British expats must declare overseas assets

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This topic contains 67 replies, has 20 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of GarySFBCN GarySFBCN 3 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #57313
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Link: British expats must declare overseas assets

    Britons living in Spain are being warned to declare any overseas assets they hold over 50,000 euros [£41,500 approx] to the Spanish tax authorities before 31st March – or face hefty penalties which could wipe out their bank accounts and leave them owing money to the Spanish government.

    The warnings come after new reporting rules for tax residents in Spain, in general terms that is anyone who spends more than 183 days per year in the country, came into force at the beginning of this year. The deadline for the first declaration is 31st March and it will be an annual procedure thereafter. Bank accounts, property, investments, assets in trust, annuities, and life insurance policies, are amongst the offshore assets which now have to be declared.

    Failure to declare any amount worth more than 50,000 euros in any single asset class, or to report on any offshore entities which name the individual in question as a beneficiary, could result in a combination of a tax and fine that could not only empty out the offshore account completely, but could leave the individual owing the Spanish tax authority, ‘La Hacienda’, even more.”

    Someone discovered to have more than 50,000 euros in an undeclared overseas account, for example, would be taxed at 52 per cent – the top rate. Additionally, the fine for failing to declare the account would be 150 per cent of the 52 per cent.

  • #115860
    Profile photo of GarySFBCN
    GarySFBCN
    Participant

    A clarification: All fiscal residents of Spain – including Spaniards – must comply with this law. It is in no way targeting “British expats.”

    Rightfully, Spain is ‘cracking down’ on the underground economy. But I don’t think this method is going to get them anything but grief. How are they going to know if anyone has an account someplace else?

    Regardless, I will comply with the law.

  • #115861
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    Good for you Gary, you will be able to sleep easy at night 😉

    I totally agree that I’ve no idea how Spain will really know if anyone has an account somewhere else, unless it’s registered to same name at same address in Spain and is cross-checked. Those who have accounts registered at different addresses abroad would be difficult to locate IMO, might be wrong though 🙄

  • #115862
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    If you have a tax accountant in Spain they will ask you to sign a negative declaration before the months end or invite you to discuss methods of legal avoidance.

  • #115864
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Since some countries have a public system to view peoples declarations those are probably the ones they are going to go after. Anyone can for example see how much interest I have gained last year and also what properties I ownned. This can be viewed 10 years back. They are going to go after easy targets such as swedes.

  • #115867
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    @Ardun wrote:

    Since some countries have a public system to view peoples declarations those are probably the ones they are going to go after. Anyone can for example see how much interest I have gained last year and also what properties I owned. This can be viewed 10 years back. They are going to go after easy targets such as swedes.

    Blimey I’m glad I’m not Swedish! 😯 It’s the tall poppy syndrome of Scandinavia. What’s happened to EU data protection laws?

  • #115869
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Logan the only “positive” thing with it is that its impossible for private people to get away with not paying your taxes and you automaticly get 9 million spies. The national passtime is to check how much your co-worker/neighbour makes. The only ones cheating with taxes in this country are businesses. There are so many loopholes to the EU-data protection law so you can just check the box that you are a company and then do searches online. A real advantage is that its easy to check up on people if you are buying or selling something online. Otherwise the government releases books with this data that you can use in the library or order home. All heil the state.

    Luckily in the last 20 years we have become much less socialistic. We had such a huge advantage in not being dragged into the world wars but we still managed to screw it all up and during the 90s we where on the verge of bankruptcy. It was so bad that you actually had to pay more in taxes then you earned in extreme cases. Who would work under such conditions?

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pomperipossa_in_Monismania Astrid Lindgren wrote a satirical story about the party she had supported her whole life and did to her death. They lost for the first time in 40 years because of it.

  • #115876
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    Interesting post Ardun. I am against all forms of tax evasion but not legal avoidance, there is a big difference. My issue with your system in Sweden is privacy. I would not want any Tom, Dick or Harry knowing how much I earn and where I earn it. I suppose it’s a cultural thing but it seems unacceptable to me.

