Bringing personal items into Spain

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RichardTownsend
Tourist
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat May 31, 2014 7:01 pm

Bringing personal items into Spain

Postby RichardTownsend » Sat Oct 23, 2021 12:08 pm

Hi all!

We are travelling from England to Spain, arriving on 12th November. We have residencia in Spain, which we got in 2016. We spend just over three months a year in the UK and the rest in Spain.

We would like to bring some personal possessions into Spain - we take them backwards and forwards with us each time we travel. Obviously that has not been a problem in the past, but now Brexit has happened we’re very wary of import duties and taxes coming into Spain.

The items are an Apple MacBook Pro (new cost £2000), a pair of Focal Elear Headphones (£800) and a Brooklyn digital to analogue converter (£1400). I use these to produce music, but as yet I’m not making any significant money (perhaps £300 per year) and for that reason I’m not officially declaring this as a business to HMRC. The laptop has a lot of music software on - value perhaps £4000. All the hardware was bought in the UK. The software was bought in both countries. We are tax resident in the UK, having taken professional advice on the SRT (that’s probably not relevant, but you never know!)

I’ve tried looking for official guidance on this, and all I can find is guidance about moving to Spain for the first time.

Can anybody help me understand what taxes and duties I might liable for on entry to Spain, and if there is any way of getting reductions / exemptions?

Many thanks, keep well,

Rich

El Cid
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 15641
Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2004 10:42 pm
Location: La Herradura, Costa Tropical, Granada

Re: Bringing personal items into Spain

Postby El Cid » Sat Oct 23, 2021 12:31 pm

I would ask HMRC for advice. If you have all the receipts, etc. and "declare" the items to HMRC before you leave that should avoid and claims that you are importing them when you return. They should be able to advise you on the Spanish end as well.

I think you may be wrong about your tax residency. Yes, over 90 days in the UK qualifies you as a UK tax resident, according to the SRT, but spending more than 6 months and having residency in Spain gives the Spanish tax authorities the first call on your income and other taxes. The UK/Spain double taxation treaty makes this quite clear.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.u ... _force.pdf

Sid

RichardTownsend
Tourist
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat May 31, 2014 7:01 pm

Re: Bringing personal items into Spain

Postby RichardTownsend » Sat Oct 23, 2021 1:08 pm

Thanks Sid, I'll do that.

On tax residency, we've carefully followed the SRT process and the double taxation treaty in detail, and had professional advice from a lawyer. We meet the tax residence criteria for both countries. We have permanent homes in both countries, so the centre of vital interests test comes into play. When we look at the fact that our family are here, our income is received from organizations here, our investments are here, our friends are here, we belong to groups and clubs here, and my music contacts and releases are managed here - our lawyer believes that the UK is our centre of vital interests.

El Cid
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 15641
Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2004 10:42 pm
Location: La Herradura, Costa Tropical, Granada

Re: Bringing personal items into Spain

Postby El Cid » Sat Oct 23, 2021 2:39 pm

I can see your reasons, but personally I would want confirmation from Hacienda that they are in agreement with that.

Sid

RichardTownsend
Tourist
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat May 31, 2014 7:01 pm

Re: Bringing personal items into Spain

Postby RichardTownsend » Sat Oct 23, 2021 3:26 pm

Thanks Sid!

ashtondav
Resident
Posts: 1675
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 8:10 pm
Location: Northampton Frigiliana

Re: Bringing personal items into Spain

Postby ashtondav » Mon Oct 25, 2021 4:51 pm

They are bound to disagree. You and your family spend nine months a year in Spain, and despite your markets and contacts being in the uk you presumably conduct your work and communications from Spain nine months of the year, and the majority of your expenditure and socializing is in Spain. All provable from phone and email records.

I’d keep quiet about it until you get a knock on the door and you then show your legal advice.


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