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Hi, I have been trying to get some information regarding what my tax residency status would be if I was to move to Barcelona?
I am from the UK and work in the Oil and Gas industry on a 28 day on, 28 day off contract on a drilling rig offshore of Angola, (West Africa) and as such I would be spending more than 183 days a year out of the country. Would this be classed as "temporary absence" for tax liability? I am not married and therefore would have no dependants living in Barcelona while I am away at work, I also pay tax to the Angolan authorities for the time I spend in their waters.
I plan on renting an apartment at first but would eventually like to buy a property.
I have tried to contact a few tax lawyers both in Spain and the UK but I have not had a definitive answer and wondered if anyone could give me some advice.

Thanks

russ1977
 

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Hi, I have been trying to get some information regarding what my tax residency status would be if I was to move to Barcelona?
I am from the UK and work in the Oil and Gas industry on a 28 day on, 28 day off contract on a drilling rig offshore of Angola, (West Africa) and as such I would be spending more than 183 days a year out of the country. Would this be classed as "temporary absence" for tax liability? I am not married and therefore would have no dependants living in Barcelona while I am away at work, I also pay tax to the Angolan authorities for the time I spend in their waters.
I plan on renting an apartment at first but would eventually like to buy a property.
I have tried to contact a few tax lawyers both in Spain and the UK but I have not had a definitive answer and wondered if anyone could give me some advice.

Thanks

russ1977

welcome to Spain.......

Your situation is increasingly common - yet there is no definitive answer, probably not even from the tax office (hacienda) itself - although that would be the best place to ask - & try to get it in writing!

On the face of it, if you're not here for the 183 days, have no dependents here etc then no, you wouldn't be tax resident

BUT...hacienda might still consider you to be so, if Spain is where you have your home, even if rented. So yuo would have to prove to them that your home is elsewhere (Angola?) & you come to Spain for holidays when you're not working.

That wouldn't be easy of course, unless you own property there which you live in. And once you buy here, it will become more difficult...
 

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Your situation is very similar to one of my clients.

He worked in the oil industry off the coast Brazil. The company that employed him paid him net after deduction of Brazilian taxes. Unfortunately, he found it difficult to show the amount of tax he paid, as the tax arrangements were put in place by his employer, rather than by him as an individual.

After a lot of discussions between his tax attorney and the Hacienda, it was decided that Spain was the "centre of his economic interests” and that he was Spanish Tax Resident.

This "bitter pill" was slightly sweetened by the fact that a "double taxation" agreement exists between Spain and Brazil, and in the end, an acceptable evidence of what tax had been paid in Brazil was agreed by the Hacienda.

Your problem is further complicated in so much as I don't believe that Spain and Angola have a "double taxation" agreement, which would mean that all your income becomes taxable in Spain.

My advice is to employ the services of an expert tax lawyer. That doesn't come cheap, with typical costs around the 200€ an hour mark. My client was fortunate in so much he was a senior employee and his company picked up the bill, which ran into a few thousand euros.
 

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... it was decided that Spain was the "centre of his economic interests” and that he was Spanish Tax Resident.
This highlights one of the additional tests that the Spanish tax authorities apply over and above the simple 183-day test. Unless you can show you have another more permanent residence (and are tax resident there), you will be deemed tax resident in Spain.

Other EU countries are adopting similar rules to prevent people being resident in their country for just under 183 days and thereby avoiding tax on their worldwide income.
 
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