See AEAT’s interpretation here -> http://www.agenciatributaria.es/AEAT/Contenidos_Comunes/La_Agencia_Tributaria/Le_Interesa/OBRAS_EN_VIVIENDAS__IRPF-IVA_04.pdf
So in terms of Article 1, whereby you will get roll-over tax relief for certain improvements (accessibility, energy saving, security, services etc.); my interpretation is that this is for Tax Residents only that have lower incomes …. It would be hard to prove that the property was your ‘vivienda habitual’ if you are non-resident.
With Article 2, whereby VAT is reduced by 10% on certain works but note the ratio of the cost of materials to the overall cost; my interpretation is that this is exploitable for non-residents. No doubt there will be a form to fill in before works start down at the Tributaria and they’ll probably be clear requirements as to the form and breakdown of receipts required.
In the end, I didn’t follow this route. I am in the planning stage to reform a large house to offer accommodation and possibly food. In this situation as a non-resident with an economic interest in Spain, as is the case with a resident, I am able to reclaim all the VAT. This involves appointing a resident as a Fiscal Representative, going down the Tributaria and registering the Economic Interest. Receipts are submitted to the Tributaria every Quarter and the VAT element is paid into your account the next Quarter.
In every cloud a silver lining and I have found that ‘El Crisis’ and ‘El Paro’ have driven costs down enormously whilst retaining the quality. This has made up for a large part of the drop of Sterling against the Euro in recent years, and has bought a project of this size, within our reach financially.