Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Professional Connections

For UK and Irish Nationals with property or living in Spain

You would be surprised how many times I hear the expression ‘I was told that…….’. What usually follows is either wrong or some local popular myth.

Whether it’s QROPS, QNUPS, tax in Spain, property regulations, residency and many more, myths and inaccurate information abounds.

I believe that a professional opinion is one that should be sought, in most circumstances. Of course, this may cost, but in the long term it’s usually cheaper than many of the mistakes I come across.

Please also remember that if I refer you there are;

  • No up front fees
  • Only qualified advice
  • Opinions and services that have been fully tested

Also remember that I have regularly promoted the idea of a ‘second opinion’, as my earlier blog demonstrates. http://expatsfrombritain.blogspot.com/2010/12/getting-second-opinion.html

If you need a second opinion, please email me

British and Irish citizens, living in Spain or Spanish property owners often say that they prefer to deal with English speaking professionals. As long as they have the right knowledge and expertise of the rules, regulations and laws of Spain, that is totally acceptable.

Financial Advisers

This is my own area of expertise and I have many connections that have the appropriate qualifications and are correctly authorised and regulated. If you need professional advice or want to ask me a question, please email me.

Each of the advisers, that I would refer you to will be regulated by one or more than one, of the following bodies;

CNMV
Comision Nacional del Mercado del Valores is the principal financial services regulator in Spain and responsible for authorising investment products.

DGS
Direccion General de Seguros y Fondos de Pensions is the Spanish regulator for insurance products which can be marketed in Spain.

FSA
The Financial Services Authority – the UK’s financial services regulator


Accountants

There is, of course, a requirement that Gestors or Abogados in Spain have the necessary qualifications for advising you on filing your annual tax return and other accounting issues. However, it is also possible to secure the services of a Chartered Accountant in Spain who is fully qualified and is regulated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW) in England and Wales.

This does not mean seeing an Accountant in UK but a properly authorised individual or firm, based in Spain.

To be referred to an ICAEW accountant in Spain, please email me


Solicitors

In this respect I am principally referring to property related issues.

In a similar way to the Accountants situation mentioned above. The Law Society in the UK does have regulatory power over Solicitors and many of them choose to work in Spain. The best ones will also employ specialist local Spanish lawyers.

Please email me for any of these connections.

I also have one connection who is London based. There is a firm of Law Society regulated lawyers that I know who have a Spanish department. That department is headed by a Spanish national who has all of the necessary qualifications.


Company Formation

It is possible for property in Spain to be owned by a UK company and for the owners to become shareholders and directors. This gives UK and Irish nationals the opportunity to control the ownership of the property, within a family, for instance. This can also be excellent for investors with numbers of properties.

This arrangement is particularly beneficial on the death of an owner, who is in fact a shareholder. The company remains in existence and the deceased’s shares are bequeathed to his beneficiaries. In terms of Spanish Inheritance Tax (ISD) the owner, the company, lives on.

The section of my blog on the right hand side headed ‘Check your Spanish Inheritance Tax liability’ gives access to the scheme.

This scheme is set up and running and recently won a major service award. It is a complex process, including the involvement of UK solicitors, technical translators and the Spanish Notary. But the process is set up and running. The company’s Head Office is in the UK but they also have a Spanish Office serviced by Spanish lawyers. You can email me or even better click the link and see for yourself.


Chartered Surveyors

Property ownership in Spain has been tarnished with a series of problems in recent years. Whether it is Land Grab, Town Hall corruption on land deals or unlicensed building, many people have been wary of these property related issues. There is also the question of Spanish construction techniques.

If you have any concerns about building issues, want a second opinion or the ‘comfort’ of a UK Chartered Surveyor, I can put you in touch. Email me and I will pass your details to a UK company working in Spain.

Property sales and purchase

This tends to be a very local service and is not therefore ideal to provide contacts to Estate Agents. However, continuing my theme of using professionals, I suggest that you should contact members of the Association of International Property Professionals (AIPP). Their website is http://aipp.org.uk/

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This covers some of the key areas of financial life in Spain and there may be others that you want to raise. If you have any questions, comments or feedback please email me, in the first instance.