Tax and Residency - Staying in Spain between 3 months and 6 months a year

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11 Mar 2019 14:50 by slacey99 Star rating in Dorset and Duquesa w.... 276 posts Send private message

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Sorry if this has been covered before.   My understanding is that post brexit a uk citizen can visit spain for up to 90 days in any 180 day period.  I also understand that if a UK citiizen is resident in spain for over six months they should have obtained residency and will be a spanish resident for tax purposes. My question is about when a UK citizen wants to spend more than 90 days in any 180 day period in Spain but will not be there for more than 6 months in any one year.  i.e wants to stay in an apartment they own in Spain for say 5 months in one go.   In this case, is it possible / desirable to apply for and obtain spanish residency without automatically becoming a spanish resident for tax purposes.   Another way to ask the question I guess is do you automatically become spanish resident for tax purposes when you obtain residency, regardless of how long you actually spend in Spain during any one year?

Thanks in advance



This message was last edited by slacey99 on 11/03/2019.

This message was last edited by slacey99 on 11/03/2019.

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11 Mar 2019 15:45 by mariedav Star rating in Ciudad Quesada. 1101 posts Send private message

Nobody knows. All guesswork.

At the moment (and I stress at the moment, you should register on what we know as residency but is really a register of EU foreigners residing in Spain (which we won't be if we leave in a couple of weeks with no agreement) but you don't become a fiscal resident until you spend more than 6 months in any one year in Spain.

But nobody knows at the moment because a. we won't be EU citizens (or mabe we will) b. someone outside the EU can apply for a short term visa (up to 3 months) or a non-lucrative visa (no job) for up to a year or c. a long term work visa which allows you to work (with a job offer and contract) for up to 9 months in any one year but you can stay longer.

Which one will apply to us (if any)? Nobody knows.

Guess: If you own property in Spain you will be able to stay for up to 3 months without a visa but longer (up to 6 months) without becoming a resident. (Purely a guess).


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13 Mar 2019 12:44 by Kavanagh Star rating in Oil Drum Lane Newcas.... 1012 posts Send private message

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This is a complex subject not really suitable for any forum. Fancy smart slick lawyers can manipulate tax residency, citizenship and nationality to suit.

Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart, Starbucks and Google.


This message was last edited by Kavanagh on 13/03/2019.

There is enough in the world for everyone, but not enough for the greedy!

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14 Mar 2019 12:36 by CostaBlade Star rating in Riviera. 115 posts Send private message

Ok, here we go.

If you are resident in any European country for more than three months but less than six months you have to register with the local Town Hall or Police station (depending on which country you are in) in order to to register your prescence in the country, basically they want to know you are there and who you are.


If you are staying for Six months (and one day) or longer you automatically become tax resident in that country.


That is all you need to know, and it applies pre brexit and post brexit, nothing changes, this is European law wether the UK is in or out.


Just a little story of where i live on the Costa del Sol, recently we had two Moroccan guys staying in an apartment within our complex, two guys and they had three cars parked in our underground secure car park. Nobody ever saw them, except at night when they went out. People started asking who they were and of course no-one knew  - not even the owner of the apartment - he just rented it to them! Suddenly there were a few complaints about them hanging the duvey over the terrace walls (against our community rules,

They were spoken to by the President and eventually the owner who suddenly became suspicous about his renters, two days later they were gone!!

The point of the story is that in some areas (certainly on the Costa del Sol) people rent out their properties without any formal checks on the renters and nobody knows who these people are, they could be terrorists (ususally they are drug dealers or car theives), and yet Spain has the same legislation as the rest of Europe but fails to enforce these rules.

Me and "her indoors" travel Europe often and always have to send a copy of our passport ahead of our arrival in any country so we can be registered on the tourist register, usually with the police authorities, why not Spain??





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14 Mar 2019 13:46 by Kavanagh Star rating in Oil Drum Lane Newcas.... 1012 posts Send private message

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Hello CostaBlade

‘’usually with the police authorities, why not Spain??’

We are a bit off thread.

This is a big problem in Spain and to some degree worldwide. You have politicians making laws and bureaucrats scribbling their life’s away with garbage that no one will ever enforce. Either the police authorities don’t have the resources or they just can’t be bothered. Whichever, it never deters the scribblers. It’s all a bit of a disappointment to the rulebook Ronnie’s who refuse to accept reality.

There is enough in the world for everyone, but not enough for the greedy!

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14 Mar 2019 15:06 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5247 posts Send private message


     What you say is true but you missed, that those who MOVE to spain become tax resident immediately,  as do those who make spain their centre of economic activities

Extract from

The Spanish tax residence rules 

You are resident for tax purposes in Spain if any of the following apply:

1) You spend more than 183 days in Spain cumulatively in a calendar year, whether or not you are formally registered. Temporary or sporadic absences are ignored for the purpose of this rule unless you can prove you are habitually resident in another country for over 183 days.

2) Your “centre of economic interests” is in Spain– i.e. the base for your economic or professional activities is in Spain. If you earn more income or have more assets here than in any other single country, Spain will be deemed the centre of economic activity, 

3) Your “centre of vital interests” is in Spain – i.e. your spouse lives here and/or your dependent minor children. In this case you are presumed Spanish resident, even if you spend less than 183 days here, unless you can prove otherwise.


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14 Mar 2019 15:37 by Kavanagh Star rating in Oil Drum Lane Newcas.... 1012 posts Send private message

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All in theory, but who checks and enforces all these ink on paper rules? Blevins Franks?

Please quote me one case of deportation of a Brit for non compliance.


There is enough in the world for everyone, but not enough for the greedy!

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