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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would be grateful if you can help answer any of the following! My husband, myself and 4 year old are thinking of leaving the UK to live in Finestrat, near Benidorm. We intend renting at first. I will not be working. My husband will continue in his present job in the UK working there 2 weeks out of 5. Where does he pay tax? UK or Spain? What are the rates of tax in Spain compared to the UK? He is a 40% tax payer. Will we be covered for healthcare as in the UK? How good is the education in this area? Are there any league tables for state schools? What proportion of children go to University? I have read that electricity is more expensive in Spain, does anyone have any idea as to annual/monthly cost? I do like to be warm in winter and cool in summer! I know that many houses are not well insulated and very few have central heating despite it being at times cold in winter. Are there any taxes to be paid like council tax? If we buy a car in Spain, do we pay road tax and insurance? If so, how does this compare to the cost in the UK? Finally, is there somewhere that I can obtain the above information easily? Any tips or help in relation to the above would be very much appreciated!

Thanks.

Regards
Angela
 

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I would be grateful if you can help answer any of the following! My husband, myself and 4 year old are thinking of leaving the UK to live in Finestrat, near Benidorm. We intend renting at first. I will not be working. My husband will continue in his present job in the UK working there 2 weeks out of 5. Where does he pay tax? UK or Spain? What are the rates of tax in Spain compared to the UK? He is a 40% tax payer. Will we be covered for healthcare as in the UK? How good is the education in this area? Are there any league tables for state schools? What proportion of children go to University? I have read that electricity is more expensive in Spain, does anyone have any idea as to annual/monthly cost? I do like to be warm in winter and cool in summer! I know that many houses are not well insulated and very few have central heating despite it being at times cold in winter. Are there any taxes to be paid like council tax? If we buy a car in Spain, do we pay road tax and insurance? If so, how does this compare to the cost in the UK? Finally, is there somewhere that I can obtain the above information easily? Any tips or help in relation to the above would be very much appreciated!

Thanks.

Regards
Angela
Hi there and welcome :)
I don't have many answers, but most of these questions have come up on the forum before so it might be an idea to start doing a search for electricity, tax, and healthcare and you'll find out a lot of the answers yourself!
Regarding car tax you have to pay the town hall (ayuntamiento) something and yes, you do have to have insurance, but here it's the car that's insured not you.
As for houses in Spain not having central heating I have to say that it's a complete myth :confused: along with all houses have bars at the windows. Guess what my house has - central heating and it doesn't have bars. It's down to where you live and also the age of the house. On the coast many houses don't have central heating because they're classed as holiday homes. Yep, you can have your holiday when you want, even in winter, but of course it's basically cheaper to build like that and innocent foreigners think it never gets cold in Spain.
I think electric heating is really expensive. We have natural gas and a wood fire too. The wood's very cheap, the gas isn't particularly.
 

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Blimy thats a lot of questions in one go

Without knowing the full details:

I'm pretty sure he will pay tax in the UK but you need to take professional advice - that being so:
You can claim child benefit because of this
You will get state health care in spain because he is working and paying in the UK

We pay for electricity in the summer €40 a month / nearer €100 in winter, three bed villa with pool
Council tax €400 a year
Road tax €100 a year on a 4 x 4
Insurance, you can bring your NCB from the UK - get a letter from your present company to bring with you with both the years and the percentage. Insurance on a car is slightly more here
 

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Theres that rule about how long you stay in Spain as to whether you pay tax here or there. 183 days/6 months! So if your husband lives in Spain for more than 183 days then he pays tax here and vice versa!

However, if he pays tax, NI etc in the UK, "he" can claim child allowance from the UK.

I dont know about schooling, well I do cos I have two children, but its a contraversial issue and I dont know the area you're looking at. If you're planning to stay in Spain and your children are young, its worth looking at the spanish state schools in the area, however, you may wish to look at international schools as they teach in English and generally speaking follow the english curriculum, they can be expensive, but if you're "into" private education in the UK, they're a bit cheaper than that in general.

We rent here and thats cheaper than the UK, our "coucil tax" is included in the price. Electricity is roughly the same altho we tend to use more here becasue of the lack of central heating (lots of electric heaters cos it does get freezing cold here in the winter and air con in the summer!). We have a gas boiler to heat our water and thats 11€ a month, we buy a bottle of gas a month!

