New tax requirements for expats in Spain

New tax rules have been announced for expatriates who live in Spain.

Expats who live in and who have any assets outside the country that have a total value of more than €50,000 will now be required to declare these assets within their annual tax return. Those that fail to do so may face significant fines under Spain’s anti-fraud law, Ley 7/2012.

This new requirement is in addition to the existing obligation for expatriates to declare their annual worldwide income for income tax purposes and their worldwide assets for wealth tax purposes. The new form, which includes an area in which expats can declare the value of their assets, must be completed by the end of the first trimester of each year.

As the requirements have only recently been introduced, the Spanish tax authorities have extended the reporting deadline for 2013 from the 31st March to the 30th April. However, this is a one off for this year only.

Assets that will need to be reported include money that is held in financial institutions, real estate, shares and securities and life insurance policies. Discussing the new tax rules, a spokesman provided further information: “You need to declare these assets if you are the owner, the beneficiary, or an authorized signatory. This includes assets held by a trust or fiduciary. If the value of your total assets in each class is less than €50,000, you are not obliged to report.”

However, he also revealed that the assets do not need to reported on an annual basis, provided they are reported once and their value does not increase by more than €20,000 by the next annual deadline.