    Personal privacy is becoming harder and harder to achieve these days. Your system must make Swedish society very different to the rest of Europe. I see your payroll tax rates are around 40% and almost 60% for individuals. How on earth does business deal with that? 🙁

    Perhaps people in the end are just happy to pay for their egalitarian, social paradise.

    BTW Jake this new Spanish law ‘aint any big deal. You will not be taxed twice on asset holdings and pay tax you should.

  • #115877
    Profile photo of zoro
    zoro
    Participant

    IMO tax avoidance straddles a very wide moral spectrum, from laudable schemes intended to promote behaviour which will hopefully deliver some kind of social or economic benefit to the UK, to aggressive avoidance which is devoid of any morality whatsoever. I mean schemes where the sole intention is to make profits or income seem to disappear as far as the UK tax authorities are concerned a la Jimmy Carr, Costas, Amazon etc. etc.

    In cases of aggressive corporate UK tax avoidance, which is evasion in all but name, I would not only like to see naming and shaming, which is already starting to happen, but also aggressive government action (maybe a negative advertising campaign) designed to drive down their business in the UK and thus give their UK tax paying competitors the chance to take their customers.

    The truth is that multi nationals who drive down their UK tax bills in this way, which UK based companies are not allowed to do, have an unfair advantage on those UK based companies. It needs to be addressed.

    The right to privacy is all very well and should never be taken away just for the sake of it but that right is all too often abused by those acting illegally and, or immorally and using it as a cloak. Maybe if someone doesn’t want their neighbours to know what they are up to fiscally then maybe they shouldn’t be up to it.

    OK, Monday morning rant over, doesn’t really have anything to do with Spanish property anyway.

  • #115878
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Why should tax avoidance be considered as immoral ??. I think first we need to revist what does morality mean ? Is it moral that after working all ones life, paying taxes etc & when one is old and is considred as of no use to society economically is given a few £ for the pension and a few hand out like free presecreption, bus passes etc.

    I Sweden the taxes are high but the Swedes get top class social services. Besides why should a person be penalised and not rewarded for his/her talent, risk hard work. To try & use morality in paying taxes or not paying taxes in immoral itself in my book.

  • #115879
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    Shak -I agree the question is morality. It’s a bit like corruption. If you believe in the rule of law and how else can our societies function successfully without it then the law needs to be observed or we fall apart. We have in democratic societies, in theory anyway the opportunity to change the laws we don’t like. You cannot cherry pick. The law is the love we seldom keep, as Auden wrote.

    Let me not be understood as saying that there are no bad laws, nor that grievances may not arise for the redress of which no legal provisions have been made. I mean to say no such thing. But I do mean to say that although bad laws, if they exist, should be repealed as soon as possible, still, while they continue in force, for the sake of example they should be religiously observed.
    Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865)

  • #115891
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @jakesuper wrote:


    Someone discovered to have more than 50,000 euros in an undeclared overseas account, for example, would be taxed at 52 per cent – the top rate. Additionally, the fine for failing to declare the account would be 150 per cent of the 52 per cent.

    Slightly confused here. Normally it is income from assets or the liquidation of assets that is taxed. Not the value of the asset itself. Are they suggesting they will tax the value of the asset? So if you own a house in the UK that you don’t rent out, will they tax you just for owning that property or will they only tax you CGT if you sell it?

  • #115892
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    It’s the income assets produce Chopera or as you say CGT if you liquidate them. Mind you they may ask how you obtained those assets which is the main purpose of the legislation for Spanish citizens. The burden on the individual will then be to prove they were obtained lawfully.

  • #115896
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    @chopera wrote:

    @jakesuper wrote:

    Someone discovered to have more than 50,000 euros in an undeclared overseas account, for example, would be taxed at 52 per cent – the top rate. Additionally, the fine for failing to declare the account would be 150 per cent of the 52 per cent.

    Slightly confused here. Normally it is income from assets or the liquidation of assets that is taxed. Not the value of the asset itself. Are they suggesting they will tax the value of the asset? So if you own a house in the UK that you don’t rent out, will they tax you just for owning that property or will they only tax you CGT if you sell it?

