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Spanish tax – what has changed for 2023?

By Paul Montague, Partner, Blevins Franks Canary Islands

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The Spanish tax regime is very different from the UK’s and can be complicated.  On first arriving in Spain, it is important to adjust your tax planning to suit the local tax rules and opportunities.


It is then always worth reviewing your tax planning once a year, to ensure it is up to date and continues to protect you and your family from paying unnecessary tax.  Understand how any changes in tax regulations may impact you, plus consider whether any changes in your personal circumstances mean you should adjust your financial planning.


The biggest tax reform over recent years is Spain’s new ‘solidarity tax on large fortunes’ which was suddenly announced at the end of last September.  The good news, though, is that it only affects very wealthy individuals.


Tax on savings income


In Spain, income is split into general income and savings income and subject to different progressive tax rates.


Savings income consists of interest and dividend income, capital gains made on the sale or transfer of assets, income derived from life assurance contract and pensions annuity income.


Two new tax bands have been introduced here, so that those earning higher investment income could pay more tax.  The 2023 rates are as follows:


Up to €6,000 19%
€6,000 to €50,000 21%
€50,000 to €200,000 23%
€200,000 to €300,000 27%
Over €300,000 28%


These savings tax rates do not vary per region.


Personal income tax rates (general income)


All other income is classed as general income and the scale rates applied are made up of state tax rates and regional tax rates, so that there are some variations over the regions.


At state level, the 2023 budget included measures to ease the income tax burden on low earners for 2023 and 2024.  Some regions have also approved changes to the regional tax rates for 2023.


In the Canary Islands, the income tax rates currently range from 18.5% for income up to €12,450 to 50.5% for over €300,000.


Solidarity tax


The new, but temporary, ‘solidarity tax on large fortunes’ was approved at the end of December and applies for the 2022 and 2023 tax years (when it will be reviewed). 2022 labilities will be due between April and June this year.


In summary –


  1. It only applies to those with net wealth above €3 million (worldwide assets for residents).
  2. The progressive tax rates are 1.7% for wealth over €3 million, then 2.1% for wealth over €5,347,998 and 3.5% for over €10,695,996.
  3. Spanish tax residents get a general €700,000 allowance plus €300,000 against the main home. Therefore, solidarity tax only really affects those with wealth over €4 million.
  4. If you pay Spain’s regular wealth tax, you deduct the amount paid from your solidarity tax liability, so you do not pay tax twice.
  5. A taxpayers’ combined solidarity, wealth and income tax liability cannot exceed 60% of the sum of the personal income taxable bases. If it does, the tax liability will be reduced until the 60% threshold is reached (maximum reduction 80%).


This is applied at state level; autonomous communities cannot amend it.


The start-up law – digital nomads and the Beckham law tax regime


After years of negotiation, the law for the promotion of the start-up ecosystem companies, has been approved.  Its main objective is to attract and retain investment and talent in Spain and the key new features relate to immigration and taxation. A new ‘digital nomad visa’ has been created and the so-called ‘Beckham tax regime’ (which originated when David Beckham was playing for Real Madrid) has been modified.


This special tax regime can apply to individuals who become resident as a consequence of working in Spain – and has now been expanded to include teleworkers and entrepreneurs. If you meet the requirements, you can be taxed as a non-resident for your year of arrival and the following five years.


You can now apply if you were not tax resident here for the previous five years (it used to be ten), and it is available those on a non-EU/EEA employment contract and non-EU/EEA nationals who obtain the residence visa for teleworkers.


The rules are detailed and complex, so if you think are you are eligible, seek personal advice.


Wealth and succession taxes


There are no changes to Spanish wealth tax or Spanish succession and gift tax for 2023.


Andalucía and Madrid residents currently do not pay any wealth tax (for Andalucía this came in into effect in 2022) but will have to pay the new solidarity tax if your worldwide wealth is above €4 million.


Spanish tax planning


Whether or not the new solidarity tax affects you, reviewing your tax planning from time to time can prove very effective.  The way you hold your assets can make a significant difference to how much tax you will pay, and can also impact your estate planning.


At Blevins Franks, we have 45 years of experience advising UK nationals on their Spanish tax planning. Our advisers are cross-border specialists, with deep knowledge of both the Spanish and UK tax regimes and how they interact.   Paul Montague will be happy to review your financial planning to ensure you are taking advantage of the tax planning opportunities living in Spain has to offer.


Tax rates, scope and reliefs may change. Any statements concerning taxation are based upon our understanding of current taxation laws and practices which are subject to change. Tax information has been summarised; individuals should seek personalised advice.


Blevins Franks Wealth Management Limited (BFWML) is authorised and regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority, registered number C 92917. Authorised to conduct investment services under the Investment Services Act and authorised to carry out insurance intermediary activities under the Insurance Distribution Act. Where advice is provided outside of Malta via the Insurance Distribution Directive or the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II, the applicable regulatory system differs in some respects from that of Malta. BFWML also provides taxation advice; its tax advisers are fully qualified tax specialists. Blevins Franks Trustees Limited is authorised and regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority for the administration of trusts, retirement schemes and companies. This promotion has been approved and issued by BFWML.