Lucrative visa explained (self-employed)

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, April, 1. 2021

Lawyer Raymundo Larrain explains to us one of four ways to legally bypass the pesky 90/180-day rule that now affects all UK nationals post-Brexit.

Marbella-based Larraín Nesbitt Abogados (LNA) has over 18 years’ taxation & conveyancing experience at your service. We offer a wide range of 50 legal and corporate services. Our team of native English-speaking lawyers and economists have a long track record successfully assisting expats all over Spain.

You can review here our client’s testimonials.

Article copyrighted © 2021. Plagiarism will be criminally prosecuted.

 

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Director of Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers
8th of April 2021

As its own name implies, this permit allows the applicant to work in Spain as you will be self-employed. This residency applies to someone who is looking to set up his own business in Spain. Typically, you will be acting as director or company administrator. Needless to say, one of the key requirements is that you will have enough means to be self-supporting both for yourself and your family for one year.

Outlining and submitting a sound business plan is required by the Spanish Authorities. You will be required to work in the business plan which is submitted. You can either set up a new business or else take over an existing business. Renewals of this type of permit are guaranteed so long as the business is making a profit and money is not owed to either the Social Security or the Spanish Tax Office.

As stressed, devising a professional business plan is paramount to the success of this application; LNA can assist you both in devising one, to meet their stringent expectations, as well as attaining the residency permit itself.

This residency permit allows the investor’s family to live, and study in Spain.

Frequently asked questions

 

  1. Will my family be included in this visa?

Yes, your spouse and underaged children are regarded as dependants and will be included in the visa.

  1. How long does this work visa last for?

Initially one year, then on two-year renewals. After you have completed five years you may apply for a permanent residency card.

  1. How much money do I need to invest?

The figure varies, depending on the business, but we advise a minimum of between €80,000 to €100,000.

  1. Do I need to hire private health insurance?

No, unless you want to. When you work in Spain, you must be enrolled in Social Security which follows a monthly pay-in scheme. This already covers all your medical needs, both for yourself and your family.

  1. Do I need to live in Spain all year round?

If you want to be eligible for renewals, you need to spend more than six months within a calendar year in Spain (which automatically makes you tax resident).

  1. Is a business plan required?

Yes, we would take care of that. We work with registered economists who would draft you a professional plan and submit it to Spanish Immigration Authorities for approval.

  1. What type of business are we talking of?

There are no restrictions (other than your own qualifications to run a business). Most clients choose a business in line with their expertise that does not demand a formal qualification such as a boutique hotel, a bed&breakfast, a restaurant, retail outlets, import-export business, etc. You can also take over a going concern (existing business).

  1. How long does a work visa take to arrange?

On average, 3 to 4 months.

 

LNA offers the following residency service for non-EU nationals: Lucrative visa (self-employed)

LNA has a 100% track record attaining Spanish residency

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers, small on fees, big on service.

At Larrain Nesbitt Abogados, we have assisted hundreds of EU and non-EU nationals to successfully attain a Spanish residency permit.

Interested? Come and speak to Larraín Nesbitt Abogados’ friendly staff who will be pleased to guide you through the different residency options, choosing the one that appeals to you most. Your family’s success is only one call away: (+34) 952 19 22 88.

Residency services available from LNA

 

Related residency articles

 

Article originally published at Spanish Property Insight: Lucrative residency permit

Please note the information provided in this article is of general interest only and is not to be construed or intended as substitute for professional legal advice. This article may be posted freely in websites or other social media so long as the author is duly credited. Plagiarizing, whether in whole or in part, this article without crediting the author may result in criminal prosecution. VOV.

2.021 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All Rights Reserved.

 

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EU-Family Regrouping (Marriage Visa)

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, March, 1. 2021

Lawyer Raymundo Larrain explains to us one of four ways to legally bypass the pesky 90/180-day rule that now affects all UK nationals post-Brexit.

Marbella-based Larraín Nesbitt Abogados (LNA) has over 18 years’ taxation & conveyancing experience at your service. We offer a wide range of 50 legal and corporate services. Our team of native English-speaking lawyers and economists have a long track record successfully assisting expats all over Spain.

You can review here our client’s testimonials.

Article copyrighted © 2021. Plagiarism will be criminally prosecuted.

 

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Director of Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers
1st of March 2021

 

The 90-day rule

Post-Brexit, all UK nationals are subject to the 90/180 rule, both in Spain and in the Union. Basically, this means you cannot stay in Spain (or the Union) for more than 90 days within every rolling 6-month period. This has become a real nuisance for Britons who own property in Spain (or Europe), or who simply like to spend long periods of time enjoying its gorgeous weather.

I keep getting asked, almost every day, how to bypass the 90/180 rule. There are in fact four legal ways, and in this article, I will be covering the fourth one.

I’m going to keep this article short & simple, avoiding unnecessary legalities.

Who is this service for?

It’s intended for families or couples that have been separated, in and out of the EU. It seeks to reunite them in an expedite manner within the EU. So, although this type of visa is popularly dubbed as ‘marriage visa,’ it would be rather more appropriate to refer to it as ‘family visa’, as its scope goes well beyond a married couple. It ought to be understood in broader terms, as in family reunion. But yes, ‘marriage visa’ certainly does have more of a ring to it, I get it.

EU-Family Reunification

All those UK nationals married to a partner who hold a passport of a member state of the Union, may apply for this residency permit.

The catch is that the EU national must already reside, or plan to reside, in the Union.

As Great Britain is after all a nation of nations, we all have commingled blood. It is not uncommon for Britons to trace back in their family tree some distant Irish relative. If one of the partners secures an Irish passport, for example, this would automatically qualify them both for a EU-family regrouping. The Republic of Ireland remains a member state of the Union. This would allow a British couple to formally attain a Spanish residency permit, allowing them to neatly circumvent the 90/180-day pesky limitation. They would no longer be subject to this rule, being able to come and go as they please from Spain.

However, if both partners have no real intention of relocating their residency over to the Union (i.e. because they both wish to remain UK residents), this permit is not an option.

Marriage

One of the core requirements (for couples) is that they need to be lawfully married (not separated). An updated marriage certificate needs to be produced, as part of the application procedure. This is why it's popularly known as a 'marriage visa.'

Requirements

  • Married.
  • One of them is an EU national, or has attained permanent residency in Spain.
  • Both need to relocate & live in Spain.

 

Advantages over other residency options

 

The advantages offered by EU family reunification compared to the other three residency options are countless; in fact, so much so, that in my opinion it even beats a Golden Visa hands down, which is widely regarded as the golden standard (excuse the pun).