    Bit of wrong info’ from Jake. Wealth tax kicks in if you have income and assets over 700,000 and then I think there is an allowance of around 300,000pp. However, if you have a house in the UK in eg London and a decent villa in Spain you could top that easily. They also want the value of you company pension. Some with an average lifestyle could find themselves paying wealth tax 👿 👿

  • #115897
    Profile photo of GarySFBCN
    GarySFBCN
    Participant

    Logan, according to the my tax attorney, if you don’t declare the asset now, and it is discovered next year, it is considered ‘income’ and taxed as such. Then there is a steep penalty. We would be paying at least 13,000 in tax and penalties on 50,000.

    Katy, my tax attorney said that the 700,000 wealth tax was put on hold…but they created one here in Catalunya that starts at 500,000. Truthfully, while I fully understood his discussion about how the penalties work (he ran a few scenarios), I’m not sure I fully understood him correctly about this 700,000/500,000 laws.

  • #115900
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    logan
    Participant

    Obviously if you fail to declare before the deadline the Hacienda will consider you earned it in previous financial years and hit you hard.

    The law applies to only fiscal residents in Spain of any nationality who own assets to the equivalent of €50k of more either individually or the total of several.

    For example if you have a bank accounts containing less than €50k this is not to be declared but if you have several accounts with a total sum that passes €50k then these DO have to be declared. The same applies to property, equities, bonds, annuities or life insurance of equivalent value.

    I can see most fiscal ex-pats heading for the exits. 😥

  • #115905
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    People should bear in mind that this law was passed to catch people like Barcenas, the former PP treasurer who had 38 million in a Swiss bank account.

    But I would advise fiscal residents to check with their tax advisors, who are suddenly advertising all over the place.

    The great majority of them will need to do very little apart from filling out a short form, no extra tax will be due. There is even a way to save on the current tax being paid, but I can’t post any details on this forum, it’s too dangerous.

  • #115911
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    The law is designed to claw tax from accounts in off shore countries that provide tax haven status. Moves were made in the last few years to limit their usefulness and accounts are now declared to the revenue in most EU countries by the banks themselves. Those days of off shore investment are gone.

    There are a few exceptions but in the main it’s very dangerous not to declare your assets if you are fiscally resident in mainland Europe. The only really risk and tax free move is to actually become resident in a tax haven such as the Cayman Islands, Switzerland, Sark or Monaco. There are a few more, Andorra for example. Once resident you can live anywhere else legally for 90 days per year risk free.

    If you fancy it, in Russia there is a flat tax rate of 5%. 😆

  • #115927
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    According to the Hacienda website, the declaration must be made before 30th April 2013 (formulario 720). Please note that the declaration can only be made online, so if you want to do it without professional help you’ll need to get set up as an authenticated online user for Hacienda.

  • #115975
    Profile photo of The Australian
    The Australian
    Participant

    @logan wrote:

    Obviously if you fail to declare before the deadline the Hacienda will consider you earned it in previous financial years and hit you hard.

    The law applies to only fiscal residents in Spain of any nationality who own assets to the equivalent of €50k of more either individually or the total of several.

    For example if you have a bank accounts containing less than €50k this is not to be declared but if you have several accounts with a total sum that passes €50k then these DO have to be declared. The same applies to property, equities, bonds, annuities or life insurance of equivalent value.

    I can see most fiscal ex-pats heading for the exits. 😥

    what if it’s a shared bank account? Does it count for 50% of its balance?

  • #115985
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    The allowance as I understand it is €50k per individual per annum. If the accounts are in joint names then it’s just €50k. It does not mater if there are multiple accounts in the same name the allowance is still €50k

  • #116341
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    According to calculations by the company Lex Tax, this is what will happen if you fail to declare a property back at home and the tax authorities find out.

    This could easily happen, for example, to an elderly British couple living in Spain who don’t even know abou this new obligation. Obviously, it would ruin them.

