Question #1: Resident or Non Resident?

Resident or non-resident ? That is the first question you should answer.
Taxes is an important matter for an expat. Do it right from the start and enjoy the feeling of being sure of optimizing your taxes or do it late and always think about the taxman creeping behind your back years afterward.

I will try here to sum up a few key ideas that will enable you to navigate your way yourself through the key questions you must ask yourself.

Are you a resident or a non-resident ?

You are Resident in Spain if you comply with one of these conditions:

  • You spent more than 183 days on the Spanish territory this fiscal year, including short travels you may have down out of Spain during these 183 days.
  • Spain is the territory where are the majority of your direct or indirect economic interests.

This status of resident or non-resident is for the entire fiscal year (from January 1st to December 31st).

What does this mean to you ?

  • If you are a resident, you pay your taxes,
  • If not, you pay most of your taxes in your country of residency, not Spain then, apart from specific taxes on assets.

Simple. Straightforward. Sweet.

OK. Let’s take one typical case which apply to a majority of our clients:

  • Question: “I just moved to Spain during this fiscal year for a new job in Madrid. Where should I pay my revenue taxes?”
  • Answer: Well, if you moved before July 1st, all your revenues should be declared in Spain. If you moved after, all your revenues should be declared in your previous country”

This means you should declare everything your earned this year to one country.

If you need help to move to Madrid zen, do not hesitate to send us an email !


Madridly yours,
Pierre – Moving2Madrid.comGoogle+Twitter

PS: You will find here the official document from Hacienda (Spanish “Taxman”) summarizing all you need to know about residency and taxes. Not for dummies though !


Photo credit: DAVID SOUZA (

Posted on 28 June, 2016 by Pierre-Alban Waters in Taxes - Taxes - Taxes - Rent - Invest - Buy, New? Start Here


4 responses to “Question #1: Resident or Non Resident?”

  1. In this specific case, we recommend you contact, as he will know the specific steps and possibilities for you. Tell him you come from our recommendation and you will be very well treated !

  2. Johan says:

    I would like some help on my situation and hopefully you can let me know what service you can provide if this is even possible:

    – I bought a house in November 2015 as a non-resident and paid the 8% tax on that
    – I will live in Spain more than 183 days of the year
    – My salary comes to my Gibraltar bank account where I work

    Im wondering that if I would become a resident now that if I can somehow get the money back on the extra tax I paid when buying the property? The value of the house was 96,000 euro so the difference in tax is over 4,000 euro so would like to find a way to get that back in some way.

    If not, can I avoid paying the income tax by saying that I bought the house for someone else to live there, someone who has a spanish resident. As I understand that they check utility bills to verify if someone is living in the property for more than 183 days a year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.