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News and information from Spain
International Edition - January 2020
Welcome to the January issue of 'The Word on the Street'. This is your monthly news and information from Spain provided by Ábaco Advisers. We hope to keep you in touch with the news, events and just a little bit of gossip.
Declaring assets – Spanish residents
Declaring assets – Spanish residents

If you live in Spain but have assets in another country you must declare these to the Spanish tax authority. The form 720 is for information only and tax is not collected from it directly.

However, if it is not completed then it can lead to hefty fines.

In this article we explain who must submit a 720 before the deadline of 31st March:

Spanish tax forms all foreigners should be aware of
Did you miss the non-resident tax declaration deadline?
Did you miss the non-resident tax declaration deadline?

If you are a non-resident with a property in Spain then December 31st was the deadline for the non-resident tax declaration.

However, you can submit a late declaration for a small fine (5%) and avoid the risk of being fined 20% in tax plus interest if you leave payment until next year. It’s not a lot to pay for piece of mind if you take the opportunity now.

In this article we explain more about what the declaration covers and why you are required to make it:

Did you miss the non-resident tax declaration deadline?
Selling property in Spain and CGT
Selling property in Spain and CGT

Many people find the issue of Capital Gains Tax (CGT) a difficult one to understand. What do you have to pay and when? CGT is payable if you have made a profit on your Spanish property when you sell it as a non-resident. You may also be liable for paying it if you are a resident. However, there are exceptions to this.

In this article we explain what your obligations are whatever your residential status:

Do you pay tax when you sell your house in Spain?
Are you worried about inheritance?
Are you worried about inheritance?

Whether you live in Spain yourself or you have close relatives who do, it’s important that you understand Spanish inheritance law. 

Ábaco Advisers have put together their own handbook to explain in more detail what the Spanish succession laws are, how to make a will and information about inheritance and donation tax. For this comprehensive advice you should go to The complete guide to Spanish inheritance law.
Moving to Spain from a non-EU country
Moving to Spain from a non-EU country

David Ruiz, our resident application expert, has written an article on applying for residency from a country outside of the EU. It’s something of a horror story as he recountsthe experiences of the ‘Mar’ family who do not seek the correct legal advice and the ‘Bosque’ family, who do. It’s a story that we’ve often seen re-enacted in the Ábaco offices as people come to us after trying to do-it-themselves, taking advice from the local bar’s expert.

Don’t be caught out:

On emigrating to Spain from USA
Keeping informed about Brexit
Keeping informed about Brexit

It’s a historic time for British people. After the 2016 referendum, Britain is finally leaving the EU. A lot of uncertainty remains about exactly what this will mean for everyone concerned. However, there are plenty of reassuring noises coming from the consulate.

The main message, as always, is make sure you’re official and that you have your documentation. National police stations, social security offices and driving licence issuers have found themselves inundated by requests for appointments recently and Murcia Today reports on the increase in registered British people living in Murcia:

The official British population in Murcia and Spain increases

Whether Big Ben is set to bong or not on January 31st, it’s unlikely that we’ll see any monumental changes over night. We’ve been told that there is a year’s interval for settling in purposes and we’ve been reassured that the benefits that residents currently enjoy through mutual agreements will continue.

The Local has published a number of practical articles for UK nationals resident in other countries. They are currently running a survey to find out how people feel about Britain’s departure. The results should be interesting. Use this link if you would like to contribute:

Brits living in Europe: How does it feel to be leaving the EU?

Those thinking of taking up residency in the future may find the requirements becoming even more stringent. Whereas 12 years ago you could walk into Spain show your passport and receive your residencia, this is not the case anymore. This article is written about applying for residency in France but there are many similarities and some clear messages too:

Brexit: The Withdrawal Agreement won't stop Brits in France 'falling through the gaps'

This article looks at the prospects for those who wish to live in Spain following Brexit:

Can Brits still move to Spain after Brexit day?

For many, January 31st will be a sad day. However, those with British nationality who have the correct paperwork should not be too alarmed as we begin on a new era of relationship with Spain.
Discovering Lorca Castle
Discovering Lorca Castle

If you are looking for somewhere to visit this winter then Lorca Castle might be a good destination. The castle has a long history of being used as a fortress. For 250 years it was a watch point on the border between the Christian kingdom of Murcia and the Muslim state of Granada. The castle has been restored and there are themed areas that are dedicated to visitors. You can find out more about the castle and other monuments and sites to visit in the area here:

Castillo de Lorca

In this article, Murcia Today explains what’s on offer and you can follow their ‘book tickets now’ links to sign up. You can pay €6 just to look around the castle or you can take advantage of one of the packages available. There are several different guided tours including an English language package on Thursdays:

Visiting Lorca castle this winter
What was on at Fitur
What was on at Fitur

Fitur is the annual tourist fair that takes place in Madrid. It’s opportunity for tourist destinations in Spain and around the world, to show off what they have to offer. This year, Andalucia had a high profile and Torrevieja also made an appearance. This year there were some novel ways of attracting an audience and El País in English show cases what some of these were:

Madrid’s Fitur tourism trade fair: Around the world in 10 pavilions
Spanish company tries out the four-day working week
Spanish company tries out the four-day working week

Discussions about the possibility of working only four days a weekbut being paid for five have been out there for some time. Now a software company in Jaén are putting it into practice and claim that so far, it has been a success:

The pioneering Spanish company where staff work a four-day week

El País in English provides a good source of information about what’s happening in Spain for those who can’t speak Spanish. You can also listen to what’s going on via the El País in English podcast:

¿Qué? podcast, S04E2: A new Catalan trial and Vox’s idea for a parental veto
It’s carnival time!
It’s carnival time!

In some parts of Spain February is the month when local people lose the scarves, gloves and boots and turn to feathers, sequins and sandals. Carnival takes place during this rather cool part of the Spanish year in the run up to lent and represents that last opportunity for excess, of many different types, before the fasting.

Of course, not many people fast in this way, but the opportunity for a good party and lots of extravagant clothing will never go amiss in Spain. You will need to do your own research to discover if there is a carnival near to you. Eurotourguide is advertising some carnival dates for Torrevieja:

Torrevieja Carnival

Don’t forget you can find out about lots of events in the Costa Blanca region from their website and ‘What’s On’ newsletter:

Eurotourguide Blog

You can watch some of last year’s carnival in Torrevieja on YouTube:

Torrevieja Carnival on YouTube
Did you over-spend in December?
Did you over-spend in December?

It’s easily done with Christmas, New Year and, if you live in Spain, Three Kings. Help is on the way. Money Saver Spain has published its 8 steps to Complete a No-Spend Month. This doesn’t mean that you don’t pay the mortgage or go without food. Instead they provide some tips for cutting back on anything else that isn’t essential, just for one month:

8 Steps to Complete a No-Spend Month
Have you heard of an earth sandwich?
Have you heard of an earth sandwich?

That’s the term that’s been given to two people on opposite sides of the world linking up. In this case, it’s a man in New Zealand creating ‘the earth sandwich’ with one in Spain. It’s not clear why you would go to this amount of effort to do this, but you never know, it might catch on!

'Earth sandwich': two men, two slices of bread and 12,724km of filling
What interests you?

We would welcome any suggestions for future themes you would like us to cover either in the newsletter or in an article on Spain Explained.

Please let us know by email at newsletter@abacoadvisers.com.

Thank you!
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