    A house worth 150,000 euros is not declared in the new reporting modelo today.
    This is found out by the Spanish tax authorities in year 2014. According to the new law, it will be treated as a capital gain.

    Tax year 2010 = 150.000 x 37% = 55.500 €
    Interests= 55.500 x 4 years x 6% average interest rate = 13.320 €
    Penalty = 55.500 x 150% = 83.250 €
    Penalty for not declaring = 10.000 €
    Total to be paid in 2014 = 162.070 €

    Gives you an idea how explosive this issue is going to be.

  • #116348
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    The one obvious conclusion to all this nonsense is all expats with any sense will exit fiscal residence and either live in Spain illegally or for the allowed 90 days per year.

    I have a wealthy chum who does just that. He is registered in UK as a ‘fiscal nomad’. 90 days in Spain, 90 days in Portugal, 90 in UK and 90 France/Italy. He sticks to it religiously and uses his credit card whenever he enters a new country to prove the date he entered and the date he left. Keeps all his till receipts and anything else he needs to prove how he lives. Not my choice but it suits some.

    Remember the onus is always on the individual to prove non tax liability.

    He reckons it saves him quite legally €160k per year in tax.

  • #116349
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    actually Logan,wrong again 🙄 🙄 its 180 days that you can live in Spain without being considered a resident. NO ONE with money becomes resident anyway; even people living here for twenty years!!!!!! As long as they drive Spanish plated cars they are left alone and this aint going to change.

  • #116351
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    As I understand it to qualify for fiscal nomad status from the UK, 90 days in another EU state is the limit to prove none domicile which is the basis of where you are taxed. It’s an agreed loophole from the HMRC applying to all none doms.

    The 183 day rule applies to more normal tax residency rules.

  • #116380
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Dont forget that it can be really tiresome and expensive to fight authorities like this. As I see if you are a normal person you are doomed to fight things like this when they suspect you. Big companies on the the other hand have the resources to go toe to toe.

  • #116535
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    this “new” legislation applies to any permanent resident in any Euro country and with double tax treaty presents no problems for any law abiding 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 citizen.

    The problem here in Spain is the plethora of “well meaning 😉 😉 😉 ” financial advisors, accountants, lawyers and other safe hands having launched a frenetic advertising campaign to confuse the frightened masses into their hands for advise at clinics, private one to ones etc with a view to stitching them up with wrapper plans, hidden insurance policies and other commission heavy plans. Most advertising is incorrect; some claiming that any foreigner is included in this legislation regardless of residence status etc; some even claim that the limit of foreign assets is a total of €5,000 and not €5,000 per asset class.

    Most of these good samaritans are once again the Brits exploiting their fellow nationals with bullshit and smoke – Why do these foreigners always fall for the spiel of their fellow countrymen selling solutions out of a suitcase or hotel meeting room??????? 😥 😥 😥 😥 😥 😥

    I’m sure that these so called experts aka conmen don’t even have residence status in Spain and probably drive UK plated cars with expired MOT 😯 😯 😯 😯

  • #116547
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Ubeda, perception is everything, and if you can’t see what a problem this is going to cause then you haven’t really thought about it.

  • #116582
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @UBEDA wrote:

    this “new” legislation applies to any permanent resident in any Euro country and with double tax treaty presents no problems for any law abiding 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 citizen.

    The problem here in Spain is the plethora of “well meaning 😉 😉 😉 ” financial advisors, accountants, lawyers and other safe hands having launched a frenetic advertising campaign to confuse the frightened masses into their hands for advise at clinics, private one to ones etc with a view to stitching them up with wrapper plans, hidden insurance policies and other commission heavy plans. Most advertising is incorrect; some claiming that any foreigner is included in this legislation regardless of residence status etc; some even claim that the limit of foreign assets is a total of €5,000 and not €5,000 per asset class.