Pros

  • Unlike a Golden Visa, you are not required to make a large investment in Spain. In fact, you are not required to make any investment in Spain!
  • Unlike a non-lucrative visa, this permit allows its holders to work in Spain, either as self-employed or employed.
  • Unlike a lucrative visa, you are not expected to make circa 30,000 euros a year. In fact, it has attached no minimum annual income requirements!
  • It allows you unlimited access & stay to Spain, not being constrained by the 90/180 rule.
  • Moreover, it allows you unfettered access to Spain and the Union (27 countries). The time spent in Spain does not count towards the EUs 90/180 rule. This is most interesting to businesspeople, as they can smartly combine time periods to (over)stay in the EU effectively overriding the 90/180 rule, on business trips and such.
  • Same-sex marriages are accepted.
  • Because of the intrinsic nature of reuniting separated families, the procedure is actually fast-tracked compared to other residency alternatives, as uniting separated families is an admin priority. In plain English, you attain it much faster than following the other three options.
  • Legal fees for this residency service are in fact lower than the other three alternatives.
  • By its own nature, it is meant to be a fast-tracked procedure, meaning you are required to submit much less paperwork to comply. In other words, it greatly streamlines the residency procedure cutting through all the red tape. Additionally, it also cuts down in expenses on sworn translations, apostilles and all assorted legalia. Every penny counts.

Cons

  • You actually need to relocate and live in Spain.
  • You actually do need to get married. Eh well, nothing is perfect.

 

Tax residency

As always, administrative residency and tax residency are two separate legal concepts. The fact that you apply for a residency permit, does not make you tax resident in Spain.

However, that said, both concepts do go hand in hand, and eventually overlap; if you live all year round in Spain, you will eventually become tax resident in Spain.

Conclusion

An EU family regrouping is one of four legal ways to bypass the pesky 90/180-day rule that now applies to all UK nationals in a post-Brexit world.

If you are considering this route, it is advisable you take legal advice beforehand on how this option may impact you taxwise.

An EU family regrouping is as good as it gets; it’s a win-win and has no strings attached (well, other than the getting married part).

 

“Life is short, but marriage is long... so drink up, and it will make it go a hell of a lot faster.” Quote from the movie “Rumour Has It…”

 

LNA has a 100% track record attaining Spanish residency

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers, small on fees, big on service.

At Larrain Nesbitt Abogados, we have assisted hundreds of EU and non-EU nationals to successfully attain a Spanish residency permit.

Interested? Come and speak to Larraín Nesbitt Abogados’ friendly staff who will be pleased to guide you through the different residency options, choosing the one that appeals to you most. Your family’s success is only one call away: (+34) 952 19 22 88.

 

Residency services available from LNA

 

Golden Visa related articles

 

Article also published at Spanish Property Insight: EU-family regrouping

Please note the information provided in this article is of general interest only and is not to be construed or intended as substitute for professional legal advice. This article may be posted freely in websites or other social media so long as the author is duly credited. Plagiarizing, whether in whole or in part, this article without crediting the author may result in criminal prosecution. VOV.

2.021 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All Rights Reserved.

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Spain's Golden Visa for British, it's retroactive!

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, February, 18. 2021

Solicitor Raymond Nesbitt gives us an overview of the advantages offered by Spain’s Golden Visa scheme to UK nationals.

Marbella-based Larraín Nesbitt Abogados (LNA) has over 18 years’ taxation & conveyancing experience at your service. We offer a wide range of 50 legal and corporate services. Our team of native English-speaking lawyers and economists have a long track record successfully assisting expats all over Spain.

You can review here our client’s testimonials.

Article copyrighted © 2021. Plagiarism will be criminally prosecuted.

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Director of Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers
21st of February 2021

Introduction

We recently published an article on Golden Visas for British nationals which has garnered much attention. It constitutes a legal breakthrough, as it allows Britons – for the first time ever – to access Golden Visas in Spain. Since then, we have received numerous queries raising a number of questions. Chiefly, the most important one being on whether Golden Visas are in fact retroactive, or not. The good news is that yes, Golden Visas are indeed retroactive.

Any UK national who bought a property in Spain, on or after the 28th of September 2013, may qualify to apply for a Spanish Golden Visa.

We are going to reproduce below some of the most frequently asked questions raised by UK nationals we’ve collated over the last week to help shed some light on the matter.

  1. I’m British and bought a 500k property in 2016, do I qualify?

Yes, you do.

  1. We bought a 500k property under joint names, do we qualify?

No, you do not. British couples normally buy property under joint names; however, when it comes to Golden Visas, this is a challenge.

The law requires that 500,000 euros are only under the name of the main investor, the balance however can be registered under the name of the partner.

E.g. A UK couple buy under joint names a 500,000 euros property in 2014. They would not qualify because the do not meet the 500k threshold (as each one has ‘only’ 250k).

E.g. A UK couple buy a 700k property, 500k under the name of the wife and the balance (200k) is under the name of her spouse. They would qualify.

  1. We’ve already bought property in Spain but fall just short of the 500k threshold. Do we qualify?

No, but you may still qualify providing you buy another property that assists you reaching the 500k limit. It doesn’t matter if you buy the second property years later, don’t worry. What matters is reaching the 500k goal, even if by combining all the property values you own.

For example, you’ve already acquired a 450k property in the past. What you can do is buy one, or more, properties, to help you reach the 500k threshold, so you qualify for this special residency visa permit.

  1. I snagged a bargain property for under 500k during Spain’s downturn in 2014, but it is now worth substantially more than 500k, do I qualify?

No, you don’t. Same as in point three above, the value in the purchase deed needs to tally 500k. Any capital appreciation over time is not computed, sorry. You would need to buy one, or more, additional properties that allow you to meet the 500k threshold.

  1. We bought a property for 480k in the past but have made extensive improvements to the property since that now make it worth well over 500k. Do we qualify?

No, you don’t. Same as in points three and four above, the values in the purchase deed need to tally 500k. Any extensions or improvements made to a property are not computed. You would need to buy one, or more, properties that allow you to meet the 500k threshold i.e. a parking space.

  1. At present, our property, which cost €795K, is held equally between my wife and myself.  However, if we reorganised our affairs such that my wife, say, held a €500K, interest in the property, could we, again, in principle, be both eligible for a Golden Visa?

