between the countries without any time restrictions or visas but this may change after Brexit, we hope this helps.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Linda Van

    Thank you for your answer. Another question, please, would an Irish citizen with an Irish passport be restricted to move in and out of Spain after Brexit?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Morning Linda,

      We would think not as Ireland will still remain as part of the EU, it is only the UK and anyone with a UK Passport who will be affected, we hope this helps.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Cath Stewart

    For the avoidance of doubt is the 3 month period cumulative or does it mean being in Spain in excess of 3 months continuously?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Cath,

      The 3 months period for residencia would be 3 months continuously, we hope this helps.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Sheila

    We have been staying in our apartment in Spain for six months, we are now returning to the uk.
    Is there a certain amount of time we have to spend in the uk before we can return to Spain for another six months?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Afternoon Sheila,

      As the UK is still part of the EU, you can move freely between each country with no time limit, this may change after the Brexit.

      According to Spanish law, if you stay most of the year here in Spain, you should become a Spanish resident, we hope this helps.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Jo Amos

    I have a house in mallorca. We currently use it 180 days per year. Can I become Spanish resident and continue to pay my taxes in the UK?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Jo,

      If you stay in Mallorca for 180 days continually and that is your main place of stay, you should apply for Residencia.In regards to the tax, you should pay your taxes to the country where you reside. We hope this helps.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Roy Swaby

    I am caring for an elderly resident in Spain, how long can I remain here before having to get residency. I understand it to be 183 days, cumulative,
    If I go back to the UK how long would I have to remain there, to ‘restart’ the 183 day rule

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Roy,

      If you are in Spain more than you are the UK, you should apply for residencia here in Spain. We would not be able to confirm how long you would have to stay in the Uk in order to restart the 183 days again, we are sorry.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • DANIEL TREMBATH

    Can I work with only my British passport, whilst I wait for my NIE appointment, who’s is one month.

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Daniel,

      Legally, no you can not work without an NIE.

      Your NIE is your tax identification number, like the National Insurance number you would get from the UK. When you obtain your NIE it is registered at the Social Security and your taxes are paid. Working without the NIE, your employer will not pay any of your taxes which will mean you will not have any medical cover, we hope this helps.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Jane

    A young relative of mine (Uk national)with is being sent by her uk-based company to work in Madrid for 5 months- does she need to apply for residency after 3 months. Should she apply before she leaves the uk or can she apply after 3 months in Spain? Is she only covered for medical treatment using her EHIC for the first 3 months- the information varies from site to site?
    Thank you, Jane

    • Ian C.

      Hello Jane,
      You are not alone with this confusion about residency for British people in Spain.

      Really your relatives´ employer should take care of all of this.
      Within the next five months, assuming Brexit has happened, nobody can tell you what the rules are. I am sure EHIC will cover her for that period, but we cannot say for 100% certain. A no deal Brexit could mess things up for a while. If he/she is only here temporarily for work, there is currently no need to get residency. I assume they will continue to be paid in the UK? Please send us any questions you have closer to the time, but keep an eye on Brexit rules!

      Amanda actually wrote a blog about residency for British people.
      https://www.spanishsolutions.net/blog/newsletters/residency-for-british-citizens-in-spain-and-the-3-6-month-confusion/

      Hope this helps. You relative will have a great time in Madrid- Beautiful city!

      Ian

  • Sylvia

    I have been residing in the UK for 20 years but i have a spanish passport. I am self employed and I stay 5 months in Spain every year, consecutively. I want to continue doing the same after Brexit… Will my passport allow me to stay in Spain those 5 months without a Visa or will I have to request one every year?

    • Ian C.

      Hello Sylvia, Really we do not know for sure what the rules will be after Brexit. Please follow us on Facebook and as soon as things appear to be clearer, we ́ll let our client know…. have you safeguard yourself from Brexit in terms of health care, donation of property, wills etc?
      There are big changes coming for British people in Spain and you should be as prepared as possible. Please download our Brexit guide (from our home page) and for now- please do not worry. In our opinion, it’s all going to be just fine after Brexit!!!

  • J..Pendleton.

    I am a British citizen going back to the UK after living here and have a permanent resident card. I’m now going live permanently in the UK , what do I do about my permanent resident Jcard ..

