January 15, 2021

Is it legal to open a current account or a deposit outside of Spain?

Is it legal to open a current account or a deposit outside of Spain?


First was the crisis that hit Spain in 2008 and now, the ridiculous interest rates of Spanish savings products, which are among the lowest in the eurozone. In front of such scenarios, Many Spaniards have considered taking their savings out of Spain in search of more security or more attractive returns, especially now that to open a current account or a deposit abroad it is not necessary to cross the border or speak the language of the destination country. In fact, you do not even need to speak English in many cases, explain the experts of the fixed-term deposit comparison HelpMyCash.com.

Inform the Tax Agency

First of all, let's make one thing clear: taking savings out of Spain is legal. Of course, if all the accounts and deposits located outside of Spain exceed the 50,000 euros, we will have to inform the Tax Agency. If, on the other hand, the balance is lower, we will not have the obligation to inform about the existence of goods in foreign entities to any Spanish organization.

The declaration on goods and rights located abroad (model 720) must be submitted electronically (via the Internet) between "on January 1 and March 31 of the year following that to which the information to be supplied refers ", in accordance with Order HAP / 72/2013. You must declare both the balances of the accounts at December 31 and the average balance corresponding to the last quarter of the year, but, be careful, it is not necessary to do it year after year. It will only be mandatory to inform the AEAT if the balance of the accounts increases by 20,000 euros with respect to the last declaration, sources from HelpMyCash clarify.

The obligation to submit an informative declaration extends not only to the account holders or depositors, but also to the persons listed as representatives, authorized or beneficiaries. On the other hand, the obligation also affects those who have had balances abroad at any time during the fiscal year, regardless of whether they no longer have them. Not presenting the 720 model can be very expensive: The minimum penalty is 10,000 euros.

There is also an obligation to inform the Bank of Spain through the ETE form when the external assets and liabilities as of December 31 exceed one million euros.

How are the interest earned outside of Spain taxed?

Achieving profitability outside our country is available to everyone. No need to take a plane to Luxembourg or Germany to open a deposit, but now you can hire accounts and fixed deadlines outside of Spain without leaving home and from very low amounts. The fixed-term European platform Raisin has democratized access to foreign deposits: through it, Spaniards can hire more than 60 different deposits in countries like Italy, France, Portugal, Austria, Poland or Bulgaria, all of them protected by their corresponding FGD, they explain from the comparator.

In the short term, you can scratch a 0.65% APR with the three-month deposit of the Maltese bank FimBank. One year, you can get 1% APR or more with deposits twelve months after Italian Banking System, Bulgarian BACB and Portuguese Haitong.

In the medium term, for example to three years, the Slovak Privatbanka offers a 1.33% APR. And in the very long term, ten years, Banca Sistema offers an unbeatable 2.01% APR. Foreign fixed deadlines can also be accessed outside of Raisin. For example, the French Crédit Agricole Consumer Finance markets deposits for six months and one, two and three years that reach up to 1.25% TIN.

But one of the main concerns that savers usually have to take their money out of Spain is how they tax the profits obtained abroad. Well, it's very simple. Simply at the time of filing the income statement should be add the gross interests obtained outside Spain to the interests obtained in our country, within the section of income from movable capital. The Administration itself will be responsible for calculating the corresponding withholding according to the Spanish savings scale (19% in most cases).

What if the foreign bank has applied some withholding?

The ideal is that the bank does not apply any withholding and we pay only in our country. For this, it is usually enough to inform the entity that we are not tax residents in that country and deliver a certificate of tax residence that can be downloaded on the Tax Agency website. Although there are always exceptions: the deposit platform Raisin explains that the banks based in France do not require the presentation of this document, while the Portuguese or Bulgarians, in addition to this certificate, require an additional document.

But in the case that the foreign bank applies some type of withholding, double taxation can be avoided. In this case, the withholdings made outside of Spain must be entered in the box on deductions for double international taxation.

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