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Benefits of registering include tax reductions, access to social care and discounts
26.08.09 - 10:54 -

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The British Embassy is encouraging foreign residents to register on their municipal register by informing them of the numerous benefits this entails. While many British expatriates may not be aware of this, officially, all residents in Spain are required by law to register on the ‘padrón’. The embassy suspects that many people are reluctant to do so because they view it as a means of vigilance by the state. However, we are told that in reality, it is simply a way for local town halls to know how many people live in their area without entering into investigations as to a person’s official residence status or financial affairs. Residents do not have to own their own home to register on the census, they just have to have an address where they usually live. With regard to the actual registration process, this is straightforward and merely involves filling out a form. All information provided is confidential and protected by data protection laws. Citizens must take along identification such as a passport, NIE or residence card, and a recent utility bill in their name as well as the deeds to their house or a copy of their rental contract.
One of the advantages of registering on the local population census is that Central Government allocates money to the different municipalities according to how many people are on the ‘padrón’. Therefore, an area with more inhabitants is likely to have better public services with more money for the provision of health centres, police officers, fire fighters and schools.
Similarly, residents on the register are able to take advantage of certain income-related benefits and other aspects of social care available through town hall social services.
Administrative tasks such as registering for health care, enroling children at a school or registering a car with Spanish number plates is also much easier for people who are on the register. Also, depending on the town hall, registering on the ‘padrón’ could mean up to 50 per cent off Property Tax as well as reductions in certain community charges and inheritance tax. There are also discounts available on courses and leisure and cultural activities organised by the town hall. Registering on the census also enables residents to vote in both local and European elections.
For more information go to the British Embassy’s website: http://ukinspain.fco.gov.uk
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