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Avoiding double taxation in Spain

Must of us aren’t too keen on paying tax once, let alone twice. So it's a good thing that Spain has a double taxation agreement with many countries. This means that two countries agree that you only have to pay tax in one of them. But when should you change over? Once you have lived in Spain for more than 183 days then you should pay your taxes in Spain.


At this point you are no longer a non-resident property owner paying imputed income tax but a Spanish resident making an annual income tax declaration in May/ June. The taxes paid in the current year are for your income the previous year. So, for example, if you make a declaration in May/June 2012 it will cover your income for the tax year January 2011 to December 2011. If you were previously living in the UK there is an exception – employment tax is currently deducted in the UK.

The tax brackets in Spain will change next year but are currently 24%, 28%, 37% and up to 43% for incomes over €52,360. If you are a UK tax payer and are trying to do the right thing and pay your taxes in Spain then you might have come across the ‘Form Spain-Individual’ (previously FD9).

How to fill in the FD9 / Form Spain-Individual

The form itself is available from the HMRC site.

It is meant for any UK tax payer who is a resident in Spain but receiving either:

• A pension
• Purchased annuities
• Interest
• Royalties arising in the UK

Its purpose is to ensure that you don’t have to pay taxes in both countries. The form asks for:

• Your personal details
• Name and address of a tax adviser who can be contacted about the information you provide – completing this box is not compulsory but means that your fiscal representative will receive copies of any information that is sent to you
• Spanish tax reference number – this is your NIE
• When and to whom your latest tax return/declaration was sent – this only needs completing when you have made an income tax declaration as a resident
• Date when you started paying tax in Spain – this is usually from January 1 each year

If you have a state pension you only have to complete the date on which payment began but if you have a private pension you must include information about your pension provider. One very important point – don’t just send this form off to the Spanish tax office as it suggests you do. If you do, it will simply sit somewhere gathering dust.

You need to take it first to a specialist in your area such as a fiscal representative. They will know what the procedures are where you live and will process it accordingly. Then you can return it to the UK to make sure you’re not taxed twice.

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Ábaco Asesores

Ábaco 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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Category: Expats, Spain Expat, Spain News
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