MODEL 151 – Income Tax Return for Impatriates

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Individuals who acquire their tax residence in Spain as a result of moving to Spanish territory may opt to pay non-resident income tax, while maintaining their status as taxpayers for personal income tax, during the tax period in which the change of residence takes place and during the following five tax periods, when, under the terms established by regulation, the following conditions are met (regulations in force since 1 January 2015):

For these purposes, the tax period in which residence is acquired shall be deemed to be the first calendar year in which, once the change of residence has taken place, the stay in Spanish territory exceeds 183 days.


Conditions to be fulfilled in order to file form 151:


That they have not been resident in Spain during the ten tax periods prior to that in which they travel to Spanish territory.

  1. That the trip to Spanish territory takes place as a result of any of the following circumstances:
    1. As a result of an employment contract, with the exception of the special employment relationship of professional sportsmen and women regulated by Royal Decree 1006/1985, of 26 June.

This condition will be understood to have been met when an ordinary or special employment relationship other than that indicated above is initiated with an employer in Spain, or when the posting is ordered by the employer and there is a letter of posting from the employer.

  1. As a result of the acquisition of the status of director of an entity in whose capital it does not hold a stake or, otherwise, when the stake in the entity does not determine the consideration of a related party under the terms provided for in Article 18 of the Corporate Income Tax Act.
  2. That it does not obtain income that would qualify as obtained through a PE located in Spanish territory.


To exercise this option, the taxpayer must file form 149 with the tax authorities (you have six months from the date of commencement of activity as evidenced by registration with Social Security). Taxpayers who have opted for this regime will also use this form to renounce this regime or when they are excluded from it for failing to comply with any of the conditions determining its application.

The deadline for filing the return will be the same as that approved each year, in general, for the Personal Income Tax return. The waiver can only be exercised in the months of November or December and with effect for the following year.


Most relevant characteristics:


This regime allows the application of a fixed tax rate of 24% (or 45%) for all income from work. Income obtained abroad will not be taxed in Spain, unless it is employment income.

Income from work up to 600,000 euros will be taxed at 24%. From that amount, they will be taxed at 45%. Dividends, interest and capital gains will be taxed at a rate of between 19% and 23%.

The right to the scheme is not lost if the employment relationship ends for reasons beyond the taxpayer’s control if the taxpayer remains unemployed or inactive for a short period of time and then starts a new employment relationship.

The special scheme does not prevent property investment in Spain. However, its application is conditional on not obtaining income from economic activities (self-employment) through a permanent establishment located in Spanish territory. It is therefore important that the real estate investment made in Spain does not generate income from economic activities.

It allows for the application of a deduction for international double taxation (E.G. if the income from work is also taxed abroad) but the lesser of the following amounts will be deducted: o 30% of the part of the total quota (tax) corresponding to the total income from work. o The tax paid abroad. o The result of applying the average effective tax rate to the part of the taxable base taxed abroad.

A person who opts for this regime must not, in principle, pay Wealth Tax, unless he has assets or rights in Spain and these have a certain value. In addition, it should be mentioned that the taxpayer applying this Law will not have to file form 720 for information on assets and rights located abroad.

It can be indicated for information purposes that the scheme compensates from a gross annual salary of approximately 60,000 euros and if only the income from work is taken into account.

Possible disadvantages: Firstly, it will not be possible to deduct expenses, or to apply exemptions (e.g. severance pay is not exempt) or reductions from the general scheme. Secondly, it may lead to a higher tax burden abroad since double taxation conventions do not apply.

The purpose of the Law is to encourage the arrival in Spain of talent or highly qualified persons in order to improve the internationalization and competitiveness of Spanish companies. It is not intended for investors or people who do not wish to work in Spain.



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