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Afternoon Mrs Pendleton,

      When you leave Spain you must visit your local town hall to surrender your Residencia and de-register from the Padron, this has to be done in person, we hope this helps.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Jill Haddon

    Hi there
    30 years ago I had a residenca because I lived in Lanzarote for 3 years. Will it still be valid now after all this time?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Jill,

      It would be best to visit your local town hall with your residencia, the next time you are in Spain. The town hall can then check your residencia status. The town halls are know to issue letters requesting you visit and sign a register to confirm you are still live in Spain, if you do not attend the town hall, they can remove you as resident, we hope this helps.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Paul Hardy

    Hello, We have owned a house in Spain since 2014 and both have NIE numbers to allow payment of non-residents tax. I have recently been made redundant and don’t plan to work again. I have 3 years before I can draw my pension and will be living off investments. My partner is still working and will be for the next few years, as she’s younger than me. I’d like to apply for residency, but not fiscal residency, to provide some protection of my right to residency in our Spanish house after Brexit. My question is whether I can apply when next in Spain without having been in the country for 3 months? Also, could my partner apply in the same way.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Cheers,

    Paul

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Paul,

      You can only become resident here in Spain if this is your fixed abode, this is your main place of stay. When you apply for your residencia you have to provide evidence that you stay here. When you are resident here in Spain you should also pay your taxes here,we hope this helps.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Mike Powell

    Good evening. We are planning to go to Tenerife to rent a property for 6 months in October, returning to Britain for 2 weeks at Christmas. Unless Brexit changes the situation, do we require any further documentation other than our British passports?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Mike,

      At this stage you would only need your Passport and E111 card which will give you health cover in emergencies, we hope this helps.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • eddie

    came to spain in 2005. Had residencia when i arrived . This year i needed to change my driving liscence to spanish but couldnt find my residencia.Went to get a new one but got refused because my savings was not enough and my nomina was too low.been wroking for a company for 8 years and took all relevant documentaion showing taxes paid by employer etc . Basically told me to drive on uk license just come off the books or leave country after 90 days. Any ideas please ?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Eddie,

      That is correct, when you loose your Residencia and have to apply for a new one they base the application on your current situation. It may be worth while asking your employer if they can increase your hours for a duration to allow your social security contributions to meet the requirements of a person working, you have to be working a minimum of 25 hours a week to apply for residencia as employed. You can request your Vida laboral after 30 days and then apply for your new residencia,we hope this helps.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Joanne L

    My partner has a number of properties in the UK that he rents out. These properties all have mortgages on them. How would his tax be affected if he became a resident? Previously he´s been advised to stay as a non resident by his solicitor and a local tax advisor but he does live here permanently. Can you shed any light? Thank you

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Jo,

      We understand, It would be best to have a consultation with a Fiscal Advisor here in Spain, to get the correct information before making any decisions, you should be paying your taxes in the country where you live. We have emailed you directly for some further information.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Lynn Green

    I have a house in Spain and was non resident. I worked in private boarding schools in UK so accomodation was provided to enable me to work as I lived and worked in the school. March this year I resigned and took residency in Spain, and all paperwork is changed. I will complete non resident tax form this year and resident tax form next year.

    I paid tax in UK utill March 2019

    Even though i am resident in Spain, am I still allowed to work in England for 180 days a year as long as i pay taxes to Spain.

    I am sure there are many prople who reside in Spain but also work in UK. My home is in Spain and I dont have any property in the UK, but may want to take short contract work in UK if allowed. please advise

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Lynn,

      Yes of course you can take a contract of work with the UK, you will declare this when you do your Renta (residents tax return) next year, We hope this helps.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • John Stubbs

    I have a holiday home in Mallorca which we visit for a maximum of 4 months a year spread over the year. After brexit how is the 3 months in any 6 months calculated? I assume that the use of the word “any” implies that it is a rolling calculation but I have been told that once you have used your 90 days you cannot return for 90 days, this doesn’t seem logical as you may not use 90 days in the first 180 day period. Hope this makes sense.

    • Ian C.

      Good Evening John,

      The 6 months will be a continual 6 months. The information being rolled, out especially from the UK authorities, is all very much hear say at this stage, The Foreign office here in Spain have gave no information on what will happen after Brexit, as soon as we have any update we will let you know via our news letter.

      Regards,
      Ian

  • Valerie Lorimer

    I have been asked by the bank for my deceased mother’s residencia number. Can you please advise where I obtain this? Thank you.

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Valerie,

      We are sorry to hear about your Mum.

      The residencia number will be your Mums NIE, this will be on an NIE certificate (a White certificate) or a residencia card or certificate (green card or certificate).

      Can we ask if you have a Solicitor dealing with your Mothers estate please, if so they will be able to give this to you. If you have no Solicitor, please feel free to email us any documents you feel may be the NIE or residencia and we can confirm this for you.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Mervyn

    How does someone get a green card (residency). They have been here for 15 years, been working and with health card.

    They never got the green certificate when they first arrived but now need it as the bank have closed their account until they provide one.

    As they were here (and resident) before 2012, do they still have to prove sufficient income?

