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Discussion Starter #1
Despite my flair, I'm not yet an expat, but I'm looking down the road at being a sort of partial one. My wife is a Spaniard and naturalized American, and I'm American.

My wife, being Spanish, can come and go there as she pleases. So then the question becomes: What is necessary for me to be able to be there for six months to (almost) a year? I know for 90 days I can do the "Schengen visa", of course, but then I have to leave the Schengen area for three months. But for staying in Spain more than three months, I would need some kind of other Spain-issued visa.

I know Americans can do a non-lucrative visa, such as what this blogger has done. But he and his wife are not Spanish at all, whereas my wife is.

I'm wondering if my being married to a Spanish person would somewhat simplify the process. Would it?

Also whether we could rent a place there for 6 to almost 12 months, not buy any property so as not to become taxable non-residents, and not be considered tax residents of any sort. We'd be living off savings or perhaps doing a small amount of remote work for American companies (which is consistent with the non-lucrative visa, apparently), though may realize some capital gains or take retirement account distributions--monies that had no origin in Spain whatsoever but would (I believe) be taxed in Spain if we were considered residents there, which is something we need to avoid.

Basically, I'm trying to see how feasible this is, and how much of a paperwork headache it would be each time to set up, because it might be something we do a few cycles of before we might decide to move to Spain for a handful of years or more, at which point we'd become full-on tax residents there.
 

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Despite my flair, I'm not yet an expat, but I'm looking down the road at being a sort of partial one. My wife is a Spaniard and naturalized American, and I'm American.

My wife, being Spanish, can come and go there as she pleases. So then the question becomes: What is necessary for me to be able to be there for six months to (almost) a year? I know for 90 days I can do the "Schengen visa", of course, but then I have to leave the Schengen area for three months. But for staying in Spain more than three months, I would need some kind of other Spain-issued visa.

I know Americans can do a non-lucrative visa, such as what this blogger has done. But he and his wife are not Spanish at all, whereas my wife is.

I'm wondering if my being married to a Spanish person would somewhat simplify the process. Would it?

Also whether we could rent a place there for 6 to almost 12 months, not buy any property so as not to become taxable non-residents, and not be considered tax residents of any sort. We'd be living off savings or perhaps doing a small amount of remote work for American companies (which is consistent with the non-lucrative visa, apparently), though may realize some capital gains or take retirement account distributions--monies that had no origin in Spain whatsoever but would (I believe) be taxed in Spain if we were considered residents there, which is something we need to avoid.

Basically, I'm trying to see how feasible this is, and how much of a paperwork headache it would be each time to set up, because it might be something we do a few cycles of before we might decide to move to Spain for a handful of years or more, at which point we'd become full-on tax residents there.
I can't answer your question about visas, but anyone who spends 183 days or more in one tax year (1st January - 31st December) in Spain (ie six months or more) is deemed to be tax resident here and thus obliged to declare all their worldwide income and, if they hold overseas assets worth €50K or more in any one asset class (cash, shares, property, etc) they must also submit a Modelo 720 declaration of assets. Not owning any property in Spain would make no difference to that, anyoone who rents property here would be in the same position. Any double taxation treaty between your home country and Spain should result in you not being taxed twice on the same income, but if any of your income would not be taxable in your home country the same may not be true in Spain so you could end up paying more overall.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I can't answer your question about visas, but anyone who spends 183 days or more in one tax year (1st January - 31st December) in Spain (ie six months or more) is deemed to be tax resident here and thus obliged to declare all their worldwide income and, if they hold overseas assets worth €50K or more in any one asset class (cash, shares, property, etc) they must also submit a Modelo 720 declaration of assets. Not owning any property in Spain would make no difference to that, anyoone who rents property here would be in the same position. Any double taxation treaty between your home country and Spain should result in you not being taxed twice on the same income, but if any of your income would not be taxable in your home country the same may not be true in Spain so you could end up paying more overall.
Right, thanks for that. The point is we would not be spending 183 days in Spain in any Jan 1--Dec 31st period, nor have any "base of economic activity" nor dependents living in Spain, so we would not be liable for taxes in Spain.

I just mentioned the part about not owning property because I know if we own property, even if we don't live in Spain at all, we would be still considered "non-resident yet taxable" in some ways.
 

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I must be missing something, but how could you spend up to a year in Spain without doing that?
Arrive July 2nd in Calendar Year 1 (182 days), leave July 1st of Calendar Year 2 (182 days). That's cutting it very close, so it would be less than that, but you get the idea.
 

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Arrive July 2nd in Calendar Year 1 (182 days), leave July 1st of Calendar Year 2 (182 days). That's cutting it very close, so it would be less than that, but you get the idea.
I see. So you would then be unable to return to Spain until July 2nd in Calendar Year 3.

Where in Spain would you be intending to stay? I ask because in any area where there is high demand for tourist accommodation (whether Spanish domestic tourism or international), it would be more difficult to find a one year rental starting in July as owners can charge so much more during the high season than from October onwards.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I see. So you would then be unable to return to Spain until July 2nd in Calendar Year 3.
Well, could return as early as early January, but then could only stay six months total in Calendar Year 3. Given that being away from her family for an entire year is undesirable, we might consider this kind of switching from a (almost) year stay one stint to a 6-mos-broken-into-two-three-month years the alternating year. Complex, I know! And therefore far less than ideal.

Where in Spain would you be intending to stay? I ask because in any area where there is high demand for tourist accommodation (whether Spanish domestic tourism or international), it would be more difficult to find a one year rental starting in July as owners can charge so much more during the high season than from October onwards.
That's a great point. Flights are also most expensive in July/August. Spain also kind of "shuts down" in terms of many services in August, from our experience, as people go on their vacations. But the tax incentives to this creative scheduling are sizable (though I'm wondering what savings in Spain from cost of living and other features of life there might compensate?).

Anyway, we'd hope to stay fairly near the south side of Madrid community, slightly out in the country a bit. More Don Quixote than typical beachy tourism. The point is to be near to the family but if at all possible in a chalet rather than an attached (or "semi-attached"...meaning attached!) structure. But if we have to do a regular apt, maybe that will work as well.
 
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