Spiritual Life

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Today we’ve been to see a tax consultant about the ins and outs of paying tax here in Spain. The good news at least is that we will only be taxed in Spain and not in the UK as well once it’s all sorted out and we have our Spanish tax registration certificates.

But whoever thought moving to a new country would be so complicated?!






The first step, even before we left the UK, was obtaining a NIE – a Spanish tax identification number – so we could ship out what we were bringing with us. When we arrived we had to register at the Town Hall in La Oliva, providing proof that we were actually living in that municipality. Then we had to apply for Spanish social security numbers so we could access the Spanish National Health Service. Next it was our certificates of residence – our residencia – and six months later our Spanish driving licences, because as permanent residents we could no longer drive on our UK licences. And once we had our residencia we were also able to get our travel certificates, which entitle us to a massive discount off both airfares and ferry travel between the Canary Islands, and between here and peninsular Spain, and even the Balearics in the Mediterranean.

I have never had as much official paperwork before, and it all has to be carefully and securely filed away and produced as and when required. But am I any different because of it? Well, I may well be a bit overwhelmed by it all at times, but it hasn’t changed who I am underneath. I’m still the same double-émigré who was born in Canada and spent most of her adult life in Britain, and who – especially when she’s tired – can’t communicate clearly in any language, be it English or French (the two official languages of the land of my birth) or Spanish. So when it all gets too much, I take refuge in God’s promise that he knows us better than we know ourselves, and I rejoice in the fact that he doesn’t ask for any paperwork to prove that I belong to him.

Until next time,

Revd Judie

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