  • David

    If I live in Mallorca for 14 days, return to England for 5-7days and repeat this 7 times in the same year would I be able to secure residency in Spain having lived more than 90 days in Mallorca in 1 year?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning David,

      To apply for residencia, Spain has to be your fixed abode, where you spend most of the year and where your home is. When you apply for residencia the Foreign office will ask for evidence that you live here in Spain, they will ask for 3 months bank statemenets showing that you pay rent or a mortage, utility bills, food ect. We hope this helps.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Andrew

    Hi, I am glad I found your website, my question is I work 60 hours per week in the UK from may to September, 5 months, I am employed so am taxed on my income, I have no UK rented or mortgaged property as I am supplied wit1h accommodation with my job so no real permanent UK address, I am now looking at staying at my partners family villa in Olivia from September to April but won’t be working while I’m there just wanting a more relaxed way of life, as it is a long holiday what would I legally have to in respect of residency and taxes, as I don’t want to work only have time off do or can I apply for residence alone if needed thank you.

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Andrew,

      If you intend to stay in Spain most of the year you should become resident and when you are resident in Spain you should submit your tax return here regardless of where you work, we hope this helps.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Will Sheeran

    Hi, I will be spending more than 183 days in Spain. However, as I have family and property in the UK and will be working there for more than 40 days, I will be considered a UK resident for tax purposes. To which country should I be paying taxes?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Will,

      If you are in Spain more than 183 days of the year you should paying your taxes here in Spain and applying for residencia as this is where you spend most of your time.

      If you pay tax to the Uk in your salary this will be taken in to account when calculating your Spanish tax return. It would be best to speak with a Fiscal Advisor who will discuss this in more detail. We have an excellent fiscal advisor with indepth knowledge of the Spanish tax system, who would be happy to help.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Jesse

    Hello. I’m looking at moving to Spain in the coming months. I will be working outside of Spain, and residing there for less than 183 days per year. How is it easiest to apply for residency as a Canadian? Also is the 183 days per calendar year? Thank you.

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Jesse,

      As Canada is not part of the EU, it will be more difficult to obtain your Spanish residencia, there are more requirments and paperwork needed. When you enter Spain it will be on a 3 month tourist visa. It would be best to contact the Spanish consulate to obtain information on the residencia and also the Visa prior to your visit, we hope this helps.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Adam

    Hi Nicola,
    If I worked in Spain from September 2019 until the middle of June 2020, would I be considered a tax resident? As it would be less than 183 days in 2019 and 2020 although the contract would be 9 months continously.

    Thank you very much :)
    Adam

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Afternoon Adam,

      Yes, you would be considered tax resident as you will have been in Spain for over the 183 days continually, we hope this helps.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Mervyn

    With regard to your response (july 15, 2019 at 12:54) I thought the 183 days were per calendar year and not (necessarily) contiguous.

    • Amanda Thomas

      Hi Mervyn. You are corrrect, I think we were having a moment. It is per year, not continuous, it is more than 183 days throughout the year.

  • Rich

    Hi, last year I registered and I have a Spanish residence permit (green card) as I was planning on regularly spending more than 3months in Spain at the same address. Did that immediately nullify my previous lifelong permanent UK residence status? Or does the fact that I still have a UK address and attachments make me dual resident?

    Can I still use my UK EHIC in Spain for emergencies, as I am not working in Spain and as of yet I haven’t quite spent enough days in Spain to become automatic Tax resident?
    Many thanks
    Rich

    • Amanda Thomas

      Hi Alex, We are a little confused, so perhaps you could email Yan on info@spanishsolutions.net with more information. But basically if you are not Resident and living in Spain, then you should be fine using a EHIC from the UK,

  • Clare

    Hi
    I plan to travel around Spain for 4 months ( definitely not working in any capacity) does this mean I need to apply for residency as over 3 months- could I go to Portugal for a few days in the middle of this time as a way around applying for residency?

    • Amanda Thomas

      Hi Clare, How great, no, you do not need to, either apply for residencia or go to Portugual. Unless you would like to, of course :-)

  • Clare

    Thanks so much for your reply. (Now just keeping fingers crossed that Brexit does not negatively impact upon my plans too much) thanks again

    • Amanda Thomas

      Hi Clare, It is our senior lawyer’s view that Brexit will only complicate paperwork a little and have a negative effect on things like inheritance and donation taxes, so it should be okay. All the best.

  • Chicarona

    Hi. My husband is Spanish and resident in Ireland for the last 16 years. I’m Irish and we have two young boys that we want to send to primary school in Spain. We are considering a move to Spain next year and want to make sure we have all the required documents in place. Our plan is to go for a year and use our savings. If we can find work, better. We will be renting out our house while away. If we are not working do we still have to declare for tax and as we will be there for longer than three months do we still have to apply for residency if we intend to stay for just a year? Will we be affected by double taxation and if so how? We are both working in Ireland and tax compliant. My husband has his DNI and a Spanish passport. I had a NIE about 15 years ago when we were there for about four months but only my husband worked very briefly before we came back to Ireland. Any information would be great. Thanks.

