Information exchange: a ‘game changer’

While there may not have been a huge turn out to the recent Adeje Focus meeting with speakers from Blevins Franks and DeCotta Law, those in attendance were glad they came as the information garnered on tax matters, information exchange between jurisdictions and inheritance tax is of huge importance.
Paul Montague talked about the alarming number of people who don’t believe they need to pay tax here despite the fact they spend much more than half of the calendar year living in Tenerife, use the ‘residencia’ discounts, are registered with and use the local medical services, own a home and car, and perhaps only stay with a family member for a few weeks back in the UK. They are and will legally be deemed to be ‘de facto’ tax residents, he explained, and it is really important that people realise this and get their financial matters in order.
“You do not have a choice where you pay your taxes”. He said it was vital to make a tax declaration “now more than ever”. He also quoted Spanish government sources who have stated that, those British residents “who have legitimised themselves” in Spain will have few if any problems post-Brexit. In other words, get your paperwork, resident and tax status in order, now.
Wayne Sheridan looked at the issue of the automatic exchange of financial information on individuals between the Spanish and UK government, which has been in operation since September 2016, “it really was a game changer”. He quoted the experience of clients who have received letters from the Central Bank in London as they have picked up on the fact that they have a Spanish phone number or car registration, so they should be declaring assets in Spain. The bottom line, he says, is that “if you have a financial asset that you have not declared in Spain, in another country, rest assured Hacienda (the Spanish tax office) will find out about it in due course”.
The third speaker was Jon Sutton from DeCotta Law, who addressed the issues of wills and inheritances taxes. He spoke of changes in the laws regarding both, and urged non-Spanish residents with assets here (from a car to a home or business) to make a will. Having a will here will make life easier for your beneficiaries and help them avoid inheritance tax fines.
The company also remind people to make sure that if they have a UK will or are about to make one make sure it does not have the wording “I hereby revoke all former Wills and Testamentary dispositions heretofore made by my and declare this to be my last Will”, as this would revoke any Spanish will you have.





Life post-Brexit!

Brexit: “Stick to the facts and you’ll know what’s going on”

Up to 100 Britons attended an information seminar organised by Blevins Franks at the Adeje Cultural Centre this week, invited by the Adeje international residents group Focus, with the support of the council. They heard from the financial advice company that in their professional opinion that it was in the interests of the Spanish government to make sure that British residents in Spain were looked after, and that good working relations with the British government continued to flourish.

Adeje councillor for institutional relations and youth affairs, Zebenzui Chinea Lineras, welcomed the attendees and said that Adeje was very aware of its commitment to all residents of the over 120 countries living in the borough. He said they would be interested in all the suggestions and ideas that came out of the conference and hoped the questions many people had would be addressed.

“Rajoy and Theresa May are thick as thieves”, Wayne Sheridan told the conference, saying that Theresa May was on the plane to Spain to speak to Rajoy within 24 hours of his confirmation as leader of the country following the most recent election here. “Rajoy has too much to lose”, Sheridan said, pointing to the €30 billion that he would forfeit, “if he gets it wrong”. He said that personally he hadn’t been a fan of Brexit but that to date Theresa May hadn’t put a foot wrong in her negotiations with the EU and he firmly believed that both the rights of EU citizens in Britain and those of British residents here in Spain were not under threat.

Paul Montague, the other speaker from Blevins Franks, dealt with the exchange of information between governments regarding taxes, and the need for full declaration of assets in both countries. He also stressed the huge importance of legitimising your situation here, something that echoed the earlier contribution of Clio O’Flynn, who spoke about the importance of registering on the ‘Padrón’, and the multitude of benefits for the resident as well as local government.