Britons leaving Spain in droves.

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This topic contains 16 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Mexberry Mexberry 2 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #57992
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    This should not come as any surprise to any followers of the real state of the economics of the country.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/spain/10781350/End-to-Mediterranean-dream-for-90000-Britons-who-left-Spain-last-year.html

    Quote: “The only nationality to increase their presence in Spain were the Chinese”. That must account for the proliferation of Chinese tatt shops in Spain. Signs of the times.

  • #119444
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    The article doesn’t go into it, but I bet you one of the biggest reasons for this decrease in the number of registered expats is the new modelo 720 worldwide asset reporting law. Europeans who lived here are either leaving completely, or spending less than half a year so they are no longer tax resident and don’t have to declare their worldwide assets to the Spanish tax man. The result of this pig-headed law will mean less money and tax revenue for Spain. It’s incredibly stupid.

  • #119445
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    Interesting article logan, the figure of 90,000 Brits last year is mind boggling, but what was also significant was why so many Germans and French also left considering they are in the Euro and not subject to the exchange rate problems as Brits. Out of those Brits I wonder how many sold, or just left leaving debts behind? 🙄

  • #119446
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    Angie – People with ambition and drive don’t want to stay in a country that’s in decline economically. They will simply look elsewhere despite the climate. They want a long term future. The European Union offers a wide scope.

    I saw a TV programme recently about many qualified Greek migrants who have moved to Sweden in search of opportunity. Young Spanish are going to to Latin America. British in Spain have more opportunities in UK.

    I also agree the new tax regime in Spain is chasing away the well off from being residents. However that’s also true in France and other EU states. So if all Spain can offer is good weather but high taxation and a dodgy legal system what would you choose? Even a retired couple face a tax bill when their spouse dies.

    At least in UK your house will rise in value and provide you with an asset that you can liquidate at a time of your own choice and no inheritance or asset tax between couples.

  • #119448
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    Anyone having problems logging in now? Tried earlier and just now and says ‘you’ve exceeded your log-in attempts’ even when you first try to log-in. This time tried by answering the question, ‘What is the capital of Spain?’ wanted to say Beijing as the Chinese are the main buyers, but thought I’d better say Madrid, and bingo. A bit weird if that happens every time now. 😕

    Agree with your comments logan as well as Mark’s last couple of sentences, Spain doesn’t help itself 🙄

    A recent report also said many Spaniards were buying in London and UK, so they’re not so concerned about sun all the time, and have noticed tapas bars springing up in many towns in the UK. 😉

    Property as an investment? Well it’s still the old supply and demand factor, and UK Gov’t schemes boosting British property with lower costs to boot which Spain needs to adopt but still won’t 🙄

  • #119451
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I think the Spanish will boot the Rahoy Government out because so many young Spaniards with no jobs. Also if they drive away foreign owners it makes the problem worse for the Spanish owners who still have to pay their hypotheca but they go deeper into negative equity. What the opposition PS could do better ? They had an opportunity but blew it last time. In Canarias many are voting Coalition Canarias -some want to leave Spain and the EU but others are edgy that it would leave them vulnerable to Morroco. If Rahoy destroys the Spanish property market the ranks of the PP will not be happy either -they are the property owners. They need to wake up in Madrid – the stupid narrow xenophobic nationalism will do no good for Spain.

  • #119423
    Profile photo of DBMarcos99
    DBMarcos99
    Participant

    @logan wrote:

    Angie – People with ambition and drive don’t want to stay in a country that’s in decline economically. They will simply look elsewhere despite the climate. They want a long term future. The European Union offers a wide scope.
    .

    You’re wrong, as a lot of people and companies are now investing in Spain.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-16/spain-etf-grows-as-rajoy-attracts-record-u-s-investments.html

    “Spain is a good place to be,” Christoph Riniker, head of strategy research at Bank Julius Baer & Co. in Zurich, said in a phone interview yesterday. Julius Baer Group Ltd. oversees $289 billion. “The important thing is the differential between contraction and the expansion we are seeing now. This is the stage where things matter. There is still room for outperformance of Spain.”

    Of course there are Brits (mainly retired folk, not the people with ambition and drive you mention) who got caught out by changes in exchange rates, and buying at the top of the market.

    I’m surprised you state “At least in UK your house will rise in value” — all bubble markets eventually turn down, it’s just a question of when. (and yes I remember the perfect answer to that – “markets can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent”).

  • #119452
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @dbmarcos99 wrote:

    @logan wrote:
    Angie – People with ambition and drive don’t want to stay in a country that’s in decline economically. They will simply look elsewhere despite the climate. They want a long term future. The European Union offers a wide scope.
    .

    You’re wrong, as a lot of people and companies are now investing in Spain.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-16/spain-etf-grows-as-rajoy-attracts-record-u-s-investments.html

    “Spain is a good place to be,” Christoph Riniker, head of strategy research at Bank Julius Baer & Co. in Zurich, said in a phone interview yesterday. Julius Baer Group Ltd. oversees $289 billion. “The important thing is the differential between contraction and the expansion we are seeing now. This is the stage where things matter. There is still room for outperformance of Spain.”

    Of course there are Brits (mainly retired folk, not the people with ambition and drive you mention) who got caught out by changes in exchange rates, and buying at the top of the market.

    I’m surprised you state “At least in UK your house will rise in value” — all bubble markets eventually turn down, it’s just a question of when. (and yes I remember the perfect answer to that – “markets can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent”).

    At some point Spain will become a good place for young people to live – low house prices, and eventually the amount of inward investment will be enough to give young people a chance of getting a job. But I don’t think we’re there yet.