    • Amanda Thomas

      Hi, thanks for your message. There is a difference between getting Residency (Residencia) and fiscal or tax residency. Many people mistakenly get the Residencia and don’t realise they have to get another document and register with the tax office to become fiscal Residents. My first starting place would be to contact the school and find out what documents they need, is it just NIE for you and the children or is it Residencia. Believe me, in different areas it can vary (and schools). For Residencia in this area now, you to have to be able to prove to the authorities that you have around 8,000€ in the Bank, or a work contract or a pension. You also need to show proof of a fully comprehensive private health policy, and that you have used a Spanish bank account for living for about 6 months. So if you do not need Residencia for the school then I would not try at the beginning. If you intend to stay a year, I would talk to us at about 4 months in. Paying tax as a Resident is not only becoming fiscally Resident and stopping the tax in Ireland (there is not double taxation but it can take a while to sort out) but also you pay above certain income thresholds. You should contact Ana office@spanishsolutions.net for more info in this respect. And Yannelsis regarding Residency info@spanishsolutions.net. Your husband will need to use his DNI and you your NIE to rent a house, so you will need that document. If you can’t find it let us know. Hope this helps.

  • Wendy wallace

    Hi
    My husband & I are planning to travel down through France (approx 2/3months) & then onto Spain this September for a further 3 months, possibly longer. We will not be working.
    Can we stay for this amount of time without having to obtain any residence visas, particularly in Spain?
    I have read that you can’t stay in a schengen country for more than 90 days in any 180 day period & obviously we would be. Also we will be away when & if brexit happens at the end of October & wondered I this may affect things?!
    Kind regards
    Wendy

    • Amanda Thomas

      Hi Wendy, For the moment you can stay in Spain, because this is only for non European citizen. If you are here just for vacations it is fine. But, after Brexit I am afraid we all don’t know what is going to happen.

  • Emily

    Hi I’m from the UK and received my non fiscal Spanish residency early July 2019 and plan to move out in October (later if possible) as my partner in is Peru and I want to move between Spain and Peru. Two queries: Now I have residency do I HAVE to be in Spain for 6 months out of the year to maintain my green card and if so, is this from July 2019? Secondly, if we marry (he’s non EU) can he join me next year on the basis of our marriage. I was single when I registered as resident. Many thanks in advance. Great site!!

    • Amanda Thomas

      Hi Emily, Thanks very much! As a complicated question and quite personal to you I have asked Yannelsis to contact you directly. Thanks

  • Filip

    Hi, I am an EEA citizen who is a permanent resident in the UK (7 years).
    I am now taking a job contract in Gibraltar (UK territory), which is a minimum of 12 months long but can also be longer. I am not that concerned about paying taxes in Gibraltar and Spain.
    I am planning on having frequent fortnightly trips back to the UK and my prime objective is to maintain the UK permanent residency / ILR for naturalisation purposes. How do I ensure that being a Spanish tax resident who rents in Spain and works in Gibraltar, doesn’t override my current UK residency? In a nutshell, I don’t want my citizenship application being disrupted by this job contract. Tricky situation, please advise. Perhaps there is an immigration adviser that could help in this matter?

    • Amanda Thomas

      Hi, Sorry a little confused as you said you were and intend to remain a UK resident but also said “How do I ensure that being a Spanish tax resident who rents in Spain and works in Gibraltar” – You are going to live in Spain but wanted to keep UK residency? THanks

  • Michael

    Hello
    I am thinking of buying a spanish property when I retire next year (55) – I have properties and stocks & shares isa’s in the UK which will give me my retirement income. I will keep a uk house also. I would love to spent as much time as possible in spain; I’ll probably come back and forth as needed. Its important that I remain a UK tax resident for the tax free isa income and the mortgage deeds of my rentals. Would I therefore be limited to 183 days per year maximum limit in Spain ? If so how does anyone check up or verify this ? Do I need to keep plane tickets etc ?
    Many thanks

    • Amanda Thomas

      Dear Michael, I was following a thread on this on the CAB website last night (a voluntary citizens advice group not linked to CAB UK). They were saying that Residency documents will be checked at borders, but really I think it is not 100% certain on this point yet, given we are not sure what will happen. I don’t think you will regret buying a Spanish property and as long as you are aware of current rules you will be able to work with them. When looking for a property please contact us to best advise you on everything (and there will be a great deal) at that time. All the best.

  • Richard Elliott

    My wife and I are renting a property in Spain from 1st Nov until 31 March 2020. We have taken out medical insurance for the whole period. Will we need a Visa to stay for the extra days after the 90 days or if we go to the local town hall would they give us a residents permit.We will be staying in the same property for the duration. Would like to hear your comments
    Regards Richard Elliott.

    • Amanda Thomas

      Dear Richard, At the moment you are fine as you are Europeans. Currently, I am sorry, but we do not know what the situation will be after Brexit, if it happens.We will have to wait to see as matters develop.

  • Sam

    I’m going to be studying in Spain for 9 months. As a student it says I will need to be able to show proof of my registration in an education institution, proof of public or private health insurance (would an EHIC suffice?), and formal declaration that I have sufficient means to support myrself during my stay. How would I prove any of this? I can’t find any information.

