My Next Country is Not Spain

This is not the post you’re looking for.

I should have researched Spanish income tax first. I’ll do it for all subsequent countries. Between paying no tax in the Philippines or Thailand and owing no US taxes between 2008 and 2014, the subject was an afterthought.

It took a bleep-load of digging to learn enough about Spanish income taxes to do a meaningful comparison. I plugged some realistic numbers for income (IRA withdrawal), interest, dividends, capital gains and Social Security into a calculator. I’d owe Uncle Sam about $13,000. No state tax because my domicile is in Florida.

Spanish income tax is simple enough to use a spreadsheet. I knew it was going to be more just from the much higher rates and smaller standard deduction. Also knew the double taxation treaty said I’d owe Spain only the difference between Spanish and US tax laws. That’s $10,600 more on income. But wait, there’s more – from what they Marxistly call a Wealth Tax on worldwide assets. That’s another $7,300 for a total of $17,900 on top of the $13,000 to the IRS. My next country is not Spain.

Between researching expat life in Spain and prepping for travel in Paris, I kept reading about people who rent apartments for 3 months every year, sometimes twice a year. They love Paris or Barcelona or wherever. Seemed obvious at the time they left after 3 months because of Schengen zone visa requirements. Now I’m thinking they want to live there but would rather spend the tax difference towards living there 3-6 months a year.

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