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 David Bowern


 

 

   

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Four ways to prepare as the clock ticks down to Brexit
Wednesday, 03 May 2017

With Article 50 triggered, Britain is on track to leave the EU in under two years, on 29th March 2019. The surprise June UK general election is unlikely to change this, as the two key parties have committed to honour the referendum result.

While we still have no certainty about how Brexit will affect expatriates in Spain, there are steps you can take today to future-proof your financial planning.

 
Will your family benefit from the new UK inheritance tax threshold?
Wednesday, 03 May 2017

6th April 2017 sees the introduction of an inheritance tax reform that will reduce the amount of tax paid by most estates.  Announced in the 2015 summer budget, it effectively increases the inheritance tax threshold to a potential £1 million.  This figure is for a couple, and the increase will happen gradually over four years and only applies to property - with a number of limitations.  So will your estate benefit from a £1 million nil rate band or not?

 
No surprises in UK Spring Budget other than a sting in the tail for pensions
Tuesday, 04 April 2017

In Philip Hammond’s first and only Spring Budget, there was very little to surprise and not much that had not already been announced in the 2016 Autumn Statement.

Personal allowances 

The personal tax-free allowance will increase by £500 to £11,500 from April 2017. The threshold for the higher rate band will also rise to £45,000 (excluding Scotland, where it remains at £43,000). The budget proposed to increase the personal allowance and the basic rate band to £12,500 and £50,000 respectively from April 2020.

 
Considering a QROPS? Don’t lose a quarter of your pension to the UK taxman
Tuesday, 04 April 2017

A new overseas pension transfer tax could see the UK taxman take a quarter of expatriates’ transferred funds. Those thinking of moving UK pensions need to know the new rules.

One of the few surprise announcements in the UK Spring Budget was the ‘Overseas Transfer Charge’ – an immediate tax on certain transfers to offshore pension schemes. For some expatriates, this could divert a quarter of their transferred pension funds to the UK taxman.

 
The tax landscape in Andalucía in 2017
Wednesday, 01 March 2017

It is important to review your tax planning from time to time, to check that it is up to date with Spanish tax reforms over recent years as well as international developments that may affect you.  You also want to make sure you are using the opportunities available in Spain to reduce tax liabilities for yourself and your heirs. 

This article summarises the key taxes affecting residents of Andalucía and those owning property here.

Income tax

There were no changes to income tax rates at either state or regional level, so we pay tax at the same rates as last year.

Income from  (€)

 

Income to  (€)

 

Tax rate

Tax payable on band    (€)

0

12,450

19.5%

2,428

12,450

20,200

24%

1,860

20,200

28,000

30%

2,340

28,000

35,200

31.5%

2,268

35,200

50,000

37.5%

5,550

50,000

60,000

38%

3,800

60,000

120,000

46%

27,600

120,000

Onwards

48%

 

 

The above rates only apply to general income (employment, pension, rental income, etc). 

The 2017 rates for savings income (interest, dividends, income derived from life assurance contracts, purchased annuity income and capital gains on the sale or transfer of assets) are:

Income  (€)

Tax rate

0 - 6,000

19%

6,000 - 50,000

21%

Over 50,000

23%

 
Modelo 720 as at March 2017
Wednesday, 01 March 2017

 

Modelo 720 penalties under challenge but taxpayer obligations remain

There may be some relief ahead from the threat of Modelo 720 sanctions for taxpayers in Spain.

What has happened?

On 15th February, the European Commission gave the Spanish government a two-month ultimatum to make Modelo 720 penalties fairer. While the Commission accepts that Spain has the right to require taxpayers to declare their overseas assets, it disagrees with the severity with which it punishes late or inaccurate submissions.

Sanctions under Modelo 720 law include, among others, a minimum €10,000 charge on incorrect declarations and an additional 150% penalty on unpaid capital gains. In some cases, taxpayers have faced large fines for just minor errors or omissions in completing the form. With penalties being so disproportionate to those imposed for other defaults (such as late submission of Spanish income and wealth tax returns), the Commission claims it is discriminatory and in conflict with EU freedoms.

The Commission has been arguing with Spain about the fairness of Modelo 720 for the last two years. As no agreement has yet been reached, they have taken this step to force a resolution.

 

 
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