Spain Explained

Non-resident tax in Spain: The complete guide

For many non-residents in Spain, the deadline for tax returns will be here by the end of the year. Non-resident tax in Spain amounts to a complicated time for many, so we at Ábaco Advisers try to answer some of your questions. 

However, we would like to remind you that taxes in Spain can be complicated and you could be subject to fines or penalties if you miss a deadline or don’t do your taxes properly. Advisably, you should seek fiscal advice from an expert to avoid possible complications.

What makes a resident and a non-resident in Spain?

If you live in Spain less than 183 days in a single year, then you are not a resident of the country. Any more and you are a resident. Non-residents must pay non-resident tax in Spain. We would like to remind you that taxation in Spain can be complicated and you could be subject to fines or penalties if you miss a deadline or don’t do your taxes properly. Advisably, you should seek fiscal advice from an expert to avoid possible complications.

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Which non-resident tax in Spain will I have to pay?

There are two essential taxes in Spain for non-residents (your NIE number will be required):

  • IBI (Impuesto Sobre Bienes Inmuebles) or council tax
  • Imputed income tax or rental tax (in some cases a combination of the two)

Seems confusing? Here are some more details.

IBI or council tax in Spain

IBI (Impuesto Sobre Bienes Inmuebles) is a council tax that every homeowner must pay. The homeowner pays the IBI directly to the town hall or the SUMA offices, annually and is based upon the rateable value of your property or valor catastral

IBI is not the same everywhere: different town halls will charge different rates and your local authority will make a difference to how much IBI tax you must pay. The rates can vary a great deal, ranging between 0.4% and 1.30% – and this is a factor to take into consideration when you are buying a home. However, homeowners generally find that IBI in Spain is far cheaper than equivalent taxes in their home country.

If you would like more information about IBI you can visit this post.

Imputed income tax or rental tax in Spain

Rental tax is a compulsory property tax in Spain, for everybody, meaning that there are certain dates that rental tax needs to be paid by. Pay it quarterly, every year in the following pattern:

  • 20th April
  • 20th July
  • 20th October
  • 20th January

The Spanish government introduced changes to the amount of tax that non-residents have to pay from the 1st of January 2016. The changes that non-residents should be aware of include:

  • For the year 2017, the Spanish rental income tax remains at 19% for those non-residents who are tax resident in a country within the European Union, Norway and Iceland and 24% for tax residents outside these areas.
  • A lowering of non-resident income tax for the period 2016 from 19.5% to 19% for those non-residents who are tax resident in a country within the European Union, Norway and Iceland and 24% for tax residents outside these areas.

It is important to note that the amount of Spanish tax on rental income you pay as a non-resident is dependent on the country in which you are currently fiscal resident and not your nationality. There have been cases, for example, where British nationals have moved to a country outside the EEC. Consequently, their Spanish property is subject to heavier taxes. Furthermore, it is essential to keep abreast of developments regarding BrexitTo ensure you have a clear understanding of the potential changes, contact your solicitor.

You can visit this article for more information.

If you do not live in Spain, why would you need to have to pay these taxes?

There is a particular non-resident tax in Spain for those property owners who do not rent out their homes and therefore do not pay retail tax. This is in place to prevent somebody from beginning to rent out their property on the wrong side of the law. This is called imputed income tax. Within the world of property tax in Spain, imputed income tax:

  • is paid on a second home that is not being used for rent
  • it is declared in the non-resident annual tax declaration
  • and it is paid to the Spanish tax authority.

Many non-residents may have never heard of these taxes before, and that may be because it works slightly differently to in other countries. You will not be reminded about payment of Spanish non-resident tax, nor is it anybody else’s responsibility to ensure it is paid. Furthermore, you need to pay any outstanding tax balances before selling a house or passing it down to family. 

What happens if I miss the deadline?

On the 31st of December deadline of each year, you must pay the tax. If not, and you allow debts to accrue, then several things of major consequence may happen:

  • The bank secures your debt against your property until they can either sell it or pass it on to somebody else.
  • There is a possibility of Spanish Tax Authorities looking for evidence of fraud, and therefore investigating you. This can lead to the freezing of your bank account(s).

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What can you do to avoid complications?

We recommend that all non-residents employ the services of a fiscal representative. A good fiscal representative will make sure that you pay your property tax in Spain on time. They will also be your representative, speaking for you when necessary and be on hand to answer any doubts you might have

Ábaco Advisers can help you navigating the murky world of property tax in Spain. In the meantime, familiarise yourself with some of the ins and outs of the law with this guide to non-resident tax in Spain

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32 comments

Judith Wilkinson

29 November, 2019 7:21 pm

We paid our non-residential tax every year from buying our property for 12 years! When we came to selling our property, we were assured that the 3000 euros the Spanish Tax authorities retained, we would get back! But inspite of everything we tried, we did not get it back!