No. You cannot belatedly rearrange property holdings to meet the 500k threshold post-sale. The law requires an investor buys one, or more, properties that combinedly meet the statutory threshold. The Title deed/s need to add up to 500,000 euros on buying property in Spain. To overcome this, you could buy a second additional property for 102,500 euros that would allow either one of you to hit the required 500k yardstick.

  1. If I attain a Golden Visa, does the time spent in Spain count towards the Schengen 90/180 rule? I travel to Europe on business regularly and this is a key point for me.

Short answer is no. When you land a GV, you may come and go as you please from Spain; you are not subject to the 90/180 rule that applies to the remainder of UK nationals. Regarding travelling in or around the Schengen Area, the time you spend in Spain would not count towards the 90 out of every rolling six-month period (the 90/180 rule you mention). In other words, as an example, within the same six-month period you may legally flaunt said rule on spending say 90 days in Spain and 90 days in the Schengen Area. Without a Golden Visa you simply could not hope to achieve this. Which is yet another advantage for businesspeople, or for those who simply like to roam free around Europe getting lost in its beauty.

  1. I sold a property and hold a substantial bank deposit since 2015, do I qualify?

Yes, you do. Providing your bank balance is one million euros.

Buying property in Spain is one of many ways to acquire a Golden Visa, albeit it is by no means the only one. There are several other viable options that enable an investor, and his family, to attain a Golden Visa in Spain. Speak to us.

At Larrain Nesbitt Abogados, we have assisted hundreds of non-EU investors, and their families, to attain a Golden Visa since its inception in 2013. We can put you in touch with the most reputable real estate agencies across Spain to make your dreams come true. Apply for the keys to your Golden Visa through Larraín Nesbitt Abogados’: Golden Visa Service.

Interested? Come and speak to Larraín Nesbitt Abogados friendly staff who will be pleased to guide you through Spain’s Golden Visa programme. Your family’s success is only one call away: (+34) 952 19 22 88.

LNA has a 100% track record attaining Spanish residency

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers, small on fees, big on service.

Golden Visa Service

 

Residency services available from LNA

 

Golden Visa related articles

 

Article also published at Spanish Property Insight: Spanish Golden Visa for British, it’s retroactive!

Please note the information provided in this article is of general interest only and is not to be construed or intended as substitute for professional legal advice. This article may be posted freely in websites or other social media so long as the author is duly credited. Plagiarizing, whether in whole or in part, this article without crediting the author may result in criminal prosecution. Voluntas omnia vincit.

2.021 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All Rights Reserved.

 

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Spanish Golden Visa for British investors after Brexit

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, January, 21. 2021

Solicitor Raymond Nesbitt gives us an overview of the advantages offered by Spain’s Golden Visa scheme to UK nationals.

Marbella-based Larraín Nesbitt Abogados (LNA) has over 18 years’ taxation & conveyancing experience at your service. We offer a wide range of 50 legal and corporate services. Our team of native English-speaking lawyers and economists have a long track record successfully assisting expats all over Spain.

You can review here our client’s testimonials.

Article copyrighted © 2013, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2021. Plagiarism will be criminally prosecuted.

 

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Director of Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers
21st of January 2021 

Introduction

The Spanish Golden Visa has become the gateway to Europe for thousands of applicants pursuing the European dream. They have collectively invested over 2 billion euros since its inception in 2013. Although Spain’s visa programme was initially a flop, as it fell well below expectations, and was marred with teething issues, an ambitious overhaul in 2015 made it extremely competitive compared with similar schemes offered by fellow EU countries. So much so, that this massive tweak enabled Spain to confidently overtake Portugal, becoming Europe´s leading Golden Visa supplier.

Although this procedure was originally devised to cater to affluent Russian, Chinese, and Iranian nationals, in a post-Brexit world, UK nationals now have a golden opportunity (excuse the pun) to benefit from the wide array of advantages offered by Spain’s Golden Visa scheme. 

With the European Union’s Parliament official confirmation from last week that it will ratify belatedly the Withdrawal Agreement in February 2021, Brexit is now truly done and dusted. This opens the doors for Britons to apply for a GV application. Although Brexit has been a protracted procedure, as a positive note, it has allowed the prospect of Golden Visas for British nationals.

UK nationals may now enjoy - for the first time ever - the slew of advantages that were until now reserved only to a select minority of wealthy non-EUs. The main advantage is that it allows British nationals - that lack a EU passport - to enter and move visa-free through the Schengen Area, skipping pesky passport controls on an equal footing to EU nationals. Much like before the UK voted to break away from the Union.

If you fancy an in-depth take into this subject, you can take a peek at our 2013 article: Investor Guide to Spain’s Golden Visa Law

Spain’s Golden Visa programme allows affluent non-EU applicants, and their dependants, unfettered access across Europe´s Schengen Area. Travel unmolested through all of Europe.

A Golden Visa enables you, and your family, to live and work in Spain (Europe). This visa guarantees Spanish residency, which eventually leads to Spanish citizenship (optional). Live the dream, apply now!

Thousands of non-EU nationals have already secured their families’ future and well-being on benefiting from this special arrangement that rolls out the red carpet cutting through all the red tape. Spain’s Golden Visa is a success story, be a part of it!

At Larrain Nesbitt Abogados, we have assisted hundreds of investors, and their families, to attain a GV since its inception in 2013. We can put you in touch with the most reputable real estate agencies across Spain to make your dreams come true. Apply for the keys to your Golden Visa through Larraín Nesbitt Abogados: Golden Visa Service. Your family’s success is only one call away: (+34) 952 19 22 88.

 

Golden Visa Advantages

  • Fast-tracked. This law is specifically devised to attract affluent non-EU investors and helps to cut through the admin red tape greatly streamlining the visa procedure.
  • Travel Europe visa-free. You can travel without a visa for 90 days out of every 180 days within the Schengen Area.
  • Clear rules. Two years (Residency Permit), renewable for a further 5 years.
  • No need to become resident in Spain. You only have to visit Spain once to get or renew the Residency Permit. There is no minimum stay requirement, and you don’t have to become a tax resident or actually live in Spain.
  • Family included. You may get additional permits for your spouse and children under 18 years (or disabled and dependant children over 18). Same-sex partners inclusive. Dependant parents of applicant are now also included (extended family).
  • You may work in Spain.
  • Spanish nationality (optional). This is a 2-year Residency Permit, not the right to permanent residency or a Spanish passport. However, it can lead to long-term Spanish residency after 5 years of continuous residence, and citizenship after 10 years.
  • Underaged children may study in Europe. Underaged offspring can live and study in Europe, in company of your partner, whilst you work and earn money abroad.
  • Return on investment. Take advantage of Spain´s burgeoning real estate recovery.

