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Benefit From the Beckham Law in Spain

Get legal advice on how to apply for Spain’s Special Expat tax regime, known as the “Beckham Law”, and enjoy lower income taxes locally and globally

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The Beckham Law is a special tax regime for individuals who come to Spain if they have a job offer in Spain. Whether it’s for a new company or being relocated by their existing foreign employer. Those who qualify for the Beckham Law are taxed at a much lower rate than Spanish citizens. You can even apply for it if you are appointed as a company director and own fewer than 25% of the company’s shares.

What is the Beckham Law?

The Beckham Law allows foreigners who move to Spain can pay a flat tax of 24% on their Spanish earnings rather than a progressive tax on their worldwide income, which can be as high as 45%. It’s known as the Beckham law after a famous British sportsman, David Beckham, who was one of the first people to benefit from it.

 

People who want to live and work in Spain can pay income and wealth taxes as if they were non-residents for the first six years, thanks to this law.

 

How do I Qualify for the Beckham Law?

You have six months to submit the application, starting from the day you were registered with the Spanish Social Security as an employee, to apply for the visa.

You must complete Form 149 and file it with the Spanish tax agency. This application process also requires your:

  • Social Security number
  • Passport and NIE number
  • An employment contract

Once it’s approved, you can benefit from advantageous tax rates for six years. However, you must file a tax return each year as part of the arrangement.

How Can a Lawyer Help Me?

In order to be able to apply with greater guarantees to this special regime, a lawyer will know exactly what documents you need to provide and whether you meet the necessary requirements.

In addition, many times the tax authority sends a letter requesting extra information or asking you to justify some documents, so a lawyer will help you to correctly answer these requirements in order to obtain this special regime.

Another benefit of having experts in the field is to avoid possible penalties for poor compliance with the requirements of this system.

Our immigration and tax attorneys can also help with your tax preparations and connect you with certified public accountants. We have network partners and estate agents who work with our real estate team if you plan to buy property in Spain.

¨We will be with you each step of your journey.¨

– Immigration Team

What are the requirements?

1. You have not been a Spanish Tax Resident for the last ten years. This is the main requirement for all applicants.

2. You’re moving to Spanish territory because you: 

  • Have a new employment contract.
  • Are relocating with your current overseas employer to a Spanish subsidiary or branch.
  • Are being appointed director of a company. You will own, directly or indirectly, fewer than 25% of the company’s shares.

3. That you are not working as a freelancer and earning an income actively.

However, it is possible to earn an income from overseas work from a foreign country if that work is less than 15% of your total income.

What Tax Breaks Can I Enjoy?

Beyond income tax breaks, there are also advantages for capital gains and dividends. Real estate assets are only taxed if they are Spanish properties, so this protects your international property portfolio. However, there is a 1.8% wealth tax on your net worth for assets that are worth more than €3 million.

Dividends outside of Spain are not taxed compared to those within Spain that are taxed at between 19% and 26% annually. However, you may have to pay capital gains tax in the country where the assets are held or were sold.

The main benefit is that the person only pays tax on their Spanish income, which is capped at 24% up to €600,000 annually. If the income is higher than this threshold, then it is taxed at a flat rate of 45%.

There is no impact if you spend more than 183 days a year in the country as you will be taxed at under the rules that apply to non-residents.

You are effectively a non-resident for tax purposes.

How Long Does the Approval Process Take ?

As a general rule, this process usually takes between one and two months.

Find your Tax Lawyer

Sergi Mingallon

Sergi Mingallon

Tax and accounting specialist
Carla Sanchez

Carla Sanchez

Tax Accountant

Frequently Asked Questions

According to the law, your arrival in Spain must be a consequence of the new employment contract or relocation from your current employer.

Although it is normal that you arrive in Spain sometime before the start of your contract (to find housing and arrange schooling for children, among others), Spanish tax Authorities can dig deeper and question your arrival date and when did you get the job offer. In case your arrival in Spain was before the start of the job negotiations or the job offer, they could deny the Special Expatriate Tax Regime.

Applying for this regime is considered as beneficial when you will be perceiving employment income over 55.000 Euros or when you have foreign non-employment income (rental income, dividends, interest, capital gains) that you would like to avoid being taxed in Spain. Also, your assets abroad will not have to pay Wealth Tax and/or file the Informative Form on Goods and Assets Abroad.

Currently, it does not. Your Spouse will have to submit a regular Spanish Personal Income Tax return, and, if applicable, a Wealth Tax Return and an Informative Form on Goods and Assets Abroad.

However, according to the project of the Start-Ups Law in Spain, it is being considered that the regime extends to the spouse of the applicant for the regime, and extends for 10 years after the first year of tax residency in Spain.

This Special Expatriate Tax Regime lasts for the first year that you are a Spanish Tax Resident and the following 5 years, as long as you keep being employed.

