The so-called “Impatriate” or Posted Workers Regime can be a great attraction for those non-resident citizens who are considering moving to Spain and establishing their tax residence in our country. This regime would allow them, if a series of requirements are met, to enjoy a lower rate of taxation, as if they were non-residents, while maintaining their status as residents.
What does the impatriate regime consist of and how can you apply for it?
Below we will explain in more detail what this special regime consists of and how it can be applied for.
Those citizens who wish to establish their tax residence in Spain after having moved to our country, may have the option of paying IRNR (Non-Residents) tax, maintaining the status of Residents as if they were paying Personal Income Tax, reserved for Residents. This option may be applied during the year in which the trip is made, and also during the five subsequent years, provided that the following conditions are met (regulations in force since 1st January 2015):
- The individual applying for the special regime cannot have been a tax resident in Spain during the ten years prior to the year in which he or she moves to Spain.
- The move to Spain can take place in two ways, described below:
Travel to Spain as a result of an employment contract with a Spanish or foreign company, with the exception of professional sportsmen and women, who are not covered by this regime and cannot apply for it.
Travel as a result of having acquired the status of administrator in a company, being obligatory that he/she does not own more than 25% of shares in that company (related company).
- The individual cannot be obtaining income through a Permanent Establishment in Spain. If this were the case, even if the individual is a non-resident, he/she would not be eligible for the impatriate regime.
Main features of the Impatriate Regime
Only income originating in Spain will be taxed, except for income from employment, which will be taxed in its entirety, regardless of the country in which it was generated. Therefore, a citizen could be receiving income from work in several countries and would be taxed in Spain at the non-resident rate if he/she avails of this option.
Sports professionals, as we said before, will not be able to make use of this special regime.
Following the non-resident rules, income from savings originating in another country, e.g. dividends, will not be taxed in Spain but in the country of origin. It is interesting to note that in the country of origin of such dividends, the taxpayer would also be taxed on such income as a non-resident since he/she would have the status of tax resident in Spain. Therefore, if there is a Double Taxation Agreement between Spain and the country of origin, this could result in a significant saving for the taxpayer, considering the maximums that are usually established in the agreements.
How do I apply for the Impatriate Regime?
In order to take advantage of this taxation option, a specific form, (named form 149), must be filed with the tax authorities. Similarly, this same form will be used when taxpayers wish to renounce the special regime or when they no longer meet the requirements.
Similarly, the annual income tax return shall be filed using another specific form for this type of tax regime (named form 151).
All of the above is regulated in Spanish Law nº 35/2006, of 28 November, on Personal Income Tax, as well as in the Regulations that develop the aforementioned tax, approved by the Royal Decree nº 439/2007.
At Navas & Cusí Abogados we have a special department aimed at advising and accompanying our clients in relation to all the fiscal and tax aspects they may need. We undertake a study of their tax situation and the possible application of this Special Regime, which is so beneficial for workers posted to Spain.
Likewise, once the feasibility has been established, our Tax Law Department will carry out a detailed application to the Tax Agency for the aforementioned Tax Regime. Our offices in Madrid, Barcelona, Marbella and Brussels allow us to be ideally placed to know and advise on all our clients’ legal and business needs.