Spanish Taxes Update

The issue of liability for tax for boat owners who keep their boats in Spain for an extended period has been a thorny issue for some time. Click on the heading to see a summary of the matter. 

Two versions (one full, and one more readable!) are available to members through the left hand menu. Go to Cruising Guides>>West Med and you'll find the links there, or use links in the members news items below.  

Meanwhile, here's a publicly available extract from our West Mediterranean Cruising Guide: 


Tax Residency - A Warning

Care should be taken to avoid the risk of being treated as a tax resident in any given country. This can arise if the owner (not necessarily the yacht), spends more than 182 days a year there. If tax residency is established, you can be required to import and re-flag your boat.

In southern Spain, this tax residency issue is often checked, and the onus of proving non-residence will rest on the vessel’s crew. If you cannot prove your absences adequately, you will be required to re-flag and pay an associated ‘matriculation’ tax of around 12% of the vessel’s value. Add the bureaucracy of meeting Spanish regulations for your boat and qualifications, and it is clear that becoming tax-resident is not to be undertaken lightly.  

Spain also requires EU citizens staying 90 days or more to register with the authorities and obtain a certificate. We believe this was intended to apply to those living in shore property. In the Balearics, the authorities have indicated that those living in boats will not be required to register, and this may be true elsewhere in Spain. However, Spanish regions have great autonomy, and differ widely in the way they implement, interpret and police any regulations, so if you are considering staying over winter, you should always enquire what local implications there are.  

You are always more likely to draw the attention of the authorities if you do any un-declared work.