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 David Bowern







Articles in this section are supplied by David Bowern, Partner at Blevins Franks. 
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 David Bowern      

Do you know where you are domiciled?
Monday, 18 March 2019

Are you sure?

For British expatriates, understanding domicile is an important element of estate planning. It is domicile, not residence, that determines your liability for UK inheritance tax. With rates at 40%, UK inheritance tax is one of the most expensive taxes facing British families – and living in Spain does not automatically protect you.

Determining domicile

Domicile is a complex and incredibly adhesive UK common law concept. The basic rule is that a person is domiciled in the country in which they have their permanent home – the country regarded as your ‘homeland’. However, you can remain UK-domiciled even after living abroad for many years.

There are three types of domicile under English law:

·        Domicile of origin – where a child takes their father’s (or single/unmarried mother’s) domicile (not necessarily their country of birth). 

·        Domicile of dependence – applies to women married before 1974 (whose domicile will mirror their husband’s) as well as minors and other legal dependents.

·        Domicile of choice – acquired by moving permanently to another country.

Tax News for Andalucía
Monday, 18 March 2019

A new year should also the start of a new tax year in Spain, but the political situation here means that we do not yet know what tax rates we will be paying in 2019.  

Autonomous regional governments in Spain have the power to amend the regional part of the income and wealth tax rates and reliefs, and to adjust the succession and gift tax reliefs and rules. While many Spanish regions have approved their local budgets for 2019, the Andalucía budget is not yet confirmed.

Spain’s no-deal Brexit plans safeguard rights of UK expatriates
Monday, 18 February 2019

While there is still much uncertainty as the Brexit clock runs down, Spain has taken care to reassure British expatriates that they can stay and access benefits like healthcare, whatever happens with Brexit.

In January, the Spanish government outlined its no-deal contingency plans in a new Brexit section of its website. This also summarises the issues UK and Spanish nationals and businesses will face after the UK leaves the EU, including residency, healthcare, voting rights, education, travel and financial services.

We explore what this means for expatriates in Spain in terms of residency rights, access to healthcare and voting rights.

What are your UK pension options in Spain today?
Monday, 18 February 2019

Pensions are often the key to long-term financial security, so it is crucial to take extreme care when deciding what to do here. Expatriates have the added complication of factoring in the tax rules of two countries, as well as the potential for Brexit to limit the range of opportunities.

So what are today's options for Britons living in Spain?

Five things you may not realise about UK inheritance tax
Monday, 14 January 2019

As inheritance tax revenue continues to soar for the UK Treasury year-by-year, it seems more families are getting caught in the net. The UK government collected a record high of over £5.2 billion in 2017/18 - 8% more than the year before. 

For expatriates, it can be especially difficult to know where you stand with UK inheritance tax. With rates at 40%, it pays to understand your position and what you can do to minimise exposure for your heirs.

Review your finances for the new year
Thursday, 20 December 2018

The new year is a good time to reflect on the previous 12 months and look ahead to what the coming year may bring. Make sure one new year’s resolution is to review your financial planning to check it is up-to-date and on track to protect your family’s long-term wealth.

Preparing for Brexit

Although the official Brexit date is just weeks away, there is still much uncertainty about what it will actually mean for UK nationals living in the EU and when any changes will take effect. 

Whatever happens, if you are already formally resident in Spain, your right to remain should be secure. You can continue receiving the same access to healthcare and other benefits as you do today for as long as you are settled here.

But if you still plan to move to Spain or have not yet registered as tax resident, time really is running out. Even if a transition period is guaranteed, it is sensible to work towards the shortest possible cut-off date; so take urgent steps to establish your settled status before 29th March 2019.

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