 

General Requirements

 Applicants pursuing investor visas must comply with the following general requirements:

  • Non-EU national.
  • The investor applicant must be of legal age (18-years-old or over).
  • The investor must not hold a criminal record whether in Spain or in the previous five years where he has resided.
  • Not be already in Spain irregularly.
  • Have access to private medical insurance.
  • Have sufficient financial means to support both himself and his family whilst in Spain.
  • Pay the relevant application fee.

 

Specific Requirements

Qualified residency permits to non-EU residents will be offered in return for any of the following:

  1. Invest at least €500,000 in Spanish real estate property.
  2. Invest at least €2,000,000 in Spanish Treasury Bonds.
  3. Invest at least €1,000,000 in shares of Spanish companies.
  4. Deposit at least €1,000,000 in Spanish bank accounts.
  5. A ‘major’ business investment which fulfils at least one of the following three criteria:
  • Meaningful job creation as a direct result of the investment.
  • Significant socioeconomic impact in the geographical location where the activity will be carried out.
  • Technological or scientific impact.

Why choose Europe?

  • Democracy. Europe, cradle of democracy, hosts some of the world’s oldest and most solid. A clear and stable legal and tax framework allows freedom, nurtures ingenuity, and upholds (property) rights for businesspeople. This concocts the ideal breeding ground to foster business investments, and develop an entrepreneurial skill set.
  • Education. Europe is home to some of the world’s most respected academic institutions. Secure a bright future for your children allowing them to earn their spurs in life through a meritocratic top-notch education.
  • Culture. Europe is a crucible of cultures, a conflux that laces Western and Eastern influences, offering a rich tapestry of history and arts that shaped the world as we know it. Spain’s vast cultural heritage, spanning millennia, is a legacy of commingled cultures that attracts over 84 million tourists every year leaving an indelible mark upon its visitors.
  • Languages. Seize the opportunity to master and command some of the world’s most influential languages: English (business & finance), French (arts & diplomacy), German (industry & science), Spanish (literature & poetry).
  • Healthcare. Europe, and Spain in particular, are at the forefront in modern medical facilities.
  • Modern transport. Spain offers top-tier transport services including state-of-the-art high-speed rails connecting you with Europe’s major capitals.

 

Frequently asked questions

 


   1. Can I request a mortgage on investing €500,000 in Spanish real estate?

Only on the excess above €500,000. The law requires that the first €500,000 is unencumbered – meaning the equity threshold must be free. The excess can indeed be financed through a mortgage loan if necessary. Notwithstanding the above, you may also finance the 500k using a lender, as long as he is located outside of the Union, although this may prove challenging in practice.

   2. I have read that I need to spend over six months in Spain to qualify for residency. Is this true?

No. A GV neatly overrides this requirement. This law specifically targets affluent individuals who will normally be residing and working elsewhere. That doesn’t preclude the investor’s spouse and children from living and studying (or even working) in Spain (Europe). In other words, you are free to come and go as you please without needing to stay in Spain a minimum period of time every year.

   3. I don’t fancy paying taxes in Spain, I already pay enough in my home country. Will I become a Spanish tax resident if I apply for a GV?

No, you won’t. A GV application is unrelated to your tax residency. Only if you spend more than 183 days a year in Spanish territory would you become a Spanish tax resident. Ideal for those who want their families to enjoy a European lifestyle whilst the main investor commutes to work in other countries and has his/her main business outside of Europe.

   4. How long does it take to attain a GV application?

Under two months, on average.

   5. Can I work in Spain?

Yes. Following a change in the GV law in 2015, the main investor may now work in Spain.

   6. Can I make use of the public healthcare system?

No. This blue-ribbon visa targets wealthy non-residents who must hire their own private insurance. We can also assist you with this: Hiring private health insurance.

   7. Does a GV include also the investor’s family?

Yes, even extended family. The term ‘family’ must be understood broadly. A married couple and their children under 18 are included under the same application as a family unit. Same-sex partners qualify as a married couple. In some cases, children over 18 y.o. are also included as long as they are financially dependent. Also, dependant parents, even if under 65 y.o.

   8. How long does the Golden Visa last for?

Two years, and you may renew it for a further 5 years.

   9. Do holders of the so-called Golden Visa have unrestricted access to move within the European Union?

In a nutshell, yes. Holders of a Spanish Golden Visa do not require a visa to enter Europe’s Schengen Area. They can transit and enjoy free movement within the Schengen Area visa-free for a maximum period of three months (90 days) in every rolling six-month period from the date of first entry. You will have unfettered access to move within the Union.

  10. Can I invest in real estate through a company?

Yes, but certain criteria apply to qualify - talk to us. The bottom line is that you can indeed buy real estate through companies and still qualify to attain a GV in Spain.

Interested? Come and speak to Larraín Nesbitt Abogados friendly staff who will be pleased to guide you through Spain’s Golden Visa programme. Your family’s success is only one call away: (+34) 952 19 22 88.
 

Golden Visa Service *

*includes one family unit

 

“Democracy owes its existence to Christianity.” – Robert Schuman

Jean-Baptiste Nicolas Robert Schuman (1886 – 1963). Was a French statesman. Schuman was a Christian Democrat (Popular Republican Movement) political thinker and activist. Twice Prime Minister of France, a reformist Minister of Finance and a Foreign Minister, he was instrumental in building postwar European and trans-Atlantic institutions and was one of eleven Founding Fathers of the European Union, the Council of Europe, and NATO.

In fact, all Founding Fathers of the Union were Christian, which explains the thoughtful choice of Rome - Christianity's bedrock - to sign in 1957 the EEC’s foundational treaty, a forerunner of what in time would be known to us as the European Union, or Union. I’m guessing Pericles would like to have a word or two on this quote.

LNA has a 100% track record attaining Spanish residency

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers, small on fees, big on service.

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers is a law firm specialized in conveyancing, residency, inheritance, taxation and litigation. You can contact us by e-mail at info@larrainnesbitt.com, by completing our contact form or by telephone on (+34) 952 19 22 88.

Residency services available from LNA:

 

Golden Visa related articles

 

Article originally published at Spanish Property Insight: Spanish Golden Visa for British investors after Brexit

Please note the information provided in this article is of general interest only and is not to be construed or intended as substitute for professional legal advice. This article may be posted freely in websites or other social media so long as the author is duly credited. Plagiarizing, whether in whole or in part, this article without crediting the author may result in criminal prosecution. Voluntas omnia vincit.