    Most of these good samaritans are once again the Brits exploiting their fellow nationals with bullshit and smoke – Why do these foreigners always fall for the spiel of their fellow countrymen selling solutions out of a suitcase or hotel meeting room??????? 😥 😥 😥 😥 😥 😥

    I’m sure that these so called experts aka conmen don’t even have residence status in Spain and probably drive UK plated cars with expired MOT 😯 😯 😯 😯

    You don’t need to use a gestora to do this, and this law applies to all Spanish residents – the overwhelming majority of whom happen to be Spanish. Strangely enough though, you hear a hell of a lot more about this issue in the expatosphere than you do amongst the Spanish. OK most Spanish don’t own more than €50k in any particular asset class offshore, but you’d think there’s be more noise being made about it all the same. In fact for the vast majority of people this isn’t an issue – all they require is a declaration of relevant assets. Tax only becomes an issue if say someone happens to own an expensive property in the UK, or maybe a portfolio of BTL properties, and even then tax applied isn’t huge. The real isue is that people are going to get caught out by the fines because they were unaware of the requirement, and also the mechanism for making the declaration is restrictive – you have to do it online and you have to get a digital certificate first.

  • #116648
    Profile photo of LittleDuceCoupe
    LittleDuceCoupe
    Participant

    Am I right to think that this will not apply to a UK resident paying UK tax who buys a property in Spain as a holiday home for self use. (not to get a rental income)?
    Can I have a simple answer as I am rather a simple person who gets confused with tax, insurance, and anything financial.

  • #116650
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    katy
    Spectator

    Only applies to tax residents in Spain. If uou don’t live there you are ok 😀

  • #116668
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    This horrible topic will haunt expats for years. I’ve taken advice and will follow it, and will not broadcast my tax affairs on an open forum.

    It comes down to basics – if you trust the Spanish government, fill out the form and they will look after you.

    If you don’t, don’t.

  • #116671
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @littleducecoupe wrote:

    Am I right to think that this will not apply to a UK resident paying UK tax who buys a property in Spain as a holiday home for self use. (not to get a rental income)?
    Can I have a simple answer as I am rather a simple person who gets confused with tax, insurance, and anything financial.

    Yes, you are right. 😀

  • #116766
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    Lvicini
    Participant
  • #116769
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    Anonymous
    Participant
  • #91453
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    We urge you to consider signing the petition to the European Parliament linked as follows:

    http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/spains-asset-declaration-laws-en.html .

    For more information, please visit http://www.spain1558.blogspot.com

  • #91445
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Although I am not affected by this. I have filed in a petition as it grossly unfair. Does anybody know of an example where Spain has not dealt with this matter that are not blunt or ill thought out ???

  • #84455
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    José María Mollinedo, the Secretary General of GESTHA tax officials organisation, turns a deaf ear to all complaints.
    http://www.surinenglish.com/20130422/news/costasol-malaga/declare-overseas-assets-warns-201304221146.html

  • #84222
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    José María Mollinedo, the Secretary General of GESTHA tax officials organisation, turns a deaf ear to all complaints.
    http://www.surinenglish.com/20130422/news/costasol-malaga/declare-overseas-assets-warns-201304221146.html

  • #105406
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @mgspain wrote:

    One thing surprised me when I did the declaration 720. Regarding overseas property, I was only asked for the exact date of purchase and the cost including taxes on the purchase date, not the current value.
    Did any of you have the same experience? or were you asked for current value?

    That’s what I did as well. I used the purchase price of my house in the UK (back in 2001) with the exchange rate at the end of 2012. I had a bit of a panic because my passport had expired and I needed that as my id in order to be given the electronic key from the casa de moneda, which in turn needed to be set up on my computer so I could access the form. Then I had to configure Chrome a bit (allow pop-ups, etc) and also it required the latest version of Java, and once that was installed I needed to configure Chrome some more to enable the Java plug-in. The configuration notes for IE seemed to go on for pages. It is not something your average pc user would be able to do (especially if they can’t read the instructions in Spanish)

    I noticed that when I filled in the form the hit count for the page accessing the 720 form was only something like 300,000 (I can’t remember the exact figure, but is was less than you’d expect).

