Proving you’re a fiscal resident in Spain
Most people are pretty good at getting their civil residency from the National Police when they settle in Spain as a resident. However, not everyone is aware that there is more to residency than a green residency certificate.
Civil residency (the green residency certificate) is, in fact, pretty useless when it comes to financial matters. For example, when there’s capital gains or inheritance tax due. If you can’t prove you are a fiscal resident then you can end up paying non-resident taxes and there are big differences between the two.
For example, if you are a married couple with a house valued at €94,000 and have both names on the deed when one of you dies. If the remaining spouse can’t prove fiscal residency then they will be charged €2,375 in inheritance tax. If they can prove fiscal residency then the tax is zero.
To be exempt from inheritance tax as a fiscal resident you have to have lived in Spain for more than 183 days during at least three of the five years prior to receiving the inheritance.
To prove this, you will be asked first of all to produce your historical padrón. This can be obtained in the same way as your padrón certificate and acts as evidence that you have been in Spain when you say you have. However, this isn’t the end of the matter. Once the inheritance claim is going through, the Tax Authority can investigate to make sure that you really have been a resident. A resident in their eyes being a fiscal one. To do this, they will ask for your fiscal residency certificate and tax declarations.
It is difficult to obtain a fiscal residency certificate without having presented an annual tax declaration. Some people should present one anyway by law. If you have an income from more than one source or earn above a set threshold it is a legal obligation. However, even if you don’t fit this category, we still recommend that residents make a tax declaration even when there’s no tax to pay. That way you can be sure you have proof of being a fiscal resident when you need it.
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Ábaco AsesoresÁbaco Asesores is a firm of lawyers and tax advisers established on the Costa Blanca in 1999. We have clients all over the world and provide legal and tax advice in seven different languages.
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