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Afternoon Sam,

      We are assuming this would be for your residencia application, if so, it would be best to contact the administration office where you are going to study, they will be able to help with the required documentation. They should be familiar with this as many students will have the same requirements. We hope this helps.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Stephen Williams

    Hi, my wife and I own a property in Tenerife. We will retain our uk property but live in tenerife for 7 or 8 months per year. Pre or post brexit we know we will need to become residents and pay taxes in Tenerife. We are retired, but are only 63, and own a small limited company in England which owns some properties which are let out and my wife and I take a small income each plus dividend to live on. What would the minimum income requirement be and are there any allowances on income before paying tax etc.? We realise we would need to arrange private health cover. Our level of income in England means, after allowances, that we pay very little tax and are concerned that the increased amount of tax etc we would incur in Tenerife may be prohibitive, resulting in us possibly abandoning our plans and selling our property.

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Afternoon Mr Williams,

      It would be best for you to have a consultation with a Fiscal Advisor, here in Spain, before deciding to go for residencia. The Fiscal Advisor will discuss your tax options, as a resident, based on your situation. We hope this helps.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Hanna

    Hi there, I’m moving to Barcelona at the beginning of September with the aim of this to be long-term. I freelance through my UK limited company and plan to continue to do so in Barcelona.

    As the Spanish financial year ends in Dec, is it best to wait until January or April (when the UK financial year ends) to start paying taxes in Spain and in the meantime continue paying UK taxes?

    Also, If I apply for my NIE as soon as I get there does that mean I have to start paying taxes immediately?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Afternoon Hanna,

      It would be best to speak to a Fiscal Advisor, here in Spain, they will be able to provide tax advice specific to your situation. In regards to the NIE, no you do not have to pay taxes, the NIE is a tax identification number. We hope this helps.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Patricia

    Hi we are pensioners who want to apply for residency in Spain, but on the form it states in brackets (we need €7500 each in savings for beneficiary purposes only) not sure what this means, also we have our pensions paid into our UK bank will they take this as proof of income or does it have to be our Spanish bank?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Afternoon Patricia,

      The 7500€ would only be applicable if you were applying for your residencia as “unemployed”. If you are in receipt of your state pension you will apply for your residencia as “retired”.

      The fact that your pension is payed in to a UK account will not hinder your residencia application. You will need the bank statements from the UK. We hope this helps.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Sarah

    Hi. I am currently a UK resident, I would like to spend 180 days in Spain in 2019 and 180 days in Spain in 2020.
    If I get residency in 2019, could you confirm if I would not become a tax resident until 2021, when I plan to be in Spain permanently.

    To summarise I want to get Spanish residency before Brexit but not to become liable for Spanish tax until 2021, so I can sort out my financial affairs in the uk first.

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Afternoon Sarah,

      To apply for residencia, you have to be living in Spain for more than 3 months. The Foreign office will ask for proof of this for example Spanish bank statements ect. We hope this helps.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Mira Szczerban

    Excellent website….Just found it..May need some advice in the near future.In the meantime I would like to say thank you for your hard work and professionalism.Mira

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Mira,

      Many many thanks for your kind words, I will pass your comments to the rest of the team.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Graham Stacey

    Hi,
    My Wife and I moved to Spain last October with the plan to live here permantly.
    We have obtained our NIE and Residencia.
    We have pensions and rental properties in the UK that fund our life style here in Spain.
    We are aware that we will have to pay tax here in Spain on our UK income, however a friend has advised us that we should re-apply for non fiscal residency which would allow us to pay our taxes in the UK and not in Spain.
    Is this correct and if so how do we change our status to Non Fiscal, thank you, Graham

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Afternoon Graham,

      You need to pay your taxes in the country where you stay.

      If you moved to Spain last October you must start declaring your taxes, in Spain, for year 2019, in 2020.

      As a resident in Spain you will have to pay taxes in Spain for your pensions (even if it is an estate pension) and rental income and stop taxes to the UK. To change your status to non-fiscal resident, you will have to cancel your residencias and de-register from the padrón.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Kev Noolan

    Hi, I’m have a Spanish property I stay in in Summer for up to 5 months. I am both resident and tax resident in another EU country and want to stay as such. Do I need to become Resident in Spain as well since I spend more than 3 months there?

    And can I be resident in two countries simultaneously?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Kev,

      If you are in Spain for more tan 183 days you should be paying tax here, it would be best for you to speak to a Fiscal Advisor, here in Spain and they will be able to advise you according to your situation, we hope this helps.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Denise

    My husband and I will be in Spain from October 2019 to February 2020, total of 4 months. We are British citizens. As we will already be there when Brexit happens will we be required to leave after 3 months if UK is no longer in the EU? Love your website. Thanks so much for your hard work.