  • #84439
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    @chopera, all that work to ultimately pay them. Surely they should be doing all work ???.

  • #84206
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @chopera, all that work to ultimately pay them. Surely they should be doing all work ???.

  • #84437
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @shakeel wrote:

    @chopera, all that work to ultimately pay them. Surely they should be doing all work ???.

    Well at the moment I don’t have to pay them anything because I’m under the wealth tax limit. That may change of course, but I don’t like paying gestoras to do this either.

  • #84204
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @shakeel wrote:

    @chopera, all that work to ultimately pay them. Surely they should be doing all work ???.

    Well at the moment I don’t have to pay them anything because I’m under the wealth tax limit. That may change of course, but I don’t like paying gestoras to do this either.

  • #84435
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @mark wrote:

    We urge you to consider signing the petition to the European Parliament linked as follows:

    http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/spains-asset-declaration-laws-en.html .

    For more information, please visit http://www.spain1558.blogspot.com

    As mentioned in the petition, my main gripe with this is that in the UK many people hold their pension funds as private investments while in Spain they depend on the state pension. So those from the UK with private pensions are considered “wealthy” and could be taxed as such (even though the UK state pension is rubbish) while Spaniards with no private pension funds because they receive a very generous state pension will not be taxed.

  • #84202
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @mark wrote:

    We urge you to consider signing the petition to the European Parliament linked as follows:

    http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/spains-asset-declaration-laws-en.html .

    For more information, please visit http://www.spain1558.blogspot.com

    As mentioned in the petition, my main gripe with this is that in the UK many people hold their pension funds as private investments while in Spain they depend on the state pension. So those from the UK with private pensions are considered “wealthy” and could be taxed as such (even though the UK state pension is rubbish) while Spaniards with no private pension funds because they receive a very generous state pension will not be taxed.

  • #83119
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I said this would lead to a poisonous source of bad news for years to come, and this is just the start:
    http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/mortgageshome/article-2317127/Expats-head-home-Spain-forced-declare-overseas-assets.html

  • #83116
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    My advice would be not to declare anything if you can avoid. Put your foreign assets in others names etc. Spain will use this as a way to bring in free money in the end. Who cares about these foreigners when they cant vote anyhow.

  • #83077
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Ardun, even they could vote their numbers will not affect the results in any significant way.

  • #117020
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    FIRST ‘VICTIM’ OF ASSET DECLARATION

    Jávea Briton faces five-figure tax bill on UK home thanks to Form 720

    By Samantha Kett

    GOVERNMENT claims that the asset declaration is ‘not a form of taxation’ were shattered this week when Costa Blanca News was informed of the case of a Jávea Briton who faces a tax bill of €30,000 for the sale of his UK home which he declared on the now-infamous form 720.

    http://www.costa-news.com/latest-news/item/1107-first-victim-of-asset-declaration

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by  Anonymous.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by Profile photo of Mark Stücklin Mark Stücklin.
  • #117037
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    Chopera
    Participant

    Seems like an issue with the CGT rules rather than the modulo 720

  • #117042
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Yes, a tax resident should have declared it anyway. The point is they got the info off the 720.

  • #117054
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    The new Directive recently notified to me by Winchams intends to cover much more exchanges of information including Spain and UK.This will make it easier for the Spanish to get information.to enforce the new declaration for property.It reinforces the need to get no residente staus if you have a UK property as soon as you get your Spanish property by paying the no residente annual tax observing the 182 day limit keeping travel tickets and making sure to do the annual return to HMRC to keep up your UK tax status. If you have assets outside EU possibly no problem -otherwise maybe now you have to keep assets that are not registered anywhere kruggerands and small gold bars maybe -gold is cheaper now-might it get cheaper -could it stay cheaper ? Will Draghi join the QE and we get global currency debasement -will American economic growth depend upon perpetual Fed stimulus ? -if so buy gold. Plenty of gold dealers in London – not heard of any in Canarias -maybe a few little shops.

