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bigduckontax, Accountant
Category: Tax
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We are retired ex pat brits living in spain for past 9 years

Customer Question

We are retired ex pat brits living in spain for past 9 years in rented accom and are now returning to uk once we have received an offer stc on our UK house which is currently rented to students until June 2015. Can we do everything to deregister in Spain (banks, tax office, etc), go back to UK (staying with family/friends for a week, inform hmrc we are now UK resident, register with gp etc, and then go back to our rental in Spain "to visit" to look after our 2 dogs and other pets until we have bought another house back in uk, and THEN physically move back with the animals. We want to avoid going back to UK and having to spend several months in rented accommodation in UK where it is almost impossible to find places that will allow pets. Will continuing to live in Spain for a few months, approx Jan - April invalidate our UK residency status? This is important as we have been advised to be uk resident before we complete on the sale of our house to avoid being taxed cgt by spain where our uk properties and rental income is registered and declared. We have a uk cgt computation on the sale and as UK residents the cgt is small so it is best to complete the sale as UK residents.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  bigduckontax replied 2 years ago.

You are classed as resident in Spain if you spend 183 days in the country not necessarily consecutively, but cumulatively. [Spanish tax year runs 1 January - 31 December]. Furthermore if one spouse is living in Spain the other spouse is automatically deemed resident also.

You are classed as resident in the UK if you spend 183 days in the UK in any one tax year [6 April - 5 April]. Once you have the 183 days in then you do not loose residential status by temporary departures overseas. So going back for four months at the end of a tax year is a mere 120 days away so you definitely won't infringe any UK residence status. I would suggest that you to ask your UK tax office for a confirmation that you are actually resident in the UK for tax purposes to strengthen your position with the Spanish tax authorities in the event of an inquiry.

Please note that there is a Double Taxation Treaty between the UK and Spain which precludes the same moneys being taxed in both jurisdictions; any tax paid being allowed as a tax credit against a liability on the same sums in the other.

I do hope I have helped throw some light on your situation.

bigduckontax and 2 other Tax Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  bigduckontax replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your support.

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