2.013, 2.017, 2.018, 2.019, and 2.021 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All Rights Reserved.

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Modelo 720 – Tax form 720

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, January, 1. 2021

Marbella-based Larraín Nesbitt Abogados (LNA) has over 18 years’ taxation & conveyancing experience at your service. We offer a wide range of 50 legal and corporate services. Our team of native English-speaking lawyers and economists have a long track record successfully assisting expats all over Spain.

You can review here our client’s testimonials.

Article copyrighted © 2020, 2021 Plagiarism will be criminally prosecuted.

Inset photo: courtesy of Self Bank

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Director of Larraín Nesbitt Abogados
8th of January 2021

In 2013 the Spanish Tax Office implemented a new tax obligation whereby all tax residents in Spain, who hold over €50,000 in assets abroad, need to complete this tax return before end of March 2021 deadline.

By 2018, over 5,000 taxpayers had already been (heavily) fined on failing to disclose they held substantial assets abroad. This figure continues to increase year on year. We stress the fines for non-compliance are the steepest we’ve ever seen. In fact, so much so, they have been challenged at Brussels. The infamous modelo 720, despite being the object of heated controversy, remains very much an active tax obligation with which taxpayers must contend with. If you fall within its scope, I strongly advise you to comply or else face the risk of stiff fines.

It should be stated this tax form is only for reporting purposes; you do NOT pay any tax on submitting it. Resident taxpayers already pay income tax on submitting their annual I.R.P.F. tax returns once a year.

You also have Mark’s pungent article explaining it which, unlike mine, doesn’t pull any punches.

I have structured my article as a FAQ for ease of comprehension.

Who needs to declare?

All Spanish tax residents who own assets overseas on or over €50,000.

Again, and for the avoidance of doubt, if you are non-resident in Spain you do NOT need to submit this tax return; it is only for residents.

Who is considered tax resident in Spain?

The Spanish Tax Office applies – amongst many others – the following broad criteria:

  • You spend more than 183 days within a calendar year in Spanish territory.
  • Your centre of financial interests is located in Spain.
  • Your spouse and/or underage children live in Spain.

Reporting categories

There are three reporting categories: bank accounts, investments and immovable property.

Obligation to report

You must report all assets in a particular category if the value of your total assets within it exceeds €50,000.

2021 tax submission period

From the 1st of January until the 31st of March 2021.

Can I file it after the submission period?

Yes, but hefty penalties apply. Ask us.

If you have already filed tax form 720 in the past

You only need to file it again if:

  • The value of an existing asset grew by more than €20,000, or
  • You sold an asset, or
  • You obtained a new asset.

Penalties for non-compliance

The disproportionate fines levied are (very) stiff.

  • Failing to file 720 or filing it incorrectly: €5,000 per infraction.
  • Minimum fine of €10,000 for each group of assets.
  • Penalty of 150% on unpaid income tax.

The Common Reporting Standard and you

Please take good note that with the advent of the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), signed by over 100 countries to combat tax evasion, as from the 1st of January 2018, the Spanish Tax Office is being spoon-fed fiscal information by your home tax office.

For example, both HM Revenue & Customs and Ireland’s Revenue Commissioners are busy supplying the Spanish Tax Office with detailed information (and vice versa) on all your overseas assets and reported income derived abroad as from the 1st of January 2018.

In plain English, your home country’s tax office will likely have already informed the Spanish Tax Office of the assets you hold abroad. It is in your best interests to be pro-active and come clean before you are served with a legal notice imposing humongous fines on you; as it’s happened already to over 6,000 unsuspecting taxpayers. The tax office likes waiting till the last moment before imposing fines to rake in as much interests as is legally admissible before the statute of limitations kicks in. Fines on non-compliance start at five figures and often are six-figures, or higher.

Brexit and attaining Spanish residency

Scores of UK nationals applied for a Spanish residency permit in the run up to Brexit. Unbeknownst to them, many will be now regarded as tax residents in Spain. Any UK national who is tax resident, and holds over 50,000 euros in assets abroad, must file tax form 720.

If you want peace of mind, you should sort out your tax affairs and submit this tax return to avoid humongous fines.

The last word

We strongly advise you to submit tax form 720 if you are (tax) resident in Spain to avoid steep penalties. If you plan to submit it, please contact us well ahead of the submission deadline (31st of March 2021) as it takes days to prepare and process. If you are unsure if you qualify for it, just give us a buzz and one of our friendly staff will answer your queries to allay your fears.

Si vis pacem, para bellum.” Vegetius

Loosely translated as: “If you want peace, prepare for war.”

Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus (4th Century A.D.). Writer of the Later Roman Empire. Nothing is known of his life or station beyond what is contained in his two surviving works: Epitoma rei militaris (also referred to as De re militari), and the lesser-known Digesta Artis Mulomedicinae, a guide to veterinary medicine. The quote comes from his military tract. It mainly focuses on military organization (legion) and how to react to certain occasions in war.

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyer’s taxation service:

Tax form 720

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers, small on fees, big on service.

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers is a law firm specialized in taxation, conveyancing, inheritance, and litigation. We will be very pleased to discuss your matter with you. You can contact us by e-mail at info@larrainnesbitt.com, by telephone on (+34) 952 19 22 88 or by completing our contact form to book an appointment.

Related tax articles

 

Article also published at Spanish Property Insight:  Modelo 720 Tax form 720

Please note the information provided in this article is of general interest only and is not to be construed or intended as substitute for professional legal advice. This article may be posted freely in websites or other social media so long as the author is duly credited. Plagiarizing, whether in whole or in part, this article without crediting the author may result in criminal prosecution. VOV.

2.018, 2.019, 2.020, and 2.021 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All Rights Reserved.

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Do you need an updated NIE certificate to sell property in Spain?

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, December, 1. 2020

Marbella-based Larraín Nesbitt Abogados (LNA) has over 17 years' taxation & conveyancing experience at your service. We offer a wide range of 50 legal and corporate services. Our team of native English-speaking lawyers and economists have a long track record successfully assisting expats all over Spain.

You can review here our client’s testimonials.

Article copyrighted © 2020. Plagiarism will be criminally prosecuted.

