The Benefits of Moving to Gibraltar
Are you thinking about moving to Gibraltar? We’ve decided to summarise the benefits of living in Gibraltar for both the financial benefits it will offer you and your family and for the quality-of-life. After all, resettling to a new territory not only involves the impact on your bank accounts, but it also includes what it means for your daily life.
If you’re wondering what it’s like to live in Gibraltar, don’t look any further because we have the details that will most pique your interest if living in Gibraltar is one of the things you would like to explore before 2019 is over. From the tax regime for an expat on Gibraltar to the cost of living and quality of life, you’ll have all your queries answered here.
What is Gibraltar?
Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located in the southern Iberian peninsula with an isthmus serving as a land border from Spain’s Andalusia region, and the Strait of Gibraltar separates Europe from North Africa. You’ll also find the Gibraltar airport on the isthmus with an airport that has daily flights to various destinations in Britain, as well as to Tangier and Casablanca. This 6.8-kilometre strip of land, with the Rock of Gibraltar covering 40 per cent of it, has a wealth of advantages and a distinctive character. So, what are the pros and cons of living in Gibraltar? Here they are.
Why consider living in Gibraltar?
A favourable tax regime
Did you know that Gibraltarians have a choice of two different taxation systems? They can choose to opt into a gross income tax system or an allowance-based system, making the average tax rate 20 per cent with it varying based on a person’s income and the personal taxation system they choose. What other tax benefits are there?
For day-to-day purchases on the high street or the rest of Gibraltar’s shopping district, there’s no VAT or sales tax. Other tax benefits for individuals include zero capital gains taxes, nor are residents subject to any taxes on share dividends, savings or inheritance taxes. And if you’re considering making Gibraltar your home upon retirement, you won’t have to pay any taxes on your pension, making it even more lucrative.
If you’re looking to set up a corporation on Gibraltar, the corporate tax rate is set at 10 per cent with it increasing to 20 per cent for those entities involved in utilities and energy.
A business environment similar to home
While the Ministry of Defence and Gibraltar government were once the primary economic drivers on Gibraltar, the economy has increasingly diversified. It has plenty of opportunities in a wealth of industries, including financial services, IT, legal services and accounting. The online gambling industry is another one of the top industry players employing a significant percentage of the workforce.
Since Gibraltar uses the same employment systems like the United Kingdom, all contracts are in English, although you will see lower salaries than you would in Britain. Unlike working across the border in Spain, you will find professional opportunities that will not require you to speak Spanish. The working hours and conditions will be similar to the UK, even if the wages are lower depending on the industry and position.
Quality of life
Gibraltar offers a tropical Mediterranean climate that sees hot, dry summers and comfortable winters with low temperatures that generally do not get lower than 11°C. That roughly translates to more than 300 days of sunshine a year. With the lush scenery of the Rock of Gibraltar, which covers a significant portion of it, and plenty of beaches, you have plenty of opportunities to partake in outdoor activities such as hiking or watersports at the beach.
It’s also conveniently positioned 70 km, or just an hour car ride away from exclusive Costa del Sol seaside resort Marbella. If you find yourself looking to expand your surroundings from the lively restaurants and nightlife in Gibraltar, you can easily make it to Marbella after crossing the open border. Málaga, Spanish painter Pablo Picasso’s hometown, is another 40 minutes away from Marbella, offering another hub for culture and dining.
Keep in mind there’s a high cost of living in Gibraltar
The one thing you must take into consideration living in Gibraltar as an expat is the high cost of living. Given the limited amount of space and the high demand, the prices for some rentals could reach London levels. However, you will be able to find a rental property to fit your budget. Most of the buildings where you rent a flat have shared facilities such as swimming pools or laundry rooms. While it is more expensive to live in Gibraltar, it’s one of the wealthiest nations on earth and offers a fantastic quality of life for Gibraltarians and its residents.
How much money do you need to live in Gibraltar?
The answer will depend on your circumstances and the type of residency permit you are looking to obtain. Fortunately, our team of Gibraltar residency experts has the expertise to guide high net worth individuals through the two schemes, Qualifying (Category 2) Individual, or High Executive Possessing Specialist Skills (HEPSS). Do not hesitate to reach out to our team to explain the residency procedures for these two programmes as well as other residency application processes and help you along through the paperwork, from finding your property, registering your yacht, to setting up an appointment with the income tax office.
Rowena M. Aggabao
Team Leader- International Corporate Services Division