As a US Citizen, can I work with a non lucrative Spain visa and how much in taxes will I have to pay?

Question about working under a non lucrative Spain visa

I have done extensive research and even talked to 2 different Spanish lawyers, and still do not have an answer to an important question that will make or break my decision to apply for the non lucrative Spain visa. 

I am a US citizen working remote for a US company as a UX designer. With my US salary as a hypothetical Spanish resident, I would need to pay 45% of my income in Spanish taxes. Does this mean that I will also need to pay the taxes that the US company I work for already deducts from my US salary? 

It doesn’t seem right that my US income would be taxed over 60% while being a resident in Spain… And I’m feeling discouraged. 

I read about the “US Spain Tax Treaty” but it is very unclear if it applies to my US income, or just property investment (which I am NOT interested in at this time).


These are the answers of some Facebook group members:

“First thing – you can’t work even remotely with a non lucrative Spain visa! Taxation comes later!”

“lawyers were telling me that some consulates will let you apply with a remote job, and some don’t”

“The tax is done in increments & you don’t pay the taxes twice to both countries. Also if you’re working for a US company, you could have complications with the visa, but you’ll have to determine that/figure it out with the comments that I’m sure will slide that way”

“Cant work on nlv at all. Your lawyer should know this”

“NLV does not allow you to work remotely in spain. Also, I believe up to $125,000 of US income can be waived if you don’t claim to be a resident. Portugal has a D7 visa that allows you to work remotely. Estonia has the same as Portugal but lower taxes.”

“You won’t be double taxed, you can use the tax you pay there asa write off here and everything is self declared so take that as you will. You will need to say you don’t work for the NLV application and for tax breaks you may want to want on the digital Nomad visa. (The digital Nomad visa is )not released yet in final form. We believe they will allow people to only pay taxes in the country in which they are paid unless they take Spanish clients but that’s speculation from drafts and articles.”

“Very confusing but you cannot work on the non lucrative Spain visa, maybe talk with someone who deals with visas and they can guide you down the best route to suit you. There are companies out there who do this day in day out, drop me message if and I can send you the details I am using for the NLV, good luck”

“I’m surprised that you spoke to two different lawyers and neither of them bothered to inform you about the way consulates are interpreting the rules for nonlucrative visas. Since at least 2019, they’ve been telling applicants that no income from work is allowed. Some consulates require a sworn affidavit stating that you won’t work while you’re in Spain, and/or a letter from your employer stating a termination date. That being said, some consulates have been known to allow it (I’ve heard this about NYC and Miami in particular) if you’ve got enough in savings to qualify without additional monthly income. Also, there will soon be a “digital nomad” visa specifically for remote workers, so as Graham says you might want to wait for that option.”

“Definitely my understanding that you pay US taxes first….and the whatever you owe in Spanish taxes for the same income….you deduct the amount you already paid to US. So you end up just paying the higher Spanish rate, but part of it goes to the US where you’re not living or using their resources or infrastructure. But taxed only at the Spanish rate! Not a double tax.”

“45% was enough for me to change my mind about moving to Spain permanently, that is ridiculous. We decided to do 90 on and 90 off and keep filing only in US. I thought we paid a lot of taxes until I started doing the research in Europe, the I realized how lucky we are. 45% plus 21% iva gtfoh.”

“Just think. Under the NLV, you have to pay a lot in taxes to Spain and can not use the Health Services. You need private insurance. So tax me a lot and not provide any service to me…. How nice… Maybe after 5 years you can become a permanent resident and maybe go on the health system????”

“Here you can get free consultations with tax lawyer experts in Spain and the US

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