  • #117059
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    Chopera
    Participant

    I think the main concern is the differences in CGT rules between the UK and Spain, and how it applies to your main UK residence when you sell it. I previously made a similar point on this thread:

    viewtopic.php?f=2&t=6759&start=45

    I suspect that if you say sell your UK home before coming to Spain but then spend a sufficient amount of time in Spain during the same year to become a Spanish tax resident, then the sale of the UK home will fall under Spanish tax rules. Now I’m no expert, but I believe the rules in Spain on selling your main home are along the lines of: you don’t pay CGT if you purchase another main residence within 6 months. However if you sell your main home and then buy a cheaper home in Spain you can get taxed on the difference because you are assumed to be taking a profit.

    I think Mark should be splattering this all over the front pages of the UK press. The point is people in the UK can (legally) avoid paying CGT on their UK residence if they sell it before (or after) becoming a Spanish tax resident. Fail to do so and they can get hammered. But very few people are aware of this. Before it didn’t matter, nobody checked up on it, now it’s different.

  • #117060
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Yes Chopera my post was a bit off topic and have amended it. (always appreciate criticism -truth of the esssence! )

  • #117067
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Spanish President Marian Rajoy has revealed that 131,411 residents of Spain (local and foreign alike) have declared assets abroad totalling 87.7 billion Euros, equivalent to 9pc of Spanish GDP. What he didn’t reveal (for good reason) 😡 is what % of that number were foreign. I bet at least 50pc, probably more like 80pc+.

  • #117559
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    I’m hearing that the Spanish tax office is using the declarations as the basis for retrospective tax inspections, which was not what it was supposed to be used for.

    Also, I read it was a miserable failure, with 95pc of those who should have declared failing to do so.

    As a result, the Government is now going to focus more on foreign residents.

    To counteract that so few of those believed to have overseas assets declared them, the government, according to Mr Mollinedo, will now focus its efforts more specifically on certain nationalities.

    He says: “It’s forecast that the government will seek to focus more on foreign residents in Spain, especially those from the US and those from EU member states.”

    Very bad news indeed. It reinforced the suspicion that they are going after the savings of expats to fund Spain’s deficit.

  • #117563
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    GarySFBCN
    Participant

    Very bad news indeed. It reinforced the suspicion that they are going after the savings of expats to fund Spain’s deficit

    Is the tax office more competent than the other branches of Spain’s government? If not, I wouldn’t worry. They create nice laws and policies in Spain with no apparent thought or planning regarding implementation.

  • #82825
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    I was giving thought to this because whilst being Non Resident -I never rule it out if there is a level playing field in my particular financial circumstances. It occurs to me that the 50000 euro limit would be not ungenerous for a person who becomes resident and has not a concurrent UK property. In fact the HMRC do they give such an exemption to Spanish people who are fiscally resident in UK. -I don’t think so. For example that limit covers a lot of ISA that can be left for 5years -and other cash savings it could include a holiday home – and other assets . I see some potential conflict that you are supposed to declare worldwide income in a tax year -yet if the assets are under the limit and you are not taking any income out of UK -you should not have anything to worry about ?

  • #117573
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi all,
    I’m very pleased to have stumbled across this forum as this new development has concerned me for a while (ever since I first heard of it).
    I’ve got very confused about the whole issue so wondered if anyone would be able tell me how this would affect me and my wife? We bought our home in the UK in 2009 for £134,000. We are looking to move to Spain permanently in the next 2 years, buying a modest property over there (no more than £90,000) and renting out our UK house (we have no mortgage on it now) and using that as income, plus topping the income up with my wife’s pension of £400 a month (when it starts, I am younger than her so my pension can”t be factored in for a few more years yet).
    I’m confused about what the implications are for us, and at the moment it has put our move to Spain on hold.
    I’m hoping someone can give me an idea of how we’d be affected as I’m quite lost with it all!
    Many thanks in advance for any help
    Chris

  • #117574
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @euphony wrote:

