There are no restrictions to transfer money from the UK to Spain, both countries being members of the EU. The UK has become a popular destination for Spaniards, particularly younger people, seeking employment opportunities given their home country’s economic weakness. Spain, meanwhile, has long been a popular destination for UK retirees. There are up to an estimated 1m British expats in Spain.
British Spanish citizens are free to relocate to the other county, whether for work or retirement, and do need a resident or a work permit. If moving to Spain, you should obtain a foreign identity number, Número de Identidad de Extranjero (NIE) and a residency card, Tarjeta de Residencia (TR) within three months of arriving.
The number of Spanish domestic properties bought by British nationals rose in 2012 by 3.5% to 4,148, although this is still far from the peak of more than 17,000 in 2007. The strengthening of the pound since 2013 and continued weakness in the Spanish property market may see interest continue to grow.
It is difficult to get a mortgage in the UK against a foreign property, so any mortgage will likely come from a Spanish lender. There are specialist brokers in the UK which focus on overseas property purchases. Whether borrowing or buying outright, it is essential to budget for buying costs, such as mortgage and lawyers' fees, taxes and insurance; around 10% of the purchase price is generally advised for Spain. Securing such expert property, legal, and tax advice is absolutely essential before making any overseas money transfer. The British government has a dedicated website offering advice on buying property in Spain.
Span has become one of the most favourite retirement destinations for expats from the UK, with some 57,000 retirees settling there (out of 808,000 British expats in total) as of 2012 according to the UK’s Department of Work and Pensions, and the Institute of Public Policy Research. Some estimates put the number of British expats at around 1m. If you live in but have never worked in Spain, you must contact the International Pension Centre in the UK in order to claim your UK state pension.
The UK state pension can be paid to a Spanish bank account, but it may be better value to receive the money into a UK account and send money to Spain. Given that the British government is not obliged to raise pensions in line with inflation, using a broker may the best way to make sure you receive as much as possible. If you become a non-UK resident, you will not pay UK tax on your state pension but may still pay tax in Spain.
With Britain and Spain having a double taxation agreement, people do not pay tax on the same income in both countries. In accordance with Spanish and international law, all residents in Spain, both nationals and non-nationals, are obligated to declare assets held outside Spain. Assets may include bank accounts, securities, rights, insurance, annuities, property, etc. The Spanish government requires all residents to file an annual asset declaration of overseas assets by March 31st each year.
The website and the information it provides on this site is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute an offer or solicitation to sell shares or securities. None of the information presented is intended to form the basis for any investment decision, and no specific recommendations are intended. Accordingly, this website and its contents do not constitute investment advice or counsel or solicitation for investment in any security. This website and its contents should not form the basis of, or be relied on in any connection with, any contract or commitment whatsoever. FX Compared Ltd expressly disclaims any and all responsibility for any direct or consequential loss or damage of any kind whatsoever arising directly or indirectly from: reliance on any information contained in the website, (ii) any error, omission or inaccuracy in any such information or (iii) any action resulting therefrom.