 

 

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Director of Larraín Nesbitt Abogados
8th of December 2020

We published several years ago (in eight languages) a detailed article explaining what a NIE number is and how to go about getting one. A NIE number is assigned by the national police and is yours for the remainder of your lifetime, it never changes. Many years ago, Spanish police issued them as an A4 sized certificate that had a three-month expiry date printed on them. Modern-issued NIE numbers no longer show ‘expiry’ dates.

At times notaries, on selling, demand a seller procures a new updated NIE number certificate. This is because they have seen the 3-month expiry date is (long) overdue and are asking for a ‘new’ updated copy. In truth, the ‘new’ certificate will bear exactly the same number and details as the former, the only difference is that there will not be any expiry date on it.

Imagine sitting the morning of completion at a notary’s office, surrounded by a group of anxious strangers, and feeling a knot at the pit of your stomach when the notary officer informs you the sale has fallen through because your NIE number is not accepted by the notary! Now imagine millions of euros are at stake. It can well happen. The sale needs to be postponed or else change over to another notary (not always possible when mortgage loans are involved, as is often the case).

Then again, some notaries, who are not prone to nit-picking, will have no qualms accepting an ‘expired’ NIE number certificate. They will find it completely unnecessary to re-apply for a new copy and are more than happy to accept an old one which shows a 3-month expiry date.

The problem is that sellers cannot pick the notary witnessing a sales deed. This is a right that belongs only to buyers, who are legally entitled to pick whichever notary pleases them most. One of the many disadvantages this poses to sellers, is that they are unable to know beforehand - often until it is too late in the day - which notary will be the one selected by the buyer. Meaning they cannot know if the selected notary will demand they update their old NIE number certificate, or not, on selling.

This can be easily pre-empted by your appointed conveyance lawyer on including a clause in the POA to attain a duplicate NIE number should the need arise on selling. Bottom line, in practice it’s a bit akin to playing Russian roulette; a seller cannot know for sure if the chosen notary will demand an updated NIE certificate, or not. It is the duty of your conveyance lawyer to plan ahead for this eventuality and overcome any unforeseen obstacle.

Politicians were mostly people who'd had too little morals and ethics to stay lawyers.” George R.R. Martin

George Raymond Richard Martin (1948). Is an American novelist and short-story writer in the fantasy, horror, and science fiction genres. He is best known for his international bestselling series of epic fantasy novels, A Song of Ice and Fire, which was later adapted into the HBO dramatic series Game of Thrones.

 

At Larrain Nesbitt Abogados we have over 17 years’ experience assisting clients buying & selling property in Spain and dealing with its taxation.

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers, small on fees, big on service.

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers is a law firm specialized in conveyancing, taxation, inheritance, and litigation. We will be very pleased to discuss your matter with you. You can contact us by e-mail at info@larrainnesbitt.com, by telephone on (+34) 952 19 22 88 or by completing our contact form to book an appointment.

Legal services available from Larraín Nesbitt Abogados

Selling-related articles

 

Article originally published at Spanish Property Insight (SPI): Do you need an updated NIE certificate to sell property in Spain?

Please note the information provided in this blog post is of general interest only and is not to be construed or intended as substitute for professional legal advice. This article may be posted freely on websites or other social media so long as the author is duly credited. Plagiarizing, whether in whole or in part, this article without crediting the author may result in criminal prosecution. No dragons, Lannisters or self-serving politicians were harmed on writing this article. VOV.

2.020 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All Rights Reserved.

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6 advantages of a Spanish residency permit

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, October, 26. 2020

Marbella-based Larraín Nesbitt Abogados (LNA) has over 17 years' taxation & conveyancing experience at your service. We offer a wide range of 50 legal and corporate services. Our team of native English-speaking lawyers and economists have a long track record successfully assisting expats all over Spain.

You can review here our client’s testimonials.

Article copyrighted © 2020. Plagiarism will be criminally prosecuted.

 

 

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Director of Larraín Nesbitt Abogados
8th of November 2020

The United Kingdom officially left the Union on the 31st January 2020, and the Brexit transition period ends on the 31st December 2020.

Following up on last month's article (Spanish residency permit: Time is running out!), we are now on the run up to the last days for British nationals to benefit from all the advantages the transition period has to offer on applying for Spanish residency. We strongly advise all UK nationals to apply for a residency permit now, before the end of the year, if you can. As from 2021, the application requirements will be far more challenging, and many will no longer qualify.

To complicate matters further, at the time of publishing this immigration article, it would seem the UK Authorities are heading for a no-deal Brexit which would pile even more pressure to get this done and out of the way whilst you can. From the Spanish side, Immigration Authorities have tightened up the requirements in a new change from November which now requires applicants to categorically prove their habitual residency is in Spain. This is the second major change in 2020, besides the one we already reported in July 2020.

Please note that because the United Kingdom has been a member state of the Union over the last 47 years we take many rights for granted; but these rights will no longer be available as from 2021 for all those who have not landed a residency permit, so please do not take them for granted and be proactive, for your own sake.

Besides the six reasons we collate below, there are also tax advantages: Tax advantages on becoming resident in Spain – 8th March 2018.

Apply for Spanish residency now and ensure you secure your EU rights as a national of a member state of the Union before it’s too late.

 

Six advantages of a Spanish residency permit

 

  1. Freedom to move within the Schengen Area

With a Spanish residency permit you are granted unfettered access across the Schengen Area. Avoid pesky passport controls, avoid multiple visa applications, avoid long queues. A residency permit allows you visa-free access to all 26 Schengen countries.

  1. Right to live in Spain (Europe)

Again, most UK nationals take this for granted, but in a post-Brexit world this will be far more challenging. A Residency permit legally allows you to remain within the Union territory unmolested and go about your life. Illegal aliens, who do not have a valid residency permit, and overstay the 90-day period, may be subject of deportation to their home countries.

  1. Right to work

A residency permit allows you to seek a job normally. Employers in Spain, going forward, are going to be asking job seekers to prove they are in Spain legally to avoid large fines on hiring illegal immigrants.

  1. Right to study

A residency permit allows students to live and study in Spain (Europe).

  1. Right to vote

Have your say on local elections, vote for a mayor to improve things in your town.

  1. Right to public healthcare (S1)

After you attain a Spanish residency permit, UK pensioners may apply for a full transfer of their accrued UK healthcare rights over to Spain using the S1 procedure. For as long as you remain in Spain, you may use the Spanish healthcare system in equal rights to any native. We offer this service for a flat fee:  Transfer of healthcare rights (S1 - Social Security Homologation).

In conclusion

Any EU national living in Spain for more than 90 consecutive days must apply for a Spanish residency permit, by law.