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Afternoon Denise,

      Unfortunately, this is a question we can not answer as no-one knows what changes will take place after Brexit, we are sorry.

      As you are already in Spain, you should be able to stay for your fourth month. It will be on your next visit to Spain that any changes will affect you. We hope this helps.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Peter Skinner

    We are in Spain in excess of ninety days per year (cumulatively, not continuously). Is there anything to be gained from applying for temporary residence anyway?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Afternoon Peter,

      There is no temporary residencia, when you apply for residencia it is permanent, you are stating that Spain is your main place of stay.

      We hope this helps.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • John

    my name is John from nigeria, i have been in Madrid since June , 2019 for Technical training which is related to my job back home and departing spain come september and i have fallen in love with spanish culture and her people and i wish to relocate in the nearest future to spain. please what are the steps needed to achieve this

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Afternoon John,

      As Nigeria is not part of the EU you would need to contact the Spanish Consulate to discuss what documentation is required to allow you to stay all year round. We are not familiar with this process, we are sorry.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Mark Harris

    I will be renting a holiday apartment in Lanzarote from 06/11/2019 until 27/03/2020 if the uk leaves without a deal will I need a visa
    Thank you

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Mark,

      We would not be able to answer your question as no-one knows what changes Brexit will bring, we are sorry.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Elizabeth Carson

    We have had a property in Spain for some time now. We have spent 180 days in most years in Spain but with our main residency being in UK and therefore spending more than 183 days in UK. We understood only an NIE Number was required and not Residencia for our visits to our home in Spain. Can you tell me if in fact we have been legally correct with our interpretation and what in fact will be our time constraints in visiting our property post Brexit

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Elizabeth,

      That is correct, only an NIE is required. We are sorry but we can not confirm what will be needed to visit Spain, post Brexit. The Foreign Office, here in Spain have not released any information or guidelines as yet. When they do, we will detail this in our newsletter, we hope this helps.

  • Hans

    We own a property (holiday home) in Spain and we are planning to have an extended holiday from September until Christmas (around 4 months). During this time our 2 children will go to a local private school in Spain. We live in the UK and own a business that we take an income from (we pay all taxes in uk). We also plan to use our UK registered vehicles while we are there. Do we need to apply for residencia because we will live there more than 90 days? Is there any paperwork we should carry with us to prove we are not resident etc? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Hans,

      If you do not intend to stay in Spain and are only on holiday, you do not have to apply for residencia. Residencia is when you state you live in Spain and this is your fixed abode. A valid Passport and driing licence should be enough for your stay, we hope this helps.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Janice

    We are New Zealand citizens who wish to rent a property in Spain for 6 months as tourists. Will we have to get a residency permit and if so does this have to be done before we arrive in Spain. Many thanks

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Janice,

      The residencia has to be applied for when you are in Spain and been here for 3 months, the Foreign Office will ask for evidence of this.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Laraine Cable

    Hi myself and my husband wish to live and rent in Fuertuventura 5/6 moths per year, not quite retirement age so would need to work, until we can retire, my husband would want to be self emp as he is in the uk, what would we need to apply for ? Many thanks …we are visiting in a couple of weeks and have an appt at the police station for an NIE ? But what would we need eg paperwork to be able to open a bank account and work self emp ? And to get a long tern rental ?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Laraine,

      To start as self employed, here in Spain, you need to speak to a Fiscal Advisor who will set up the company for you and ensure you are paying taxes ect.

      In regards to the bank account and the long term rental , it is best to contact the relevent companies to confirm, we hope this helps.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Colin

    We bought a home in spain in 2016 but live for majority of time in uk. My wife has been forced to retire because work related injury (we are awaiting the award of pension). She has decided to move to our Spanish home permanently from September but I will remain in uk because I own a business and still work. I will visit her in spain for a few days every 4 to 6 weeks. I am in process of negotiating the sale of my business which will allow me to retire by next summer and join my wife in spain permanently too. She is in the process of applying for residency but how does that effect me and my tax position. I wont be living in spain for the time being long enough to qualify yet for residency myself, I pay uk taxes through my business and dont want to be hit with a double whammy and be liable for Spanish tax as well just because my wife has moved ahead. Any tips please?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Colin,

      It would be best to arrange a meeting with a Fiscal Advisor, they will give you tax advice based on your situation, we hope this helps.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Nige Byrne

    Good afternoon, I currently own a property in Spain and am an official non resident with NIE number. With the ensuing possibility of a hard Brexit I would like to apply for residency. I work outside of the EU and have never spent more than 183 days a year in Spain and will not for the foreseeable future. Can I apply for full residency without having a Spanish tax liability ?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Nige,

      For tax advise it would be best to speak to a Fiscal Advisor the next time you are in Spain. We hope this helps.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Nige Byrne

    Nicola,

    Another comment, If I am a Spanish resident do not work in Spain and spend no more than 90 days a year in Spain do I have a tax liability if I have a property in Spain, apart from the tax liability of the property?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Nige,

      You should only be applying for residencia if you intend to stay in Spain full time or this would be your main place of stay.

