The aim of this article is to discuss the Spanish tax regime for expatriates, currently envisaged in Article 93 of the Individuals' Income Tax Act. The purpose of this favourable system was to strengthen Spain's international competitiveness by attracting recipients of high income and foreign investment. However, the option to be taxed as a non-resident (exclusively on the Spanish sourced income and at 24%) for the five subsequent years, provided certain conditions are met, gives rise to some controversial questions both in the light of the constitutional principles and in the international field.
The article provides insight into the expatriate tax treatment of other European Union (EU) Member States, by examining the different approaches to the same topic. This comparative experience is taken into account for our criticism and proposals for an alternative design of a new Spanish expatriate taxation system.Intertax