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Live in Mallorca -Living in Mallorca (Majorca)
A Guide to Living in Mallorca (Majorca) with information on Work, Schools, Health Care, Retirement, Buying a Car, Property or Business
So you want to live the dream? Move to Mallorca? It's a lovely idea but can you do it, will you do it?
Let us try and help you decide.
This guide will help you with information you will need for Work, Education and Schools, NIE numbers, Residency, Retirement, Health Service, Buying a Vehicle, Renting or Buying Property, Buying a Business and of course Annual Taxes!
Majorca is a very beautiful island in which to live, the summers are very hot and dry and the winters, although chilly for a couple of months, usually have a good share of sunshine.
If you have decided to work in or retire to the Island, it is very important to make sure that you have all of the relevant information you will need in advance of moving which will prepare and help you during this transitional stage.
Rules and laws in Spain are forever changing and it is essential to have the most current information. A useful information link is www.europa.eu
If you decide to run your own business on the Island, make sure that you do your homework beforehand and employ an English speaking administrator (Gestor) or Lawyer (Abogado) to guide you and look after your interests.
NIE Number (National Identity number for foreigners)
One of the first things you will need to do is apply for an NIE number which is an identity number for living here. You will need this in order to get a contract for work or to buy or sell items such as houses, cars etc.
You will need to open a Spanish Bank Account. You can open the account using your passport, however some banks prefer to use an NIE number. As well as a euro account you might want to consider opening a sterling account, an option available in most banks. Banks in Spain also offer competitive rates for savings accounts, insurances and mortgages. You can ask for a quote in your local branch.
If you decide to make Mallorca your home, it is best to register your residence with the Spanish authories.
Although this is not essential immediately, we recommend that you do this as soon as possible as being without it can cost you money in the long run.
You can arrange for a Gestor (Administrator) or Abogado (Lawyer) to take
care of all legal aspects of living and working in Spain. They can do this for you for a fee.
Alternatively you can travel to Palma independently to complete the necessary paperwork. You will need to take all necessary documentation with you i.e. Birth certificates, Marriage Certificates, Passports, Empadronamiento (certificate from Ajuntament office -council that you live in that municipality) NIE certificate and you might also need a Certificate of Convivencia if you have a child (also obtained from your local Ajuntament office). Take everything you can think of with you because you don't want to have to make a return trip! In most cases you will be
also be asked to provide a copy of each relevant document.
Due to a recent change, even if you are re-applying for Residencia, you are
required to provide proof of employment or pension status. This can be your last three pension or work payments (wage slips).
You will have to complete paperwork (you are given some assistance) then you have to pay a tax in a local bank, returning to the office where the Residence Certificate (Residencia) will be issued by an official.
The queues can be very long therefore make sure you allow plenty of time.
One advantage of being resident is that you qualify for up to 50 percent reduction on flights within Spain. When booking a flight online remember
to select the resident discount before completing the purchase.
You will need to take an up to date Certificate of Empadronamiento as proof to the Airline that you qualify for the discount.
Health and Education
If you have employment in Majorca, you are covered for Health Services while you are working because your employer will be paying your social security contributions.
If you are self-employed (autonomo or running your own business), you will be paying your own contributions and while you continue to pay these you also will be covered.
One person in a family paying contributions automatically covers any other family members. (eg Father working - wife and children will be covered for health care)
If you are unemployed during the Winter months, you will be covered by the Health Service for a limited period (normally 90 days) following the end of your employment. Sometimes this is extended, depending on how many contributions have been made over a period of time.
Once you begin work whether it is a contract of employement or self employment, you will need to visit the local Health Centre to register under their care. Due to a recent change, it is necessary to return to the Centre after a few days when they will issue you with a tax to be paid in the bank. You will then receive a Health Card. You will of course need to take all of your paperwork with you to do this.
Many people, including Spanish citizens, opt to pay for private medical health insurance in order to have added protection. You will find that there are many insurance companies which can give you a reasonable quotation for this type of insurance.
If your are retired and you have a European Health Card, you can use this to gain entitlement to Health care.
Here is a list of Hospitals & Health Centres (Clinics), both Public & Private which I am sure you will find useful to have all on one page.
If you have children of school age you can opt for private education (mostly found in the south of the island) or enrol in the local community schools which are found all around the island of Mallorca.
When you have decided on a school which suits your needs, you will need to contact the school to make an appointment to visit and enrol your child. The school will tell you what documents they need, sometimes a certificate of empadronament is required along with the passport.
The schools normally provide extra help for the children to learn both Catalan and Spanish, as mostly the Schools in Mallorca are taught in Catalan
You will find many nurseries/kindergartens in Mallorca and in general they are
inexpensive and very good!
Buying a Vehicle
If you decide to buy a vehicle (car or motorbike etc), the procedure is a quite similar to buying property. The vehicle paperwork has to be transferred into your name and this has to be done officially. Also any fines on the car/bike have to be paid for before the transfer.
You can employ an Administrator (Gestor) to check that there are no debts (parking fines etc) against the vehicle/bike and complete the transfer paperwork. Alternatively if you have a lot of patience and don't mind waiting in a lot of queues in Trafico in Palma you can complete the process in person along with the owner or buyer which saves quite a bit of money!.
If you decide to rent accommodation, look around in the area of your choice and then make appointments to view. View as many as you can in order to make the correct choice. Think about living there in Winter as well as Summer. Once you have chosen the property you wish to rent and agreed on a monthly payment, the estate agent or owner will ask normally for 1 or 2 months rent to be paid in advance. This money will be held and should be returned to you at the end of the rental period subject to any damage in the property itself. You will be asked to sign a rent agreement. Normally payment is made monthly from your bank account. Rental accommodation in Spain normally comes furnished which can be a bonus.
If you decide to buy a property, make sure that you view many properties to ensure you have made the right choice. Property in Mallorca especially at the moment is not selling quickly and in some cases sales can take years to achieve a sale!
You will need a Lawyer (Abogado) who speaks your native language to make sure that your interests are looked after. The first thing that they normally check is to make sure that there are no outstanding debts on the property, just like when you take over a business, you can inherit debts from the previous owner. Also they will check that the building is legal and all permissions have been granted.
Following this an option to buy agreement is normally drawn up between both parties where a deposit, normally about 10 percent is agreed and a date will be set to visit the Notary (Notario) where you will officially sign the 'Escitura' (Deeds) the document which details the sale. It is common practice in Spain for the declared value of a property appearing on the Escitura will be less than the overall price which reduces the amount of taxes you have to pay on the purchase/sale & also this results in lower payments to the Adjuntament for annual taxes. This has been common in Spain and is regarded as normal in property purchase.
It is important if you buy property to also have a 'Will' drawn up at the same time to take care of your interests in the event of your death.
Most people living in Spain have to complete a 'Declaracion de Renta' (tax return) each year. This is necessary if you have a business or if you earn over a
certain sum decided by the Tax Office each year.
This can be done for you by a Gestor for a fee or in some cases it is possible to complete this on-line. The charges vary but normally the cost will be 90 euros for a couple to submit a joint return.
If you have a mortgage in Spain and also work and pay tax in Spain, depending on the sums involved, a refund of tax is possible.