      But the main facts you should re­mem­ber are:

      It is not a choice where you pay taxes: after 3 months living in Spain you need to apply for the right to reside there.

      If you are going to be living in Spain more than 183 days per year (6 months) then you need to talk to someone about tax residency.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Lucy Kinnison

    Hi there,
    I am a British/ Australian Citizen living in Spain for 15 years as a permanent tax paying resident.
    My British passport is due to expire at the end of October, but I need it to travel to the Uk at the beginning of October and then to Lanzarote for a 3 month period in January. I also have a valid Australian passport.
    I can’t get anyone to advise me as to whether I should renew my British passport or stay here on my Australian passport.
    Can you help?
    Thank you

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Lucy,

      If you change to a different passport, other than the one you used for your NIE and residencia, for example your British Passport. You have to re-apply for your NIE and Residencia again to show the change of passport and nationality.

      As you are already a Spanish resident and have a UK Passport , we feel it would be easier to renew your UK passport as changing to an Australian Passport and applying for residencia as non EU you will be more difficult, you will need visas ect. The residencia process will also be more complicated. We hope this answers your question correctly.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • David Martin

    Hi, my wife and I have a property in Spain. My wife, who at the moment stays for 2 3 month periods, would like to stay there for approximately 9 months of the year. I work in the UK so would be visiting each month whilst she is there. As I support her as she has no income in the UK or Spain would she need to apply for residency?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning David,

      If your wife is intending to live in Spain for 9 months of the year, yes, she should apply for residencia and if possible prior to brexit. In your wifes situation, She would apply for residencia as either retired (receiving state pension) or unemployed.

      Please see below a link to our blog detailing residencia and the documents required. Please note this the information pre-brexit, the requirement may change after brexit.

      https://www.spanishsolutions.net/?s=residencia

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • David

    Hello,
    I currently work in Oman. 30 days in a row then off for 28 days.
    I now intend to visit friends each period that i am off who live in Barcelona. However I will only be in the country for 25 consecutive days before returning to work/UK.
    I would ensure that over a calendar year I would not exceed 183 days.
    Can you help with how the 3 & 6 month rules would apply to myself please?

    Thank you for you help.

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning David,

      If you spend more than half the year in Spain or intend to move here you should apply for residencia. As your question is in relation to tax, it would be best to contact a Fiscal advisor when you are in Spain. The Fiscal Advisor will give you tax advice based on your circumstances.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Neil Dibden

    I have an apartment in Spain and my wife and I are thinking of spending more time in Spain but not necessarily for long periods. Is it advisable to register in some form before Brexit?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Neil,

      If you do not spend more than 6 months of the year here in Spain, you should not apply for residencia. If you come on holidays, there is nothing you have to do.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Michael Boswell.

    I became resident in Spain on the 23/11/2018 but I’m going back to England to live in January 2020 should i cancel my residency before I leave and also do I have to pay any tax owing I am a pensioner just renting, if in the future I decided to return to Spain would it be possible to apply for residency again .

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Michael,

      If you are leaving Spain and have no intentions of returning to Spain, to live permanently again, you need to cancel your residencia and de-register from the padrón. You can do this at your local town hall. Yes, your residencia can be applied for again should you decide to return.

      In regards to the tax, you would be liable for 2019 tax and the tax return for this would be submitted in June 2020, we hope this helps.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Will

    Hi there,
    I am an American, with permanent residence in the UK, having lived there the last 10 years, and I’m the unmarried partner of an EU national.

    Now I’m moving to Spain.
    I understand I can only stay in spain for 3 months at a time while I formalize my residency here. Do you know if I could go to another EU country, France or Ireland for example, then return to Spain, or do I have to return to the UK?

    Also, does the 3 month clock start when I arrived in spain, or another EU country?
    When last leaving the UK, I went to Germany before coming to Spain.

    Many thanks!

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Will,

      It would be best to contact the Spanish Embassy who will be able to answer any questions you have in regards to Visas and residencia application as a non european, we hope this helps.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Mike

    Hello

    I am about to become a spanish resident (for taxation purposes), I rent out a couple of UK houses (my home and another one). The other one has a buy to let mortgage on it and costs £100 / month in interest. The rent I receive combined is £1100 – very simplisticly £1000 profit every month.
    I have read that I get 70% relief against this profit so am I right in thinking I will only pay 19% of the £300 profit every month ?

    My 5500 allowance is already used up by the way.

