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Am I entitled to a full SIP card?

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Posted: Tue Jul 9, 2019 11:00am
12 replies235 views7 members subscribed
Pisces19

Posts: 7

2 helpful posts

I moved to Spain 3 years ago and am living with my father who has been a resident for 15 years. I retired early and therefore do not qualify for my UK pension for another 3 years. I have Spanish  residency but as I am not registered as a fiscal resident I have a limited SIP card which has to be renewed every 6 months. My GP told me that I am probably entitled to a full SIP card as I live with and care for my father who is aged 87. Does anyone know if this is correct?  (Jim maybe 😀) and if so where do I apply and what is the process. 

jimtaylor

jimtaylor

Legendary helpful member

Tue Jul 9, 2019 3:22pm

Posts: 3499

Location: Almoradí

4801 helpful posts

Posted: Tue Jul 9, 2019 3:22pm

I don't understand what fiscal residency has to do with SIP cards. If you live here then you're a fiscal resident, and if you've not submitted a tax return, even if no tax was due, then you've potentially got problems with Agencia Tributaria.

If you're not in receipt of the state retirement pension or an exportable benefit, then you're not entitled to a permanent SIP. Some health centres do issue temporary SIPs and some don't - it all depends on how they interpret the Valencian rules. 

There is a possibility that Valencia might make a new law or issue clearer instructions, but with the recent elections and the inability of both state and communities to form effective governments, then I wouldn't hold my breath.

If you've got residency, then you must have had private health insurance for one year. You could buy into the Valencian health system and get a permanent SIP, but there doesn't seem to be any point as you've got a renewable SIP.

Bottom line - be grateful for what you've got!

Cheryl

Cheryl

Very helpful member

Tue Jul 9, 2019 4:04pm

Posts: 695

Location: Albatera

614 helpful posts

Posted: Tue Jul 9, 2019 4:04pm

Have you tried contacting the Overseas Healthcare Team at DWP Newcastle as they would be the ones who would know and I have always found them very helpful? You may be entitled as your father's carer.

jimtaylor

jimtaylor

Legendary helpful member

Tue Jul 9, 2019 4:57pm

Posts: 3499

Location: Almoradí

4801 helpful posts

Posted: Tue Jul 9, 2019 4:57pm

Good point Cheryl and worth asking.

Pisces19

Pisces19

Original Poster

Tue Jul 9, 2019 11:01pm

Posts: 7

2 helpful posts

Posted: Tue Jul 9, 2019 11:01pm

Hi, thank you Jim and Cheryl for your responses and suggestions. I knew I could rely on the forum for help đŸ‘đŸ». The “fiscal resident” comment was down to the usual mis-information from another of my countrymen, I should have known better!

Jim, I have never submitted a tax return since living here, could you please explain what Agencia Tributaria is and have I fallen foul of the rules! And yes I am very grateful for having a SIP card even if it is limited, and I have purchased private health insurance every year since I moved here. So hopefully I have done something right. I have chosen to make this my country of residence and want to ensure that I follow all the correct legalities and regulations. 

Kimmy11

Kimmy11

Super helpful member

Tue Jul 9, 2019 11:53pm

Posts: 1351

1527 helpful posts

Posted: Tue Jul 9, 2019 11:53pm

Hi Pisces19,

The Agencia Tributaria is Spain's equivalent of the UK's HMRC, i.e. the Tax Office.  The Spanish tax year runs from 1 January to 31 December each year and if you've lived in Spain for 183 days (6 months and 1 day) in each of the years you've been resident in Spain, you should have submitted a tax return, declaring all assets worldwide.  If you don't own any property and you're on a low income, you may well not have to pay any tax, but you do need to regularise your tax position, particularly in view of Brexit, and get into the system as soon as possible.

Regarding your entitlement to reciprocal healthcare, as Cheryl has suggested, speaking to the DWP may be your starting point - the contact details for the Overseas Healthcare Team in Newcastle is +44 191 218 1999 or you can email them at [email protected] 

Kind regards,

Kim

jimtaylor

jimtaylor

Legendary helpful member

Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:21am

Posts: 3499

Location: Almoradí

4801 helpful posts

Posted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:21am

You'll find all you need about tax in my various guides:

Jim's guides - your complete guide to Spain

Unfortunately I can't recommend what you should do now. If you submit late returns and are due to pay tax then you'll be penalised. If you leave it until next year and do your first return for 2019 then you'll probably be OK.

The tax office are decidedly inefficient when it comes to picking up on people who haven't done tax returns, and some people get away with it for many years.

Pisces19

Pisces19

Original Poster

Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:38am

Posts: 7

2 helpful posts

Posted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:38am

Once again many thanks to Kimmy and Jim for some extremely helpful advice. Jim I will certainly check out your tax guide. I attend our lawyer every year with my father to do his tax returns and they had advised me that I didn’t need to submit one. I will raise the topic with them again.

The other thing to note is that I got my residency as soon as I moved over here. Wouldn’t the Spanish tax office query why I hadn’t submitted any returns for the past 3 years? For the record I have no income and no assets anywhere as I sold my property in the U.K. and have used the money to live on until I get my pension.

jimtaylor

jimtaylor

Legendary helpful member

Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:04am

Posts: 3499

Location: Almoradí

4801 helpful posts

Posted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:04am

There's an obligation to submit an initial tax return even if no tax is due, and that gets you in the system. For future years there's no need to do a return unless your income rises and puts you in the taxable bracket.

Residency and tax are handles by two different ministries. It would be easy to collate their records, and run a cross-check of those with residency against those who have submitted tax returns, to identify the defaulters, but the two ministries don't seem to co-ordinate.

Given your circumstances, don't let it bother you, but do a return next April-June. If you have a Spanish bank account as a resident, then your details will already be in the Agencia Tributaria database, as banks report on all accounts at the beginning of each year, so you won't need to register with the tax office. 

Richard080943

Richard080943

Helpful member

Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:40am

Posts: 295

Location: Crevillente

101 helpful posts

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:40am

I retired early and only my wife had a pension.  When she applied for her SIP we were pleasantly informed that because I was her dependent I was also entitled to a full SIP which I was given without problems.  You are in the same situation.

Go to social services at the Ayuntmiento and they will advise you.

Richard in Crevillent

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