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bigduckontax, Accountant
Category: Tax
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I paid 13 GBP and asked the question below this morning from

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I paid 13 GBP and asked the question below this morning from another expert in the Immigration Law category but still have received no reply. It relates to my earlier question to you a few weeks ago. Can you help?
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.
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Province/Country relating to question : UK and spain
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My accountant in uk


As its earlyish for a Sunday there probably are no UK law experts available, but I am sure you will get a response soon.



Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Oh OK - will I get charged for your reply above?


No - as

1) I have replied using an info request rather than a reply (which then asks you to rate or accept)

2) Make sure you only rate/accept on a response you have asked for on the original law question, then then there will be no charge for you just chasing up this particular situation with me

Thanks and enjoy the rest of the weekend



Hello, I'm Keith and happy to help you with your question. I can see your dilemma.
You will be classed as resident in the UK if you spend more than 183 days in a tax year. Here is the HMRC advice on this subject:
'There is no minimum length of time that will make you resident - but if you are in the UK for 183 days or more in a tax year, you will be resident in the UK for that tax year. Generally the more time you spend in the UK the more likely you are to be UK resident.'
To put it another way, you may well be classed as resident if you spend more than 91 days in the UK during any one tax year although this may be averaged out over four years. However most experts recommend that to retain non resident status you should never exceed the 91 day limit in one tax year.
I do hope i have shed some light on residence for you.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

From your answer, it seems there would be no problem for us to "visit" our spanish rental after becoming UK resident (as long as it did not exceed 90 days) - is this correct?. So our plan is, after accepting the offer stc on the UK house we are selling (imminent), we will pop over to UK a few times to search for houses to buy, then in December, break ties with Spain (bank account, GP etc), go to UK again to establish UK residency - return to our rental in Spain on a "visit" in December, do our spanish tax return for 2014 (Jan-Dec) so we do not have to declare the sale to the Spanish tax authority, and hopefully stay in Spain until we complete on a new house to buy in UK after which we can physically move ourselves and the pets permanently back to UK to the new house.So long as we are careful not to stay in Spain longer than 90 days, will this plan work?

No, you have it the wrong way round. Were you non resident to retain that status you are advised not to be in the UK for more than 91 days in each tax year. Here is the advice of Spanish Property Insight on Spain's residence criteria. As there exists a Double Taxation Treaty between the UK and Spain their rules are surprisingly similar:
'You will become resident for tax purposes in Spain if:
You spend more than 183 days in Spain in one calendar year. You become liable whether or not you take out a formal residency permit. These days do not have to be consecutive. (Temporary absences from Spain are ignored for the purposes of the 183-day rule unless it can be proved that the individual is habitually resident in another country for more than 183 days in a calendar year.)
Or, your “centre of vital interests” is in Spain, e.g., the base for your economic or professional activities is in Spain.
Or, your spouse lives in Spain and you are not legally separated even though you may spend less than 183 days per year in Spain'
There is no mention of a 90 day rule in the Spanish Tax system.
As an afterthought, you could ask your tax office if you are considered resident in the UK for Income Tax purposes and use their reply to support you case when dealing with the Spanish authorities.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for that - but I am still unsure what our actual movement plan should be in order to avoid bringing the animals to a UK rental (if there is such a thing as a UK rental which accepts animals!) until we can move them into a new house in UK. Obviously we would prefer to keep them in Spain in our rental house there for as long as possible to reduce upheavals - we would not have an official rental contract but just have a private arrangement with our landlord.

All I really want to know is, after becoming UK resident In Dec and after having cut all official ties with Spain, can we then return to Spain on "long visits", so we can keep our pets here until we can move into a new house in UK? I find it hard to wrap my head around qualifying days etc, and just need to know what to do to keep the animals here. Sorry...

The Spanish tax rules are pretty clear viz:
'You spend more than 183 days in Spain in one calendar year. You become liable whether or not you take out a formal residency permit. These days do not have to be consecutive.'
You will thus have to plan carefully to avoid infringing this rule. However, under the Double Taxation Treaty the same income cannot be taxed in both jurisdictions, only in one.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

'You spend more than 183 days in Spain in one calendar year. You become liable whether or not you take out a formal residency permit. These days do not have to be consecutive.'

So in our case, what you are saying is that during the Spanish tax year Jan 2015 - Dec 2015, we must not stay longer than 183 days.

So from this I gather that it will be OK for us to go back to Spain after becoming UK resident in Dec 2014, for "long visits" up to say end April 2015. (only approx 120 days)....? Yes or no??? Thank you and sorry I need very specific answers to be clear.

Yes, that is my understanding.
You could then visit Spain for up to 183 days, not necessarily consecutively, but in aggregate and not be classed by the Spanish tax authorities as resident.
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