Oscar Paoli

2 December, 2019 3:48 pm

Sorry to read about it, was it maybe because you sold with a larga capital gains tax and therefore it was retained and kept as payment of this capital gains tax?
Best wishes,
Ábaco Advisers

Michael Brown

2 December, 2019 12:20 pm

Hello
How much do you charge to file Imputed income tax [non resident tax} last year was approx 390e
I have all the paper work !
Michael

Alhaurin el Grande

Oscar Paoli

2 December, 2019 3:46 pm

Hello Michael,
Our fees for the non-resident income tax declaration is 149 € per year, and for every additional property, including garages and storerooms, a charge of 24€ will be made.
Should you wish to get more details please contact us at info@abacoadvisers.com
Kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Julia

23 December, 2019 2:38 pm

It would be very helpful if “Imputed income tax” was also in Spanish. I doubt our local tax office would understand if I said I wanted to pay my imputed income tax…

Oscar Paoli

23 December, 2019 11:12 pm

I will have our editors try to include it in the following revision.

Thank you very much for your input.

With kind regards,

Ábaco Advisers

Barbara Egglesfield

4 January, 2020 3:16 pm

I wonder whether you can advise me: I was in Spain in late October 2019 and my neighbour reminded me to pay my IBI by calling at the Town Hall to see what I owed. The local village ayuntamiento guys did not speak any English, but I managed to explain. They then found that I had not paid (they said) the 2017 one on which there was an extra for late payment, as well as the current one (€97). So I went to the bank in a bit of a panic (only open on Tuesdays for 2 hours and between 10th and 20th of the month!) and paid over €230 in cash. However, I later remembered that my own bank should pay the IBI by standing order.
On my return to England, I checked – and the bank had already paid both those that I had been told were unpaid. So I am now out of pocket by over €230. Is there any way that I can reclaim this? Are they likely to carry over the excess payment to next year? Your comments would be welcome, please.

Oscar Paoli

7 January, 2020 2:56 pm

Hi Barbara,

You can apply for a refund from the Town Hall, you will need to present all the original receipts for the payments and a certificate to confirm your bank account number.

With kind regards,

Ábaco Advisers

Klaus G Rode-Hilbert

20 January, 2020 6:51 pm

I pay “Taxes Patronato de Recaudacion Provincial” of about 580 Euros a year on my 90m2 apartment in Nueva Andalusia.
I am an old age pensioner with little other income and along with these potentia payments for water and electricity I hardly consume are crippling me.
I only go on holiday two or three times a year.
A local solicitor does my tax forms so I imagine it must be legit

Oscar Paoli

21 January, 2020 10:12 am

Hi Klaus,
Thank you for your message.
Unfortunately Nueva Andalucía is known for high taxes unfortunately. You can always check with a different local tax agency or solicitors to double check the situation to feel reassured.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Sam Seabrook

24 January, 2020 5:50 pm

As a non resident, when calculating the “deemed rental charge” tax charge based on catastral value x 19% – if the property is jointly owned, would the tax charge then only paid by one owner? or 50% paid by each of the owners? Or each owner has to pay the whole amount??
Please advise also how much you charge to complete a Residents tax return and Modelo 720?
Thanks
Sam

Oscar Paoli

29 January, 2020 3:12 pm

Hi Sam,
Each owner pays the % of ownership of the total tax to pay.
Our tax resident return fee is 149 € and 129 € if over the age of 65. For the modelo 720 we charge 80 € per person.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Adviser

Sharon mcKenna

24 January, 2020 7:42 pm

For a property purchased 27th June 2017, is the non residents tax due for 6 months to 31st december 2017, for the 12 months of 2018 and 2019?

Oscar Paoli

29 January, 2020 2:55 pm

Hi Sharon,
If you purchased your property in June 2017 you will pay tax as non-resident before the end of 2018 for the period your owned the property in 2017, in 2019 you will declare for the year 2018 and so on.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Y. Leeland

16 May, 2020 12:43 pm

I have Spanish nationality but am a non-resident (live in the UK). I own 25% of a property in Madrid (inherited when my mother died) which is being rented out. Up until now I have been declaring it in my UK tax return this income – do I also have to declare it to the Spanih tax authorities – my other siblings are residents in Spain and so declare it there. If I need to declare in Spain would you be able to advise me and if so what would be your charges?

Oscar Paoli

17 May, 2020 8:52 pm

Hello there,
Yes your share of the property has to be declared in Spain and then also declared in the UK deducted the Tax paid here under the double taxation treaty, we do as part of the Fiscal agreement 149 € per year and then 50 € per quarter when we are required to complete the Tax Declaration. At present 19% less costs as of next year 24% on the gross.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Raj Singh

5 August, 2020 1:26 pm

I am a UK citizen I have a property in Spain ( near Guardamar Del Segura ) I do not rent . Only visit once or twice a year and do not stay more than 10 days each time ( Total 20 days a year)
I pay Suma by direct debit from bank and Non resident tax from Bank account – I believe it goes to Police
Do I need to pay any other tax?
My E mail

