Investments & Pensions for Europe

Protecting your wealth today, and your family’s security in the future

Why pay up to 50% tax when there’s a legal way to pay less than 4%?

Have you settled in Spain to live the dream – only to find that the tax situation is turning into a nightmare?

You are not alone. Over 400,000 UK expats, and many other residents from around the world, are experiencing the same difficulties.

You may be facing one or more of these challenges – some of which require immediate action:

  • You hold a bewildering variety of capital assets in a number of different accounts and funds around the world, both onshore and offshore.
  • You find that keeping track of the income, assets and currency fluctuations, as well as ascertaining in which country or jurisdiction tax should be paid, and at what rates, is confusing and complex.
  • You are shocked to discover that if you spend more than 183 days in Spain that makes you a tax resident – regardless of where your assets are held you are obliged to pay tax in Spain.
  • You are struggling to decide how best to pass on these assets to family and other dependants, without incurring unnecessary tax penalties. It’s proving extremely awkward and if you don’t resolve these issues before you die it will be very challenging and expensive for others to sort out.
  • You are not fully aware of the kind of succession planning that’s required in countries with forced heirship laws, and may need help preparing international wills.
  • You are unsure about the introduction of the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEoI) regime and the Common Reporting Standard (CRS). You may also be ignoring the fact that details of all your capital assets are now being shared with the tax authorities in Spain, and those in all the other countries where you hold accounts. There is now huge urgency and pressure to declare all income with total accuracy, and to be completely compliant with all the relevant regulations.

You may be unaware of the urgency surrounding AEol and CRS – it is taking effect in 2017, so your details are being shared with the Spanish authorities, and the authorities of all the other countries where you hold assets. It’s essential that you make a full and accurate declaration of your assets and income without delay – mañana is not an option!

How we help

A cautionary tale

It became mandatory for Spanish residents to declare their worldwide assets back in 2013. A pensioner in Granada disclosed €340,000 in stocks and cash in a Swiss account, but a few months late. In May 2015 he was ordered to pay more than €442,000 in interest, fines, and other costs. According to El Economista, this included a fine of €253,950 for failing to declare his assets on time, €169,300 to regularise his undeclared assets, and €16,060 in interest.

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Up to 50% or less than 4%? Which rate of income tax would you rather pay?

The first is robbery and the second is legal.

It’s decision time
And you have an awkward dilemma

Once you understand how the new AEoI regime works, and what CRS means to people like yourself, you’ll realise that full disclosure of assets or income is no longer optional – the institutions who handle your money will do it for you. If you’d like more information on these matters visit this page of our website.

You then have a choice. You can either decide to sail as close to the wind as you dare, to minimise your tax liabilities. Or you can decide to roll over, play it safe and just pay whatever the authorities tell you. The danger with the first option is that it comes with risk and stress – if you make a mistake the penalties are high. With the other approach there is certainty – certainty that you are paying too much!

Neither of these outcomes is ideal. The good news, however, is that there’s a third way. It’s a strategy already being used by many of the people you see in Sotogrande at the polo clubs, on the golf courses, down at the marinas or in the more exclusive bars and restaurants locally. 

We’ve written a helpful guide that gives you full details.

What the guide will tell you

  • How tax authorities around the globe are now cooperating to obtain full details of financial assets held abroad by their residents, so that they can more effectively collect all their taxes. It explains exactly how AEoI works, the timescales involved, what data is being shared and what this means for those resident in Spain.
  • How you can get around the fact that the Spanish tax code allows no more than 12% of your income to be taxed at savings tax rate – a strategy that is totally legal and compliant.
  • How to gather all your different capital assets together, and continue to hold them in their separate accounts and funds, but in a way that makes it much simpler for you and your dependants to manage – dealing with tax authorities will be much simpler, as will sorting out your estate when the time comes.
  • How a well-structured income solution can enable you to reduce the rate at which you pay income tax to less than 4%.

About Investments & Pensions for Europe

Investments and Pensions for Europe is an independent information website that connects British citizens who are currently resident in Europe with financial companies who offer specialist overseas investments advice. 

All the financial advisers that they work with are fully regulated and authorised to give international financial advice. Investments and Pensions for Europe is not authorised to give financial advice and will only recommend the services of a well-respected adviser who will also be a member of The Federation of European Independent Financial Advisers (FEIFA)

FEIFA states on its website ( that “Membership is not available to all advisers and their companies”. “We only admit members following a relevant vetting and due diligence procedure”. “FEIFA therefore provides consumers with an independent assessment of the regulatory status of its member companies, who also sign up to a Code of Conduct”

Investments & Pensions for Europe

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