Please note that you may remain lawfully, within Spanish territory, a maximum of up to 90 days within every rolling six-month period within a calendar year.

As the Brexit transition period draws to an end, it is important UK nationals attain a Spanish residency permit taking advantage of the lenient conditions currently in existence while they last.

You should be advised that attaining a Spanish residency permit is taking (in Malaga) several weeks, so please plan ahead accordingly. What matters is that you file for it before the 31-12-2020 deadline.

Please, for your own sake, don’t sleep on this as the clock is ticking.

For updated information on all residency matters, please browse UK Gov Living in Spain Guidance.

 

"I met my wife through playing golf. She is French and couldn't speak English and I couldn't speak French, so there was little chance of us getting involved in any boring conversations - that's why we got married really quickly." – Sean Connery

Sir Thomas Sean Connery (1930 – 2020). Was born in my beloved Edinburgh. Before pursuing a career in acting, he worked on several jobs such as milkman, Royal Navy sailor, lorry driver, footballer, bodybuilder, lifeguard, labourer, coffin polisher, artist’s model, and part-time babysitter (sic). At age 27 he would start his career as an actor which would bring him world-recognition as one of the best actors of his generation. His seminal role in the first James Bond movie would bring him much praise and years on he would be widely regarded as the best actor to play the incorrigible Bond. Other major roles he played were Marnie (1964), The Man Who Would Be King (1975), A Bridge Too Far (1977), Highlander (1986), The Name of the Rose (1986), The Untouchables (1987), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), The Hunt for Red October (1990), Dragonheart (1996), The Rock (1996). He officially retired from acting in 2006, though he briefly returned for some voice acting roles in 2012. I came across him several times when I was younger at Aloha Golf in Marbella, where he lived for several decades with his second wife until they left for the Bahamas. A proud Scotsman, he swore he would never return to live in his native Scotland unless they attained political independence. True to his word, he would die abroad never seeing his dream come to fruition. He proudly sported a tattoo: “Scotland Forever.”

 

LNA has a 100% track record attaining Spanish residency

 

At LNA we assist UK nationals to apply for Spanish residency for the first time, or renewals, for a very competitive fee. You will be assigned an in-house specialist to deal with your matter. Call or e-mail us free of compromise.

Please note we only deal with residency permits on the Costa del Sol (Malaga province).

Larraín Nesbitt Abogados, small on fees, big on service.

Larraín Nesbitt Abogados is a law firm specialized in residency, taxation, conveyancing, inheritance, and litigation. We will be very pleased to discuss your matter with you. You can contact us by e-mail at info@larrainnesbitt.com, by telephone on (+34) 952 19 22 88 or by completing our contact form.

 

Immigration & Residency services available from LNA

 

 Residency-related articles

 

Article also published at Spanish Property Insight: Six advantages of a Spanish residency permit

Please note the information provided in this article is of general interest only and is not to be construed or intended as substitute for professional legal advice. This article may be posted freely in websites or other social media so long as the author is duly credited. Plagiarizing, whether in whole or in part, this article without crediting the author may result in criminal prosecution. No delusional secessionist politician was harmed on writing this article. VOV.

2.020 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All Rights Reserved.

... Read more

Spanish residency permit: Time is running out!

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, October, 5. 2020

Marbella-based Larraín Nesbitt Abogados (LNA) has over 17 years' taxation & conveyancing experience at your service. We offer a wide range of 50 legal and corporate services. Our team of native English-speaking lawyers and economists have a long track record successfully assisting expats all over Spain.

You can review here our client’s testimonials.

Article copyrighted © 2020. Plagiarism will be criminally prosecuted.

 

 

 

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Director of Larraín Nesbitt Abogados
8th of October 2020

The United Kingdom officially left the Union on the 31st January 2020, after both Westminster and the European Parliament ratified the Withdrawal Agreement. Within the WA it was agreed a Brexit transition period that would last until the 31st of December 2020. By this year’s end the United Kingdom, after 47 years, will no longer be a Member State of the Union.

This will have a major impact in several fields. In this article, I will only focus on immigration. As from the 01/01/2021 the requirements that UK applicants must meet will become far more stringent, as they will now be officially regarded as nationals of a third country, non-EUs.

In plain English, the requirements a UK national must meet going forward, as from 2021, will be far more challenging, to the point many will no longer qualify. Unsurprisingly at this point, the exact requirements are still unknown as they must still be penned by the Authorities, but it is within reason to think they will be very similar, if not identical, to those being asked from non-EU nationals at present.

The gist of this short article is to drive home the point that all UK nationals, who are of the mind of attaining a Spanish residency permit at some point in the future, should do so now taking advantage of the lenient Brexit transition period.

5 reasons to be pro-active and act now!

 

  1. All those who register before year’s end, will safeguard their rights as EU nationals for as long as they remain resident in Spain. It is important that any UK national who is currently living in Spain, but still remains unregistered, applies for residency to safeguard his EU rights.
  2. For the time being, and until this year’s end, you are (still) being treated as a fellow EU national, meaning all procedures are (greatly) streamlined for your own convenience. Without esoterics, they roll out the red carpet for you removing the red tape.
  3. During the Brexit transition period, the requirements for residency are very reasonable and within grasp of most, if not all, applicants. However, as of 2021 these requirements will change (drastically) as you will no longer be regarded as a EU national, and may prove draconian to some applicants who will be shut out.
  4. If you are a UK-based landlord, actively leasing holiday rental accommodations in Spain as a buy-to-let business, you may wish to consider the option of applying for residency in Spain. The reason is that it would allow you to still benefit from the lenient tax advantages open to all EU residents: a lower tax rate (19%) and the ability to offset any and ALL property-related expenses, which on average reduces a landlord’s tax bill by 70%, or more. Post-Brexit, the tax rate will be a flat 24% on gross rental earnings without being able to apply for ANY landlord tax relief. This fiscal change will translate into some businesses no longer being financially viable post-Brexit. More on this in our tax article: Post-Brexit Taxation in Spain. Please seek professional advice from us on this point, as it implies becoming tax resident in Spain; meaning you would pay tax in Spain on your worldwide income.
  5. Our fees to process residency permit applications are very competitive whilst you are still a EU national, but as from next year, when you are no longer regarded as a EU national, they will be in line with our other Immigation & Residency services for non-EU clients (higher). The reason is because our workload is significantly increased for all non-EU applications.