  • #119463
    Profile photo of GarySFBCN
    GarySFBCN
    Participant

    Only speculating here, and Mark alluded to this in his post. Could it be that nobody has left Spain, but they are just not registering with the ‘Town Hall’?

    Regarding Rajoy being ejected – great, politically, I’m ‘left’. But replace him with who? Someone worse?

    There is a stunning lack of understanding of the underlying causes of problems in Spain, and that is equaled by the lack of creativity in the imposed solutions.

    Spain needs to outsource problem solving and it’s entire judicial system.

  • #119468
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    You cannot ignore the facts that people are leaving because they no longer wish to be resident if it means their first home outside Spain comes into the tax net. It is something new that was not an issue before and its a serious matter because these properties are often ordinary homes that would attract neither CGT or IHT if the owners were UK resident. It is possible that the Spanish might have anticipated this and accompanied the measure with transitional relief. For example properties acquired pre 1986 are exempt from CGT. Of course if you are UK resident you are assessable for CGT on the sale of a foreign property so its no different except in Spain they have only just done it ! It will not be a permanent tendency because new buyers will buy in the knowledge -hopefully !

  • #119476
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    I hear some financial advisor’s in Spain are advising their clients to de-register their residential status and either live illegally in the country or leave before the 180 days are up making sure you can prove it.

    This is a simple creative solution to defeat confiscatory tax laws. It’s quite possible to do it legally. Simply only spend 179 days in one country and establish your fiscal status in another lower tax state.

    I have a friend who religiously spends 89 days each year in a series of countries in Euroland making sure he has documentary proof of each and runs his business on the move.

    Of course you need substantial resources to do it successfully but not paying thousands in taxation helps.

  • #119477
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    The best way you can prove it is to declare yourself No Residente by doing the annual return to Hacienda with a gestoria and pay the tax before the 31st December each year without fail ! Its not very much to pay. There is a UK company who will do it for you online. Contact John at Spanish Tax Returns. Charges a little bit more but he has a partner company in Spain who will take the form to the bank for you and its electronically transmitted to Hacienda If you do it this way keep other evidence like flight tickets -maybe you can get passport stamped. Remember you have to be in Spain not more than 182 days 1.1 to 31.1 in the year you file for -which currently is for 2013. .I am not sure its a good idea to stay there illegally. Hacienda can deem you as fiscally resident in certain circumstances and if you have not declared your UK home -!!! I say no more-check it out. But -see if you can buy your Spanish pad in the wife or civil partners name -this might be the perfect solution then have a UK legal contract in case your marriage broke up Where there is a will there is a way ! Maybe you don’t need to leave Spain either -sell your UK home and buy another and put in a Trust maybe -the Spanish law respects Trusts -one way to consolidate a capital gain. Maybe buy a mobile home in UK or a short lease UK home . Any asset under 45000 euro you have worldwide Spanish Fiscally Resident- not required to declare.Check with Lawyer.

  • #119478
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    Most financially intelligent people I know would never put an asset such as property, etc. in their personal names. That is what limited companies are for. 🙄

    I have discussed tax legal avoidance on here before. I would never countenance behaving illegally. It’s not necessary, stupid and in it’s worse scenario case gets you jail time.

  • #119480
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Ok Logan but you may be aware of a recent ruling about putting a Spanish property in a UK Limited Company. I was not sure whether it applied to properties that were so encapsulated at the outset as those that were moved by an owner to specifically evade the tax. In any case Winchams charge more per annum to service the company that would be worthwhile for an ordinary second home buyer. The question of putting a Spanish property into a Spanish Company or a UK property into a Spanish company I doubt a British purchaser would favour because ultimately theshares of the beneficiariesare subject to Spanish IHT by the shareholders that makes the position no different or actually worse. By the way and Katy I got a positive response from belegal but I will have to ask them whether I can write anything that was confided to me about writing a Will No Residente .(My writings will diminish somewhat for a while as have other things to do and have to watch the eyesight on computers ! )

  • #119484
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    On the British Expats forum, the same topic has been posted about British expats leaving Spain. The numbers (90,000 last year) have been poo pooed by Anna Nicholas who lives on Majorca, and she says 900,000 Brits still live in Spain, (but not on niche market Majorca, Anna). However, Spain’s National Statistical Institute say there were 385,179 Brits living in Spain last year.

    Bearing in mind Anna Nicholas writes many blogs from her lovely isle and doesn’t live on any of the large Costas (completely different) plus she and hubby ran a PR business in London, plus mention of estate agency link, is she right or is Spains NSI right, or is it somewhere in between? She does write books and blogs though and is a journalist 😉 🙄

  • #119486
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    When you are off the golf course Ange and find the home of your dreams and have pushed the prices down -you will have sold your UK home like a shot and will back in Spanish residence.We only live ONCE Ange on Planet Earth. Readers be aware of the people who screw Spanish Property down because they want to get out of their UK freezers and get back to real life. Don’t believe stories about those who might be’ leaving’ Spain -they are coming back to sell their UK homes and take their equity. They might be Non Resident for a while -but they will be back to stay -Fully Legal !. But be careful not to become resident fiscally in the year you sell -take legal advice – I am not qualified to give legal advice- not to come back till 2nd January the next calendar year. Do it right way and you are OK.

  • #119503
    Profile photo of Mexberry
    Mexberry
    Participant

    The six month residency tax rule is also in effect in the USA and Canada. At least here the tax laws are transparent and fairly applied, which does not seem to be the case in Spain. What stopped us from buying in Spain was the difficulty in getting our cats into the EU from N.America. I would not be surprised to find that ‘family’ reasons for not purchasing were as significant a detriment as tax policies are.

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