Q AND A:
Question: Do I lose fiscal residence in my home country if I register?
Answer: The padron registration has nothing to do with your fiscal residence, meaning that a citizen can be an inhabitant in a Spanish town and remain a tax resident abroad.
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Padron: it’s all benefits
According to a new local regulation, couples willing to get married by the Nerja town hall will be charged €150 if they are not listed in the municipal register.
In Alhaurin de la Torre, those who sign up before the end of the year will get a 10 per cent discount in the IBI property tax for 2013, the town hall announced.
“I am amazed with foreign residents. They are very conscious their town will lose so much if they don’t sign up”
IT is nearly five weeks left before the end of the year, the deadline established for residents to sign in the municipal register, officially known as the padron.
Town halls are doubling their efforts to contact foreign residents by mail, phone, doing visits at home and – in few cases – even penalising those who do not sing.
Expatriates are being urged to register and explained that quality in public services (health, education, safety, etc.) is highly dependable of the budget the state government allocates for each town, which depends on how many people are signed.
With 32 per cent in a population of 23,100 being foreign residents, the town of Nerja in Andalucia is an example of the crucial role expatriates indeed have in local welfare. Out of the nearly 7,400 foreigners registered, more than 3,000 are British nationals, far from the 630 Germans and 500 Swedes.
“Yes, foreign residents are reacting to the calling we made on late October and the mailing. We have been contacted lots of times to confirm if they needed to renew their inscription. In most of the cases, they do. Otherwise, they will be signed out, losing their benefits,” Jacky Gomez from the Foreign Department in Nerja town hall told the EWN.
Since the majority of expatriates in Nerja are people aged 60 to 75, they are given the ‘65 Card’ when registered, providing special discounts on bus pass, swimming pool, parking pass, or when buying spectacles.
These are local benefits, but some of padron’s advantages nationwide include enrolling in public education centres and voting rights in local and EU elections. Being registered also speeds up administrative processes: getting the NIE and the driving license, registering a car plate, applying for subsidies, contracting the water and energy supplies, etc.
“But it is not just about the individual benefits,” Jacky Gomez said. “I am amazed with foreign residents. They are very conscious their town will lose so much if they don’t sign up.”