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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      

Reviewing your pension options in Spain in the face of Brexit
Friday, 21 September 2018

Expatriates in Spain can leave pensions in the UK, take a lump sum, transfer overseas and more, but today's options and benefits may change after Brexit.

It makes sense for British expatriates to adapt their financial planning for their life abroad. By taking advantage of opportunities available for Spanish residents, you can potentially reduce taxation and gain more flexibility than UK-based alternatives. 

Does the same apply to pensions: if you are permanently living in Spain, should you bring your UK pensions with you?

Another record year for UK inheritance tax
Friday, 21 September 2018

More and more families are being caught by the UK inheritance tax net.  Official figures released by HM Revenue & Customs at the end of July confirm that the UK government received £5.2 billion in inheritance tax payments for the 2017/18 tax year - the highest ever.

Inheritance tax (IHT) receipts have been steadily increasing since 2009/10, by an average of 10% a year.  The tax take for 2009/10 was £2.4 billion, so the amount the Treasury earns has increased by 117% since then.   

The average IHT bill actually reduced by £2,000 between 2014/15 and 2016/17, but more estates are now paying it - so more families are losing out on some of their inheritance.  

Figures released by the Treasury with the November 2017 budget revealed that it expects IHT receipts to rise to £6.5 billion by 2022.  

Home bias vs diversification: Some home truths about investing
Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Think about where you hold your savings and investments. Is there one area that stands out in terms of geographical region and asset type? For many expatriates, it is common to have a skew towards UK assets and investments. Britons also tend to favour property as an approach to invest and grow capital.


Home may be where the heart is, but is it where the savvy expatriate investor should focus? Here, we explore the tax implications of two types of ‘home bias' - UK-based investments and a concentration in property - and look at why diversification is so important.

Exchange of information – what changes in September?
Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Last September, tax authorities across the world, including Spain and the UK, began sharing and receiving new information on their taxpayers' offshore assets and income.      

This is carried out under the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) for automatic exchange of financial account information.  More than100 countries have so far committed to obtain information from their financial institutions and pass it on to the clients' country of residence.

Preparing for Brexit and residency in Spain
Wednesday, 20 June 2018

The Brexit transition period agreed in March gives British expatriates and those wishing to move to Spain more time to prepare. This was welcome news, but a small delay like this could slow people down in taking crucial actions that are fairly urgent - the clock is still ticking to get ready in time, particularly where paperwork is involved.   

The key issue for many people is residence ­– If you are already living here, will there be any problems with you staying after Brexit?  If you are still arranging your move to Spain, how can you secure residence in time?

In December 2017 the UK and EU27 committed to maintain existing residency rights for Britons and EU nationals who are “lawfully residing” within either area before the withdrawal date. This confirmed that citizens on both sides can continue "to live, work or study as they currently do under the same conditions as under Union law".  

Spain cracks down on Gibraltar “residency”
Wednesday, 20 June 2018

The Spanish Hacienda earns €20 million from regularising the status of 160 high net worth individuals claiming tax residence in Gibraltar when really resident in Andalucía (Spain).

The Spanish tax authorities have taken huge steps over recent years to crack down on tax evasion and increase tax revenue. They implemented a number of new measures and adopted new IT tools to make it easier to find those who are not following the Spanish tax rules correctly, as well as to analyse the tax affairs of wealthy individuals with interests in Spain.

Besides looking for those who have failed to declare all their income, including overseas income and assets, they are also focused on false residency claims - i.e. those who live in Spain but claim residence in a low taxation territory like Gibraltar or Andorra to avoid paying higher taxes in Spain. 

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