Yes, although the law does not specify how long you can be out of work, it is advisable to stay as little time as possible and switch immediately from one job to another.

You can’t take advantage of double taxation treaties. However, you are effectively a non-resident for tax reasons.

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Josh Pudner
Josh Pudner
12:15 24 Aug 22
We use Lexidy for our payroll and accounting services in Spain, and they have provided great service to us for 3 years. They always respond on time, are proactive, and accurate with their work. I would recommend using them. Our contact Isabel Sanchez is great to work with.
Sharon English
Sharon English
09:40 27 Jul 22
I contracted them to prepare and file my tax return for Spain and paid for that service in advance. Six weeks later, two days before the return was due, and only because I asked for the status, they told me they didn't have the manpower to do my return. I have been trying for the last month to have my money returned and have still not received the refund. At first they told me they would be issuing the payment, but the most recent inquiry has gone unanswered.
Stephen Lisner
Stephen Lisner
09:10 23 Jul 22
ZERO ACCOUNTABILITY - FROM THE TOP DOWNLexidy prepared my taxes for the past two years.Earlier this year, Spanish authorities questioned my 2020 return: their Tax Specialist prepared a response. When I emailed him a subsequent notification, I learned his paternity leave began unexpectedly.With only one staff member out, this “boutique firm” revealed itself - not with care or quality service.The tax specialist’s stand-in, a trainee, ignored two emails requesting help. After four-days, I contacted Managing Director, Joanna Mello. When she did not respond after two more days, I contacted CEO Federico Richardson Alborná. His assurance that the matter would be addressed at the “earliest” was filled by another three days of silence.Contacting him again, using “reply all” activated the accounting manager. He informed me the office was understaffed and suggested I handle the matter on my own.  I replied (with copy to the ever mute CEO), suggesting he speak with his boss about customer service and reliability.The accountant summarily filed some documents, but failed to make good on his promise to phone the authorities. Silence from the CEO: no apology for his staff’s conduct.Another demand has arrived. The tax expert remains on leave. Calls to the Boutique’s CEO Phone go unanswered. Sr. Richardson’s silence could not indicate more clearly the unimportance of service or concern about the reliability of the firm’s work.Run, don’t walk, from Lexidy.
Kohei Okusa
Kohei Okusa
13:20 28 Jun 22
Really disappointed with their service. Very limited level of proactiveness. I’ve never been provided explanation on what documents mean nor given proactive advice on how to best reduce tax etc. to make the experience even worse, I have been ignored my emails regarding the annual tax return (declaración) and do not have access to my Libros de Registro.
Sarah Bevin
Sarah Bevin
21:11 15 Jun 22
Avoid the tax department unless you want to be misinformed, and potentially end up paying more taxes than necessary.
Declan Ryan
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20:48 01 Jun 22
The Lexidy team is uniquely positioned to provide pan-European business and tax advisory services; what would be complex or impossible for a country-specific advisor is straightforward for Lexidy. They answered in days what would take weeks for other firms.
Mike Leon Widiner
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09:57 01 Jun 22
Excellent customer service by Jose García
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09:37 19 May 22
Absolutely Professional and worth-it Experience!I can highly recommend working with Carlota Llopart and Lexidy! Carlota and the team have gone beyond my expectations when it comes to owning and actually even driving the steps for my mortgage, the purchase of my flat as well as taxes filed. I have had an extremely difficult seller, but I was able to fully trust the team to guide me through this first acquisition.I have already recommended Lexidy to friends who had similar positives experiences and will continue working with Carlota and the team. Side note, me being German: Great value for money too!
Nadina Jitaru
Nadina Jitaru
13:40 29 Apr 22
We've been working with Lexidy for years and they are professionals in all payroll and tax related matters. The team provides efficient and exemplary services, we've been working closely with Isabel on a daily basis and her continous support is greatly appreciated. If you are in need of lawyers or accountants, Lexidy Boutique is a great choice.
Rick Kleinhans
Rick Kleinhans
13:03 27 Apr 22
Lexidy has been a lifesaver. The entire team has helped us so much on different matters both personal and corporate. Isabel in correcting an error by a previous accountant that was costing us an extra €1000 every month in social security payments! Jose with various matters and tax advice. Diego in helping us get documents notarized in Valencia even though he is based in Madrid. I cannot recommend them enough!
adela
adela
10:39 26 Apr 22
Professional and very efficient. Excellent service and very easy to communicate with. I have been in contact with Jose Garcia, he helped me solve all my tax related doubts. Very much recommended!
Sarah Taylor
Sarah Taylor
11:03 31 Mar 22
Lexidy did an amazing job setting up our company in Spain, which was a complicated and lengthy affair which they handled with patience and professionalism. Their ongoing tax, accounting and payroll services have been greatly appreciated. Friendly and professional team with perfect English. Highly recommended!
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