SPAIN: Favourable tax regime for inbound managers and professionals finally implemented

The Spanish Government has approved on 11 June 2005 the Royal Decree 687/2005, which implements the procedure necessary to apply for the Spanish 25% income tax regime for inbound managers and professionals.

Under the tax regime the salary of immigrating managers (and inter alia professional football players) will be taxed at a flat rate of 25%. Capital income (e.g. dividends and interest) will be taxed at 15% and capital gains (e.g. on Spanish real estate) will be taxed at 35%. The main conditions for the application of this regime are that the taxpayer has not been resident in Spain during the last 10 years before the assignment to Spain, and that the work must be effectively performed in Spain. Up to 15% of the annual salary may be related to work performed outside Spain.

The request for obtaining the regime must be filed within 6 months after the start of the activity in Spain. The request needs to be accompanied with e.g. a copy of the assignment letter, the starting date of the employment, the place were the work is undertaken and a confirmation that the work will be performed in Spain. The Spanish tax authorities have to provide an answer within 10 days after the filing of the request.

The special 25% income tax regime was already introduced as of 1 January 2004. Individuals who immigrated into Spain after 1 January 2004 are able to apply for the regime retroactively. They must have done so within 2 months after the approval of the implementing Royal Decree, i.e. before 11 August 2005.