The Law in Spain: Why it Pays to Register for Spanish Residency
It’s quite a common perception for expats who move to Spain to believe that, by registering as a resident, they will be exposed to harsher and more stringent tax obligations. In fact, the opposite is true: a resident property owner has various tax advantages over the non-resident, even if some (such as exemption from capital gains tax) no longer apply following changes to the law.
Imputed Income Tax
As a resident property owner, your inputed income tax does not apply to your official residence.
Capital Gains as Income Tax
Residents of Spain pay any capital gains tax as part of their income tax, which is calculated on the year just passed. Hence, if you sell your property this year, the capital gains tax will be due the following year as part of your standard Income Tax.
Non-Residents Living in Spain Permanently
If you live in Spain permanently (classed as more than 180 days per year) and you have not registered as a resident, you are violating the terms of a tourist stay, even as an EU citizen – and you are fiscally liable.
In this instance, you can be fined up to €300. So it pays, in more ways than one, to register as a resident in Spain.