B Law & Tax
22 September 2023

Tax advisor: News and Pitfalls of the New Beckham Law

The new Impatriates Law introduces several changes and precautions to consider.
Firstly, the period during which a person can apply for this regime without having previously
been a tax resident in Spain has been reduced from 10 to 5 years. This is advantageous for
mobile workers, but it’s crucial to pay attention to the details.

Furthermore, individuals who wish to telecommute in Spain can now benefit from this special
regime without the need to justify that their relocation had an exclusively economic
motivation by the employing company, such as market prospecting or establishing
commercial relationships. Therefore, if these workers want to come to Spain to enjoy the
climate, cuisine, and rich artistic, natural, and cultural heritage, they can do so and opt for
this special regime.

Additionally, the scope of the special regime has been expanded to include the spouse of
the relocated employee, as well as children under 25 or disabled children and their parent (if
there is no marriage), provided they meet the requirements established by the law. This is
particularly advantageous in situations where the spouse does not work and generates
income abroad from the sale of properties or shares, among other common examples.
Previously, the spouse would have had to pay taxes on these earnings as they could not opt
for the Non-Resident Income Tax (IRNR). Starting in 2023, if they choose the special
regime, they won’t have to pay taxes in Spain unless the income exceeds the limits set by
law.

And we wonder: can this novelty apply to a couple without children or a “marital bond”? The
answer seems to be no, as the law requires the existence of a marital bond, common
children, or both.

Furthermore, the new regulations introduce new reasons for relocation. Until now, relocation
to Spain was only considered for employment reasons or for acquiring the status of an
administrator with a capital participation of less than 25%. From now on, it will also be
allowed for certain self-employed workers, such as freelancers, or for those who become
administrators of entities, regardless of their participation in them, unless it is a patrimonial
society, as explained below.

Regarding self-employed workers, these rules apply only to professionals who move for one
of the following reasons: (1) to engage in an activity classified as an “entrepreneurial
activity,” defined as an innovative project of special economic interest to Spain, supported by
a favorable report from the competent authority of the General State Administration
(according to Article 70 of Law 14/2013, of September 27); (2) due to the performance of
economic activity in Spain by a highly qualified professional providing services to “startup
companies,” subject to the corresponding accreditation by the National Innovation Company
ENISA; or (3) as a result of participating in training or R&D&I activities in Spain by a highly
qualified professional, provided that these earnings represent more than 40% of the total
business, professional, and personal income.

Therefore, can a non-resident strategic consultant, commercial agent, or freelance financial
advisor who does not engage in “entrepreneurial activities” or provide services to “startup
companies” or in training or R&D&I opt for the new Beckham Law? The answer is no, as the
new wording does not contemplate it, and because a little further down it states that it is a
“sine qua non” condition to be eligible for this regime not to obtain income that would be
classified as obtained through a permanent establishment located in Spanish territory (except in the cases mentioned in the preceding paragraph) or, in other words, not to earn income from economic activities (cf. Binding Consultation V26619, dated September 30,
2019).
This change, although initially revolutionary, becomes complex when considering the
bureaucracy and necessary conditions. Most professionals may encounter difficulties in
accessing this special regime.

Regarding non-resident individuals who become administrators of companies in Spain, they
will no longer need to have a participation of more than 25% to opt for the impatriates
regime, unless the company is a patrimonial society. This offers interesting opportunities, but
it is important to be cautious when suggesting it, as it could pose tax risks if certain
conditions are not met, such as having resources and an independent structure in addition to
the main administrator.

Everything indicates that with the new Beckham Law, the influx of foreign workers with talent
and high purchasing power to Spain will increase. This contrasts with other recent tax
measures (wealth tax, tax on non-reusable plastic packaging, etc.) that discourage
investment in Spain and the resulting wealth influx to this country, forgetting that a single
taxpayer with such characteristics (high purchasing power) generates more revenue than
many others who pay taxes under the regular regime.

B Law & Tax International Tax & Legal Advisors.

 https://www.blaw.es/

“En B LAW&TAX somos especialistas en asesoramiento fiscal internacional tanto a empresas como para particulares. Si desea ampliar la presente información, estaremos encantados de poder atenderle en el 917817194 o en [email protected]