This is something that a lot of non-residents and expats should be aware of. You could think that by only saying you are a non-resident is enough, however, the digital era we are now living in is bringing more tools to the Tax Agency to keep a track and check if you are indeed a tax resident in Spain.
An interesting article from EXPANSION shows how the Tax Agency is progressing in this field: Location of your smartphone, social media, credit card payments, bills, traffic fines, your roaming calls and the amount of times you pass through the border at the airport.
The article comments – EXPANSION had access to Tax Agency files where only credit card movements or flight tickets were bought, so they could prove that a non-resident was resident. There is a calendar with a colour code. Blue means you are in Spain, red your origin country and orange third countries. If blue days are more than 183 days, you are automatically a Spanish tax resident. So simple!
As you might be aware, a famous case was Shakira. The Tax Agency could prove the Colombian singer´s tax residency because of her pictures on social media and events made in Barcelona covered by the press. We are sure you are not a international famous singer but they can collect tons of information from you.
The use of big data in the Tax Agency is increasing each year and we don’t think this will stop. This was used for the rich with huge tax bills but it is increasing also for pensioners.
What should I do?
We advise you to get a certificate from your home country if you really are a non-resident. This will avoid any problems if you do receive a letter from the Tax Agency.
Remember, you are Spanish tax resident if you live in Spain more than 183 days in a calendar year. If you have questions, please, contact us and our tax adviser we help you.