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My wife (another Imogen) and I have done this twice, once from the UK to France and the second time from France to Spain, In both cases there was no tax to pay on the sale of our PPR (Principal Private Residence). There is no capital gains tax to pay in the country of arrival as long as you are not yet “tax-resident” in that country at the date of sale. This is perfectly reasonable from a Tax Inspector’s point of view as you would remain UK Tax Resident until the date of completion in the UK, only becoming resident in Spain once you move permanently. At that stage, we’d recommend asking your new colleagues for advice concerning a good English-speaking Gestor . For modest fees they keep you on the straight and narrow so far as Spanish bureaucracy is concerned. (You will find that bureaucracy is one of the major Spanish industries!) Don’t, however, forget the high rate of ITP (like Stamp Duty) payable in Spain, along with lots of more minor costs.
There is more information on the UK income tax implications can be obtained by searching for ‘HMRC leaving UK’. Lots of detail about the treatment of capital gains when selling your own house (PPR) can be found by searching ‘HMRC PPR relief’. I’ve tried quoting specific links, but they seem to be getting blocked, even from the domain gov.uk.
You might find it useful to talk to your Payroll Office or HR Dept. about your tax situation upon leaving the UK & after you move to Spain. There could be some issues concerning Income Tax depending upon whether your employment contract remains with a UK company or is transferred to a Spanish company. People in your company should be best-placed to help you with this, but it changes nothing so far as selling your house (PPR) tax-free is concerned.
Don’t forget to use a good broker (not your bank) when transferring significant sums to Spain. (I tried to suggest a couple, but got caught by the anti-spam system.) They can save you significant amounts of money, and sometimes guard against expensive risks such as seeing your capital in Pounds losing value compared with the Euro. There are plenty of such brokers: I’d shop around on the web, always basing your view on the true total amount in Euros that you would receive into your Spanish bank.
Hope your new life in Spain is as good as ours.
Disclaimer: This is based on our personal experience & is not professional advice.