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The Beckham Law (Royal Decree 687/2005) is a special tax regime in Spain that allows foreigners who move to the country to work and pay taxes as non-residents, even if they acquire tax residency under the Spanish law. This regime benefits foreigners because they most likely will end up paying less taxes than a resident would pay.
Even though there are three ways two acquire tax residency in Spain the only criteria that has to be taken into consideration in order to determine if this law applies or not is if he or she stays 183 days of the year in the country.
You can pay taxes under this regime during the first six years of tax residence in Spain, so the first year in the country and five more. It is considered to be beneficial because of these two rules:
– There is a flat tax rate, no matter how much money you make, this rate can only go from 24%, if you make 600.000€ a year, up to 45% if you make more than 600.000€.
– Only Spanish sourced incomes are taxed. There is an exception to this rule: employment income is taxed even if it is obtained abroad, but thanks to Double Taxation Agreements this does not mean that you will have to pay twice for the same income.
In order to apply this special regime, it is necessary to make a formal application, and meet the following requirements:
– Having acquired tax residence in Spain.
– Moving to Spain for work reasons.
– Not having been a tax resident in Spain in the last 10 years before the application.
– Not receiving income through a permanent establishment in Spain, noting that this is not the same as working for a permanent establishment.
Anyone who complies with these requirements may request the application of this regime through the submitting of the form 149 within a period of 6 months from the date that the company registers the worker in the Spanish Social Security or from the date in the documentation that allows the maintenance of the foreign Social Security legislation.
There are two cases in which the Beckham Law applies. The first one is when someone moves to Spain because of an employment contract, or if he or she has been named administrator of a Spanish company in which they do not hold a participation of 25% or more.
The application of this law is mostly beneficial to people with higher income and although it depends on the case, it is beneficial if your annual income is higher than 60.000€.
The news regarding this special tax regime are that the Dirección General de Tributos (General Directorate of Taxes) has notified a recent binding resolution. According to the resolution: “todas las ventajas sobre rentas en especie del régimen general son trasladables a las personas acogidas a la ley Beckham”
This means that tax benefits of the payments in kind given by the Spanish law, extend to workers covered by the Beckham Law.
Income in kind occurs in an employment relationship. It consists of obtaining goods, services, or rights by the worker, free of charge or for a price lower than the market price, so that instead of paying with money, the employer can indirectly retribute the worker. The law that regulates the Spanish Personal Income Tax exempts certain payment in kind from taxation such as luncheon vouchers or training courses, and now, according to the new criteria, this also applies to the workers covered by the Beckham Law.
The regulation of this regime has its flaws and can arise doubts and legal insecurity among the people who want to be covered by the regime.
At Goy Gentile we offer our experience on this matter and our team to assist with the application process, to make any recommendation studying each case or answer any consultation regarding this law.
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María Ribas Saez
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