Residing in Spain After Brexit

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( — April 17, 2020) — Over the last decades, Spain has become a popular destination for UK citizens looking to enjoy the country’s good weather and welcoming traditions. Over 18 million UK citizens visit this southern country every year, and it is estimated that nearly half a million of UK citizens reside in it. However, the relationship between the UK and Spain has been recently affected due to the UK leaving the European Union in the so called Brexit. Down below you will be able to find some information about how this process may affect your residency in Spain.

How Brexit changes things

On January 31st of 2020, the UK officially left the European Union after a long period of negotiations. This left UK citizens living overseas wondering what would happen with them and how this process would affect their living situation. Thankfully, the Spain and the UK’s government’s have reached agreements in order to make this transition as smooth as possible for their citizens. 

If you are worried about how Brexit will affect your stay in Spain, you need to know that one of the most important aspects you will need to keep into account is having the Spanish residency up to date. The process to acquire the Spanish residency has remained unchanged after Brexit, and any UK citizen wanting to spend more than 3 months in Spain needs to apply for it. The Spanish residency will allow you to enjoy the same rights any Spanish citizen has, but will also tie you to the same tax obligations. In order to acquire your Spanish residency, you will need to ask for an appointment in a nearby immigration office or local police station and bring the following documents:

  • Financial and bank statements that prove you have enough monetary means to provide for yourself and your family during a period of at least 3 months.
  • You need to have a private health insurance plan.
  • If you work for a company or are self-employed, you will need to provide proof of said working contracts.
  • Official translations of important documents like birth certificates.

After December 31st  2020, UK citizens with the Spanish residency permit will need to have their documentation revised, and acquire the residency card that identifies the status of your taxes as a resident in Spain. Therefore, it will be vital that your taxes with the Spanish government are up to date at that point. 

Keeping your taxes up to date

It is the duty of every law abiding to keep their taxes always on point with the respective authorities of the country where he  lives. After Brexit, every UK citizen with a Spanish residency permit will need to provide proofs of their taxes being properly paid. The tax you will need to make sure you pay  in this country is the tax return Spain. This tax is applied taking into account the worldwide income of taxpayers. To know if you need to pay this tax, first you would need to meet the requirements as a tax resident, which are the following:

  • You stayed in Spain for more than 183 days within the same year.
  • Your habitual residence is located in Spain.
  • Your main source of income or work is located in Spain.

Then, if you meet any of the following requirements, you would need to pay your tax returns:

  • Taxes regarding the total income from your work, up to 22000 euros per year.
  • Up to 14000 euros per year in taxes if you receive income from pensions 
  • Rental income superior to 1000 euros per year
  • Capital gains, interests and dividend income up to 1600 euros.

Always consult with a professional

Every person and every case is different. If you still have any doubts about how Brexit may 

affect you and your family while living in Spain, we recommend you ask for the assistance of solicitors in Malaga. There are many English speaking lawyers in Spain that are experts in law involving foreigners and would be able to solve any doubt you could have. 

Thanks to the help of professionals, your own Brexit transition should be able to run out smoothly.