Oscar Paoli

5 August, 2020 3:04 pm

Hi Raj,
The non resident tax is paid directly to the tax authorities and shoul be paid every year before December 31st.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Hilary

4 September, 2020 4:41 pm

I have a form from the bank for non residents, if we don’t complete they will block our Spanish bank account (Bankia)
We do not rent our apartment, we live full time in the Uk
My husband works and pays tax, I’m retired so no longer pay tax, when completing the form, do we need to confirm that we pay non residents tax in Spain,

Oscar Paoli

7 September, 2020 10:16 am

Hi Hilary,
We would recommend just to complete the form received from the bank, we assume that if they need any other proof you can then procede to send them a copy of your paid non-resident tax in Spain.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Nic Aber

10 September, 2020 8:09 pm

Hi I purchased my spanish property in 2003 and now have decided to sell it. I haven’t paid any tax at all and also not sure where my deeds are, is this something you can advise me on?

Oscar Paoli

11 September, 2020 12:44 pm

Hi Nic,
If you purchased the property via a legal advisor or agency most likely they will have your original deed. Another possibility would be the notary where you signed the purchase that might still have the original, worst case scenario this notary could give you a copy of the Title Deeds which would be sufficient to sell your property.

Regarding the tax, we recommend that you set your taxes in order, at least for the 4 last years.

Should you wish any assistance in the matter please do not hesitate to contact us at info@abacoadvisers.com

With kind regards,

Ábaco Advisers

David

13 September, 2020 11:07 am

Hello
How often does the cadastral value of a Spanish property change. If my property (based in Malaga region) had a certain cadastral value last year would it have the same cadastral value this year? (2020)
Thanks
David

Oscar Paoli

14 September, 2020 3:27 pm

Hi David,
The cadastral value vary from time to time.
Malaga capital did not change as we are informed in 2019, and have not read anything about any changed in 2020. Nevertheless other municipalities in Málaga did change the cadastral value, these are: Alcaucín, Algarrobo, Benahavís, Cártama, Colmenar, Fuente de Piedra, Manilva, Montecorto, Ronda, Serrato and Torremolinos.
Hope this information is of assistance.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

PATRICIA ANN O'LEARY (Trish)

14 September, 2020 8:55 pm

Can you clarify if non resident tax in Spain is looked at on a cumulative basis for the year even though it is paid quarterly. In other words if in one tax year there is a quarter, or quarters where there is no tax due (because expenditure is greater than income thus creating a loss in that quarter) can the loss in those quarters be off-set against tax paid in other quarters of the same tax year?

Thank you!

Oscar Paoli

15 September, 2020 8:59 pm

Hi Trish,

There are several types of Non Resident Taxes when the property is not rented out then it is just the normal non Resident Tax paid based on the Valor Catastral which is paid annually the following year. If rented the Rental tax is paid quarterly during the same year, for which till the end of this year British residents can deduct costs for the days of occupancy. The days that the property is empty are then declared the following year in the normal Non Resident Tax Declaration. This is different if rented the property out commerically as a business and registered for VAT.

Hope this information is useful for you.

With kind regards,

Ábaco Advisers

Barry Humphries

30 September, 2020 1:26 pm

Hi, I pay my IBI tax every year of around €70 per annum. I am a non resident and visit our small property a few times each year. The house is never rented out. Is there any further tax to pay ?
Thanks

Oscar Paoli

30 September, 2020 2:02 pm

Hi Barry,
Thank you for your message.
Yes, there is still the non resident income tax to be paid each year as we mention in the article. This tax has to be paid each year before December 31st.
Should you wish a free consultation please contact us at info@abacoadvisers.com or call us at 0034 966 703 750.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

JAMES

30 September, 2020 5:41 pm

Hi, my wife and I have paid the Non Res Tax yearly via our Community Administrator and are up to date.
If I wanted you to conduct my next declaration Dec 2020 via yourselves what information would you require.
We reside in the UK but due to the pandemic we are not able to visit Spain.

Oscar Paoli

1 October, 2020 8:04 am

Hi James,

Thank you for contacting us.

If you wish for Ábaco to conduct your next declaration we would need the following details:

– Copy of passport
– Copy of your NIE
– Copy of your Title Deeds
– Last IBI bill
– Account details in Spain where you wish your tax to be paid from

Should you be interested in our service please send us an email to info@abacoadvisers.com

With kind regards,

Ábaco Advisers

Kath

28 October, 2020 2:51 pm

Retired to Spain 2003 left in 2010 due to bereavement. Kept house for holidays . House has never been let out so no income. Lived on English pension the entire time and pay tax on it in England. Also pay IBI house tax to Ayuntiamente in nearest town. Was hit with hacienda tax last year. Will this hacienda tax be every year and as I have no earned income am I liable for any other taxes.

Oscar Paoli

30 October, 2020 2:48 pm

Hi Kath,
As a Non Resident you have to pay Taxes every year even if it is not rented out, the situation for Residents in the United Kingdom will change as of the 2021 Tax year, as they are no longer part of the European Union.
Should you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact us.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers