We receive more and more questions about the (legal) consequences of emigrating to Spain. Moving to Spain: what to look out for? However, emigrating to Spain has a different meaning for each person. Think overwintering, regular 'working from home' or live there permanently. Therefore, in this article you will find some points of interest for long-term residence in Spain.
Issue 1: buying and selling your family home
Buying a property in Spain is different from buying in Belgium or the Netherlands.
If you do not need financing in Spain, the buying process can be quick. It is not unusual for a purchase to be completed within a month. Take this into account if you first need to sell property in Belgium or the Netherlands to finance the purchase in Spain. After all, a bridging loan is costly.
Conversely, a purchase in Spain can easily take 3-5 months if you need a Spanish mortgage. Indeed, for non-residents, the financial analysis takes longer. Moreover, the application process is different, with, for example, an appraiser coming on site. Take this into account if you no longer have a home available in Belgium or the Netherlands. If the application process for the loan takes longer than initially foreseen, you will need somewhere to live temporarily.
Issue 2: tax implications
If you spend more than 183 days in a calendar year in Spain, you are a tax resident according to Spanish domestic regulations. We should also look at the double taxation convention, which also lists other criteria to determine whether or not you are a tax resident. Tax resident means that Spain is basically allowed to tax your worldwide income and assets.
Specifically, it is about the tax on your professional income, capital gains tax and wealth tax. There are also implications for inheritance tax and gift tax. Finally, the tax rules also differ from one autonomous region to another. It is often advisable to plan your emigration in advance, partly in function of the tax consequences.
By the way, the tax situation is separate from the obligation to register as a resident in Spain. From the moment you stay in Spain for more than 3 months consecutively, you have to register register.
Focal point 3: health insurance
When you move to Spain, i.e. effectively emigrate, you are covered by Spanish health insurance.
As a pensioner, you can benefit from both Belgian and Spanish health insurance.
In principle, if you are not retired, you can no longer use Belgium's medical services free of charge. If you work through a Spanish employment contract, you are covered by Spanish health insurance. The same applies if you are self-employed in Spain and pay social contributions there. If you are neither retired nor working, you should take out your own insurance.
Decision: moving to Spain, what to look out for?
In practice, moving to Spain requires thorough prior planning. Not only in terms of finding a suitable property, but especially to avoid any negative tax consequences.
Do you have any questions about moving to Spain? If so, please feel free to contact on.