In a globalized world, it is common for residents of other countries to move to Spain to start a new employment relationship or even to continue working for their foreign company from Spain, maintaining their employment contract and Social Security in their country of origin.
In order to encourage these transfers of particularly qualified workers to Spain, Article 93 of Law 35/2006, of November 28, 2006, on Personal Income Tax (PIT Law) has for years provided for the special tax regime for workers posted to Spanish territory, more commonly known by all as the “Beckham Law”.
This regime allows a lower taxation to those who move to Spain to work and fulfill a series of requirements, being a great attraction for Spanish companies in their search for talent.
In view of the high global competitiveness, the Government is considering a substantial reform of the Beckham Law, improving if possible the benefits that have allowed attracting thousands of professionals from different sectors to Spain.
BENEFITS PROVIDED FOR IN THE CURRENT REGULATIONS
Currently, the Beckham Law allows taxpayers under this regime to be taxed in Spain on their worldwide earned income and on other income (dividends, interest, capital gains) obtained from Spanish sources.
In order to benefit from the Beckham Law, the taxpayer must meet the following requirements:
1. That he/she has not been a tax resident in Spain during the 10 tax years prior to that in which the transfer to Spanish territory takes place.
2. That the transfer to Spanish territory takes place due to one of the following circumstances:
a) As a consequence of an employment contract (except for professional sportsmen and women, to whom different regulations apply).
b) As a consequence of acquiring the condition of administrator of a Spanish company, as long as the applicant does not participate or only has a participation in the capital stock of this entity of more than 25%.
3. That does not obtain income through a permanent establishment located in Spain.
Those persons who apply for this special regime, fulfilling the above mentioned requirements, will have their tax liability calculated in accordance with the Non-Resident Income Tax (NRIT) regulations, taxing their income as follows:
· Income from work: the first 600,000 euros will be taxed at a fixed rate of 24%, thereafter 600,000.01 euros will be taxed at a fixed rate of 47%.
· Dividends, interest and capital gains: the first 6,000 euros will be taxed at a flat rate of 19%; from 6,000 to 50,000 euros at a flat rate of 21%; from 50,000 to 20,000 euros at a flat rate of 23%; and from 200,000.01 euros onwards at a flat rate of 26%.
The duration of this special regime will be 6 years, comprising the tax period of the change of residence and the following 5 years.
This special regime allows not only to benefit from a fixed rate on income that is significantly lower than the rate that would apply in the case of applying the general personal income tax regime. But also, by paying tax as a non-resident, the taxpayer will not be taxed in Spain on foreign source income (except for worldwide work income, which is taxed in Spain). The taxpayer will not have to file Wealth Tax on assets located outside Spanish territory and will not be obliged to file Form 720.
NOVELTIES PROPOSED IN THE PRELIMINARY DRAFT LEGISLATION
The Preliminary Draft Legislation for the promotion of the start-up ecosystem proposed by the Government, pending debate in the Congress of Deputies and the Senate, provides for the following substantial amendments to the current Beckham Law, improving the benefits already provided for:
1. Reducing from 10 years to 5 years the tax years in which the taxpayer should not have been a tax resident in Spain.
2. Extend from 6 years (the year of application and the following 5 years) to 11 years (the year of application and the following 10 years) the years during which the applicant may benefit from the Beckham Law.
3. Allow the Beckham Law regime to be extended to other members of the family unit of the principal impatriate. That is, their spouse or parent of their children (if there is no marital relationship), their children under 25 years of age and disabled children (regardless of their age) could benefit.
In order for other family members to be eligible, the following conditions must be met:
a) That they move to Spanish territory with the principal taxpayer applying for the Beckham Law, either at the time the latter moves to Spanish territory or subsequently, provided that the first tax period in which the Beckham Law applies has not ended.
b) Who acquire their status as tax residents in Spain as a result of the move to Spanish territory.
c) That they have not been tax residents in Spain in the five tax years prior to the relocation and provided that they do not obtain income through a permanent establishment located in Spain.
d) That the sum of the net taxable income of the family members is lower than the net taxable income of the principal taxpayer.
This special regime will be applicable to the family members during the different tax periods in which, in addition to complying with these conditions, the Beckham Law is also applicable to the main taxpayer. In other words, if the main taxpayer loses or fails to comply with the requirements foreseen for the Beckham Law, so will his family members.
If you want to know more about the Beckham Law, it is advisable to have the advice and opinion of experts on the application of this regime. At Goy Gentile Abogados we have a team of experts in the field ready to advise you.