Anyone who spends fewer than 183 days in Spain a year is considered non-resident for tax purposes; the rule applies to EU and non-EU citizens alike. A non-resident property owner is taxed on Spanish assets only, for most that’s just your Spanish property. There are two property-related taxes on non-residents and both are calculated on the cadastral value, not the actual value. If a non-resident owner rents out their property then the income is subject to tax at a flat rate of 24%.
If you spend more than 183 days a year in Spain you are fiscally resident and will be taxed on worldwide assets. Spain and the United States do have a double taxation treaty.
Residency in Spain can lead to a second passport and dual citizenship in this country.
Spain Visa Requirements
U.S. citizens can enter Spain for visits of up to 90 days visa-free, so it is feasible to own a property in Spain, visit for up to 183 days a year, and remain non-resident. Or you can seek legal residency. If you wish to stay longer than 90 days, you need a “long-stay visa” in your passport before you leave the United States. Like many countries in Europe, Spain grants residency to foreigners who can prove they can take care of themselves (that is, pay their own bills and not be a burden on the state). Spain introduced an investor residency visa in November 2013, modified in July 2015 to make it more attractive.
There are several options for how to qualify for this investor visa:
- A minimum 2 million euros sovereign debt purchase;
- Establishing a business that creates employment or post-graduate study;
- Property purchase with a minimum value of 500,000 euros. This can be one property or an accumulation of two or more lessexpensive properties, but the initial 500,000 euros investment must be mortgage-free (although any portion over 500,000 euros may be funded via a mortgage). Purchase may be via a company if you can prove you are the majority shareholder.
This investor visa covers the legal spouse of the visa holder, civil and common law partners, dependent parents, and dependent children, including those over 18. To initiate the process you can apply in Spain for a six-month visa once a contract to purchase a property is signed and deposit funds are in a Spanish bank account. Thereafter, a five-year renewal is given and this can be done from outside Spain. The visa includes the right to work and the right to access social security and health care once employed. No minimum stay in Spain is required during this period so it is possible to hold a residency visa and remain fiscally non-resident, although you may be asked to provide evidence of where you are actually resident.