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Mike,

      We would suggest you make an appointment with a Fiscal Advisor, here in Spain, prior to your residencia appointment. The Fiscal advisor will give you tax advice based on your current situation.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Mark Ellis

    Hi
    I’ve had a home in Spain for 3 years spending spent around 10 weeks per year there which I intend to increase soon. My plan was to semi retire after Xmas, my work would allow me to spend 1 month in the UK and 3 in Spain on a rolling rota. Based on this I’ve instructed my Spanish solicitor’s to assist me in getting Residencia. They have told me it will be impossible before Brexit but will put me on the waiting list. I will obviously cease to be an EU citizen post 31st Oct and my worry now is it seems likely we will leave without a deal?
    Will the fact that i am on the waiting list go in my favour in getting Residencia and IS it now impossible to get Residencia before the deadline.
    Thanks in advance
    Mark

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Mark,

      This is correct, the residencia appointments for Brits are not being released now until after Brexit . There is talk of a grace period for Brits who have been living in Spain prior to Brexit but the Foreign Office, here in Spain, have not commented on this or given any details in regards to this. As soon as we have any information, we will detail this in our newsletter. We hope this helps.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Martin Wilson

    We travel around Spain in our motorhome and also use a ‘Casa’ or mobile home based on a site in Andalusia, usually for up to 180 days in winter. Do we need to obtain an NIE and/or Residencia in future? We are both retired with both state and private pension income.

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Martin,

      thank you for your enquiry, firstly can we ask where in Spain you stay please.

      You need an NIE for mostly everything in Spain for example, bank account, phone contract, utility bills ect.

      If you intend to spend more than half of the year in Spain, you should apply for your residencia and pay your taxes, here in Spain. We hope this helps.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Michael t

    I have lived in Spain since 2005 and now selling up to go back permently to uk unfortunately I have health issues how do I set about getting back into the health service I am still registered at my local doctors strangely enough

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Afternoon Michael,

      Thank you for your enquiry.

      To find out if you will be eligble for health cover in the UK, it would be best to contact the NHS or the Overseas Health Team at the HMRC. We can only comment on Spanish processes and procedures, we are sorry.

      We wish you the very best on your move back to the UK.
      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Colin Withers

    I have a holiday home on the Costa del Sol, but have been thinking about moving here permanently. Would you advise to do it now, or wait and see what Brexit brings (if Brexit happens).

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Colin,

      We understand your concern.

      We would strongly recommend securing your residencia prior to Brexit as applying for residencia as a non EU citizen is a longer and more complicated process. Should you need any assistance with this, please do not hesitate to contact us. We deal with the residencia process on a daily basis.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

      Should you need any further assistance with this or any other other queries please do not hesitate to contact us.

      Kind regards / Saludos cordiales

  • Rock Vacirca

    I bought a home near Malaga four years ago. At the time my Notar advised me that as I had a main home in the UK, and had private medical, and my sources of income were UK pensions, it would be better for me to not apply for residency in Spain, and to pay my taxes in the UK, and that is what I have done, although I spend 10-11 months a year in Spain. I have now been told that this was wrong, that I should have applied for residencia in Spain and paid tax here. If I inform the Spanish authorities will I be penalised? Will they claim four years of tax? And can I get my four years of tax back from the UK to pay to the Spanish tax authority, or will I end up paying double tax?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Rock,

      We understand your frustration.

      Tax can be a complicated matter and involves many factors. We have passed your enquiry to Ana, who deals with tax, Ana will be in contact with you shortly via email to discuss this matter further.

      In the meantime should you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact us.
      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Marilyn Pepper

    Hi, I have just come across your site and must say I think your doing a fab job, my question is that my husband and I are looking to move to benidorm in the near future as retirees as soon as we sell our house, but we would be living off the proceeds, my husband also gets a small pension every month, what tax would we have to pay on this, Hope you can help, Regards Marilyn.

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Afternoon Marilyn,

      You must be very excited, Benidorm is a lovely área, you will enjoy it very much.

      Ana, our tax advisor will be in contact with you shortly, via email, to discuss this matter further as she will need some further information to provide the correct advice.

      Should you need any assistance with your move to Spain or finding your dream property, please do not hesitate to contact us. We work closely with some of Alicantes leading Estate Agents and deal with conveyancing and residencia ect on a daily basis. We would be delighted to help you.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • michael davidson

    I own my home here in the uk with no mortgage if i decide to buy a holiday home in spain alicante area as a non resident do i still have to apply for the foreigner identity card as a nonm resident after brexit either deal or no deal brexit keeping my uk residence, hoping for your response Michael

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Evening Michael,

      Thank you for your enquiry,

      Unfortunately, no one knows what changes Brexit will bring, but at the moment, when you purchase a house, here in Spain and are non resident you only need to pay Non Residents tax, this is a tax you pay when you own a property in Spain and are not resident. The foreign identity card or residencia would only be applicable for foreigners who stay in Spain for more than 6 months of the year, we hope this answers your question.

      Should you need any assistance in finding your dream Spanish property, please do not hesitate to contact us. We work closely with some of Alicantes leading estate agents and we, Spanish Solutions would be delighted to assist you with the legal work.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

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