    Hi all,
    I’m very pleased to have stumbled across this forum as this new development has concerned me for a while (ever since I first heard of it).
    I’ve got very confused about the whole issue so wondered if anyone would be able tell me how this would affect me and my wife? We bought our home in the UK in 2009 for £134,000. We are looking to move to Spain permanently in the next 2 years, buying a modest property over there (no more than £90,000) and renting out our UK house (we have no mortgage on it now) and using that as income, plus topping the income up with my wife’s pension of £400 a month (when it starts, I am younger than her so my pension can”t be factored in for a few more years yet).
    I’m confused about what the implications are for us, and at the moment it has put our move to Spain on hold.
    I’m hoping someone can give me an idea of how we’d be affected as I’m quite lost with it all!
    Many thanks in advance for any help
    Chris

    Income from your property will be subject to UK tax and Spanish tax. However if the property is in both your names you can both take advantage of the fact that the first 10k or so is income tax free in the UK. By the time you have taken into account other tax deductable costs associated with letting out a property in the UK, you may well find you don’t have to pay any tax in the UK at all. If you find that you still have to pay UK income tax it might be worth taking out a mortgage in order to offset interest payments against income tax.

    In Spain you will have to declare the property on the modulo 720 form but bear in mind that that form is just a declaration. It is not a tax return. You will also have to declare the income from the UK property to the Spanish tax authorities and they might tax you. They should take into acount any tax you have already paid in the UK though.

  • #117575
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    That’s extremely helpful, many thanks.
    I would also assume that in many years to come, when we sell our UK property, the spanish will want a slice of that in tax too?

  • #117576
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @euphony wrote:

    That’s extremely helpful, many thanks.
    I would also assume that in many years to come, when we sell our UK property, the spanish will want a slice of that in tax too?

    Yes that’s what I alluded to in my earlier post. But I’m no tax expert. You’d need to take professional advice, and then bear in mind that they shift the goal posts every other year anyway. There is some rule that says people over 65 don’t pay Spanish CGT on property – I guess to allow people to downsize in retirement without getting stung by the taxman. That might apply to you as well, but it might not. Of course you could also decide to become a UK resident again, just for the year during which you decide to sell your UK house. That way you escape the Spanish tax man, but the UK tax man might take an interest. When the time comes, rather than selling your UK home you might get round the situation by doing some equity release deal rather than selling the property. But there are so many ifs and buts that it’s hard to give specific advice.

  • #117577
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Yeah I agree there are a lot of ifs and buts. You have definitely given us some food for thought there though, and I never thought of the equity release deal.
    Many thanks for all your help

    Chris

  • #117580
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    I can’t remember the exact HMRC rules, but if you also sold your UK home you would become eligible to CGT, unless you declared it as your main residence. Now if you have been tax resident in Spain for several years, you will not be able to declare it as a main residence. If you move back to the UK ,become tax resident and then sell the UK home, again I am sure there are some time constraints that if not sufficiently fulfilled you will find you can’t declare the UK property as your main residence.

    Owning 2 properties, either way, when you sell one you will be liable to CGT unless of course you are a MP.

  • #117624
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    If a husband and wife jointly own a property in the UK jointly worth £60,000, does that count as £30,000 each? I understand that in UK tax returns, property ownership jointly between husband and wife is deemed to be equally divided, i.e. £30,000 value each. In Spain, I know that tax returns split assets jointly in terms of ownership and liabilities. Therefore, in such a case, would the individual threshold per person, under the current exchange value, be under 50,000€? On xe.com today the conversion rate is 30,000.00 GBP = 34,667.89 EUR

    Anyone know the answer to this one?

  • #117625
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    @laconcha wrote:

    If a husband and wife jointly own a property in the UK jointly worth £60,000, does that count as £30,000 each?

    Nope. Both would have to declare the property to the Spanish tax authorities on the 720 form.

  • #117629
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    GarySFBCN
    Participant

    @mark wrote:

    @laconcha wrote:
    If a husband and wife jointly own a property in the UK jointly worth £60,000, does that count as £30,000 each?

    Nope. Both would have to declare the property to the Spanish tax authorities on the 720 form.

    The only exception may be if one of them is not a fiscal resident of Spain.

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