Thursday, 1 September 2011

August 2011 Review – Financial Pages in Spain

On 9th August 2011, the blog celebrated it’s first anniversary. At the end of the calendar month, I thought I would reflect on the main issues and topics on ‘Financial Pages in Spain’ during August, including First Anniversary Week.

  • Tax payable on rental property in Spain

  •  Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS)

  • Spanish Inheritance Tax (ISD)

These are the issues that contributed the most feedback. I’m always pleased to receive emails either to seek further advice or to comment on my articles.

Using the statistics provided by my service contractor, I can also indicate the most popular posts in terms of the number of people who visited the pages. They were, in order;

  1. Rental Property in Spain - Tax Payable
There is very clear evidence that the Spanish Tax Authorities (La Hacienda) are now taking the subject very seriously. Given the Spanish Government’s massive budget deficit and the need for more revenue, It is clear that holiday rental income is a ‘soft’ option.

If you have any feedback, please email me. I have received compliments from lawyers and accountants about this item. One of them wrote this ‘tell your readers that it is their responsibility to declare the tax not their agents

  1. QROPS
      QROPS (Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes) are set up to allow a transfer of UK pension rights, abroad, with the full approval and authority of the UK Tax Authorities (HMRC).

      I first wrote about these expatriate pensions in my first month of the blog, 12 months ago. The market has changed over time, but QROPS remain extremely popular. However, there is still activity from unauthorised, unlicensed and unqualified people who call themselves ‘advisers’. I only recommend fully authorised advisers. Email me for an introduction.

  1. Spanish Inheritance Tax (ISD)
      Always remember that UK IHT and Spanish ISD are so different that there is no Double Taxation Treaty or Agreement between the two countries.

      No Spanish Inheritance Tax is payable if the property is owned by a UK company, since even if a shareholder dies, the company can continue in existence and the shares passed on to a beneficiary under UK rules. You can check your own liability very easily, if you click the link, in the right-hand column.

This also gives me the opportunity to point out the article that I liked best.

UK Pension Scheme or Plan but you live in Spain

Expats with pensions often believe that they are ‘stuck with’ the rules as they understood them in the UK. This post deals with alternatives. Overseas Pensions come in many guises. For example, there are QROPS, QNUPS and Section 615. The first step, however, is to understand what you have got.

Write me an email , tell me what type of scheme you’ve got and I’ll make sure you are given the right fully authorised advice.

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Financial Pages in Spain continues to grow, as I can see from the statistics. Whilst Spain and UK dominate the views of both the Website and Blog, there have been readers from 39 other countries including New Zealand, Malta, Isle of Man and also the USA!.

Any issues which arise can be answered on an individual basis if you email me. I’m happy to receive questions from anywhere but my real expertise relates to the UK and Spain.

I am happy to take suggestions from readers about future articles. Please email me with your own ideas or issues that you think need raising.

David Goodall
Financial Pages in Spain