Spain's tough stance on Visa rules & Covid

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30 Aug 2020 10:14 by acer Star rating. 1435 posts Send private message

From the Telegraph newspaper:

The Spanish finance ministry has said that being trapped in the country during lockdown between March and June will not excuse foreign citizens from having to pay tax in Spain. 

In response to a query by a Lebanese family who had spent longer than expected in Spain, the ministry ruled that no exceptions would be made to the rule under which spending 183 days of a year in the country automatically makes foreigners tax residents.

The Spanish government noted that when the lockdown ended on June 21, there were still 10 more days to go before a person who had started the year in Spain would reach the 183-day limit.

This strict interpretation stands in contrast with the UK government’s position, where an extended stay in the country due to a lockdown enforced situation may be considered “exceptional circumstances”.

Anyone found to have spent more than half the year in Spain must pay tax on all of their income, no matter in what country it has been earned, as well as potential liability for property and inheritance levies.

Lawyers in Spain say that anyone who has unexpectedly spent more than six months in the country should keep documents to show efforts to leave earlier, such as tickets for cancelled flights, to help contest the resulting tax bill.  

“These Lebanese citizens and others in a similar situation should collect all the evidence at their disposal to demonstrate their intention to return to their country as soon as possible after the end of the state of emergency,” said Joaquín López Avellaneda of the Martínez-Echevarría law firm.

This is surprising to me - perhaps there's more to the particular case?  Are the Spanish intending to apply a tougher stance against the thousands of Brits who flout the rules?



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30 Aug 2020 11:39 by rado Star rating. 2 posts Send private message

Just a quick one. 

What if someone stays in Spain for more than 6 months but has no income?

 





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30 Aug 2020 12:02 by Kavanagh Star rating in Oil Drum Lane Newcas.... 1105 posts Send private message

Kavanagh´s avatar

Is this a bit of a fake news story. Spain has always found it difficult, if not impossible to enforce the 183 day rule with Brits and EU citizens who seem to come and go whenever they like with no immigration records. That may end for Brits shortly, we don’t know.

With regard to non EU citizens, I would not fancy the job of the Spanish tax collector going to Beirut to fill his bag with money.



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30 Aug 2020 13:36 by acer Star rating. 1435 posts Send private message

Rado - I would imagine the authorities would deport them to their country of origin and ban them from returning.

Kavanagh - it was in the Telegraph so hopefully likely to be fake news!  But there may be more to the story. 

I suspect that as he was a Labanese national the situation is very different to a Brit.  Starting with the fact that UK & Spanish authorities have a tax agreement, under which a person cannot be taxed twice.  But they can still be fined or penalised for breaking their visa rules.

Some folk do not seem to be aware that these days all airlines provide a list of all passengers (in and out) with their passport numbers etc.  So it's remakably simple for the Spanish authorities to track movements by air which will represent most movements. 

Perhaps it's more a matter of whether Big Brother chooses to watch and take action or not?   This may be influenced on if we decide to "renege" on the £39bn EU divorce settlement (that's just speculation Kavanagh, not "fake news"). 

But, as I say, I wonder if there may be a harsher stance afoot by the Spanish authorities on compliance with their visa rules.



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30 Aug 2020 15:05 by Kavanagh Star rating in Oil Drum Lane Newcas.... 1105 posts Send private message

Kavanagh´s avatar

I suppose Spain needs to enforce it’s visa rules strictly. It would never do to have it’s hotels booked up with overstayers spending money.

How long have the Spanish authorities had access to the airline information?



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