Jo xxxx
 

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The tax residency decision could be finely balanced as besides the 183 day rule JoJo referred to there are additional factors taken into consideration like where your family and main residence are and where your main economic interests lie. These factors pull in different directions in your case so I suggest you seek professional advice or at least do some online research on this specific point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thankyou very much for your responses. They are all very much appreciated. We are trying to gather all information beofre making a decision. Although we are professionals here in the UK with a very nice life we are fed up with the cost of council tax, heating etc. After some recent experiences of the NHS-filthy hospital, awful nurses, drug addicts treated first etc we really feel we would be better off leaving the UK. For the amount of tax we pay we are not getting value for money. This is before taking into account the mess the country is in and the 2 wars ongoing!!! We speak a little bit of Spanish and our 4 year old is also being taught Spanish. We live in an area with the best state school in the country and we are very concerned about education. We intend to send our child to the state school in the hope that she will shortly be fluent in Spanish. My understanding of the international schools are that they speak English at all times. We also thought that it may be better to integrate with the community as she will become friends with those living in the area. Thanks again for your help, any more tips would be greatly appreciated.

Regards
Angela
 

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I agree with you about the UK, I hate the place, but Spain has its faults too. Before you make any definate decisions, come over and do a fact finding trip, maybe rent a place for a few months to see how it pans out. It'll be an adventure for your little girl and it'll give youa good overview as to how things are, where abouts you want to be, what you miss/dont miss??

Jo xxx
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That is good advice. We will be over for 3 weeks next month. We have decided that IF we relocate to Spain it will be to Finestrat, or around that area. My husband and daughter will be fine. Husband is a sun worshiper and will continue with his job in the UK. I will be the problem!!!! I am a Solicitor and will be leaving my career and being a housewife. Our move wil be a lifestyle change. Outdoor lifestyle, locally produced food etc etc. I know Spain has faults, my biggest concern is that I will miss my "old, sex in the city" life!!!!! lol
 

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That is good advice. We will be over for 3 weeks next month. We have decided that IF we relocate to Spain it will be to Finestrat, or around that area. My husband and daughter will be fine. Husband is a sun worshiper and will continue with his job in the UK. I will be the problem!!!! I am a Solicitor and will be leaving my career and being a housewife. Our move wil be a lifestyle change. Outdoor lifestyle, locally produced food etc etc. I know Spain has faults, my biggest concern is that I will miss my "old, sex in the city" life!!!!! lol
It will be a bit of a cuture shock for you!! I used to work in the UK and I go stir crazy here sometimes!! However, I manage to fill my days with school runs, I do my husbands accounts on the PC, wandering around shops and markets, meeting friends, playing with the kids, chores....! But I would dearly love to not only work here, but earn my own money!

However, it will be nicer for your daughter to have a "stay at home" mummy and nicer for you to have the time to spend with her without the pressures of life and work surrounding you. That old cliché, they grow up fast is so true!

My husband commutes to the UK to work, so I'm on my own a fair bit which I'm used to, but I dont like it much! The whole change of life and speed of life here does take some adjusting, but its not impossible. In fact looking at my old life in the UK, I dont know how I fitted it all in - or why I wasted my time trying to. Life is much better here. But its not perfect and when the novelty wears off, there are alot of things about Spain that are mindblowingly frustrating! lol

Jo xxx
 

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Hi Angela1

I have been here almost 2 years and before we came, I worked full-time. I also had small children so was busy busy busy.

I enjoyed working and when we came here, I stopped working and am around for my children. That is hard for me because I did enjoy working and felt more rounded out. So not only did I have to get used to another culture, I also had to get used to a different routine. My days are school runs, shopping, cleaning, cooking and a bit of taxi-ing and homework help. School finishes at 2.30pm - shorter than the UK. The education system I think, is more academic and less emphasis on the creative.

There are lots of positives of living here in Spain. There are lots of negatives too. Depending upon your outlook it will be easy or difficult.

The hardest thing I find is that without the language, I really struggle. With teachers, other parents, neighbours etc. I feel that I don't have a clue on what is on offer. It's a suck it and see!

If the area has some expats, you will be OK. I live in a very Spanish area. I can go weeks of not speaking in English to anyone other than my husband.

Knowing the language will make life so much easier for you.

For your daughter, as she is only 4 she will adapt so so easily. My son came when he was 4 and is fluent now. He speaks with the accent and fits in so well.

The schools do not have league tables but generally are good anyway at primary school level. The teachers tend to be very affectionate and caring. The classes smaller than the UK. The difficulty will be the secondary level where Spanish kids tend to lose track a bit as do all teenagers.

The healthcare system I find is very good. Children have regular health checks and vaccines. In my area, the kids get checked at 6, 8 and 10 and 13. A full check up.

I would imagine that you may have a problem with healthcare as you may not pay into the system, but private care is quite reasonable.

Anyway, that's a few pointers for you. Goodluck...
 
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