 

Green cards

For all those UK nationals who had already secured a green card in the past (green A4 certificate or credit card-sized piece of paper), this certificate will remain valid proof of residence and rights under the Withdrawal Agreement after 31 December 2020 for those registered in Spain before the 6th of July 2020. In other words, you are under no legal obligation to exchange it for the new TIE card, or so goes the theory.

However, in practice, we strongly advise you exchange your old green card over to the new TIE card, which supersedes it. Besides being more durable, the main reason is that citizens in Spain now deal with Public Administrations telematically, that is online. Spanish IDs and the new TIE cards are very similar, as they both have in-built chipsets that allow you to deal online with the different public administrations (i.e. booking an appointment online) which saves you considerable time and aggravation. Unless you rather fancy spending several mornings queuing up for nothing, or making umpteen calls that will all go unanswered. Please read this local newspaper article to understand where I’m getting at: Dealing with the authorities in the new normal has become a red tape nightmare.

Moreover, even public servants are redirecting citizens to take their business online as it (greatly) simplifies admin procedures. Although this may seem trivial, when you find yourself in the need to urgently book a medical appointment for health care reasons, you will remember this piece of advice. Embrace the digital age and let go of the old ways. So less ‘mañana, mañana’ and be pro-active about it for your own good. Ignore my advice at your own chagrin.

If you want to avoid yourself much aggravation in the future, please follow my advice, and exchange your old green card for the new TIE card. This is accomplished only within a few weeks and for a very low fee.

Registering for Spanish residency after the 06-07-2020

Spanish Immigration Authorities unexpectedly overhauled the residency procedure, without giving notice, in early July this year, causing a bit of a commotion as we reported at the time. All UK nationals applying for residency after the 6th of July 2020 must attain a biometric residency card known as Foreign Identification Card (or TIE, in Spanish). It will state it has been issued to the holder under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement.

Deadline to apply for Spanish residency

The deadline to register with the Spanish Immigration Authorities as resident, and benefit from the array of rights under the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, ends on the 31st December 2020. Residency applications are electronically tagged, so what matters is to apply before year’s end, even if the decision on your matter is taken by Spanish Immigration Authorities on the following year.

For argument’s sake, if you file your application on the last day of the deadline, on New Year’s Eve, even if the Immigration Authorities decide upon your file on the 21st February of 2021, you would still be granted a residency permit under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, that is safeguarding your EU rights.  Obviously, this is just an example; plan ahead, and don’t wait until the eleventh hour to file your residency application.

EU Rights after the 31st December 2020

The Withdrawal Agreement sets out the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the Union and provides for a deal on citizens’ rights. It sets out a transition period which lasts until 31 December 2020. During this time you can continue to live, work and study in the EU broadly as you did before 31 January 2020.

If you are resident in Spain at the end of the transition period, you will be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, and your rights will be protected for as long as you remain resident in Spain.

Does attaining a Spanish residency permit make you a tax resident in Spain?

This is a tricky one, and I have to reply, ‘no and yes’.

No, because registering for admin residency is independent of tax residency which is altogether a different legal concept.

And yes, because as its own name implies, residency by its very own nature entails you will remain in Spain for a long period of time, normally exceeding the 183-day rule our Tax Office cherishes so much. If you spend 184 days, or more, in Spanish territory you automatically become tax resident.

I know, clear as mud, but life is full of grey areas. More details in our blog post:  Dual residency and hogwash.

In conclusion

Any EU national living in Spain for more than 90 consecutive days must apply for a Spanish residency permit, by law.

Please note that you may remain lawfully, within Spanish territory, a maximum of up to 90 days within every rolling six-month period within a calendar year.

As the Brexit transition period draws to an end, it is important UK nationals attain a Spanish residency permit taking advantage of the lenient conditions currently in existence while they last.

You should be advised that attaining a Spanish residency permit is taking (in Malaga) several weeks, so please plan ahead accordingly. What matters is that you file for it before the 31-12-2020 deadline.

Please, for your own sake, don’t sleep on this as the clock is ticking.

For updated information on all residency matters, please browse UK Gov Living in Spain Guidance.

 

Life isn’t black and white. It’s a million gray areas, don’t you agree?” – Ridley Scott

Sir Ridley Scott (1937). Eminent English filmmaker and producer who doesn’t really need an introduction. He is best known for directing such ground-breaking science fiction classics as Alien (1979), the indelible Blade Runner (1982) which, even by today’s standards, remains way ahead of its time and boasts one of the most beautiful and bewitching orchestral scores in history (Vangelis), Legend (1985), Thelma & Louise (1991), 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992), Gladiator (2000), Black Hawk Down (2001), Kingdom of Heaven (2005) and the Martian (2015). And although Ridley doesn’t believe in God, God believes in him.

 

LNA has a 100% track record attaining Spanish residency

 

At LNA we assist UK nationals to apply for Spanish residency for the first time, or renewals, for a very competitive fee. You will be assigned an in-house specialist to deal with your matter. Call or e-mail us free of compromise.

Please note we only deal with residency permits on the Costa del Sol (Malaga province).

Larraín Nesbitt Abogados, small on fees, big on service.

Larraín Nesbitt Abogados is a law firm specialized in residency, taxation, conveyancing, inheritance, and litigation. We will be very pleased to discuss your matter with you. You can contact us by e-mail at info@larrainnesbitt.com, by telephone on (+34) 952 19 22 88 or by completing our contact form.

 

Immigration & Residency services available from LNA

 

 Residency-related articles

 

Article originally published at Spanish Property Insight: Spanish residency permit: Time is running out!

Please note the information provided in this article is of general interest only and is not to be construed or intended as substitute for professional legal advice. This article may be posted freely in websites or other social media so long as the author is duly credited. Plagiarizing, whether in whole or in part, this article without crediting the author may result in criminal prosecution. No delusional secessionist politician was harmed on writing this article. VOV.

2.020 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All Rights Reserved.

... Read more

10 tips when money is tight in Spain

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, August, 21. 2020

Are you struggling with money issues in Spain? Do you find yourself being short of cash every month? Solicitor Raymundo Larraín gives us ten tips to cope when the going gets tough. Interested? Read on.

Marbella-based Larraín Nesbitt Abogados (LNA) has over 17 years’ taxation & conveyancing experience at your service. We offer a wide range of 50 legal and corporate services. Our team of native English-speaking lawyers and economists have a long track record successfully assisting expats all over Spain.

You can review here our client’s testimonials.

Article copyrighted © 2011, and 2020. Plagiarism will be criminally prosecuted.

 

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Director of Larraín Nesbitt Abogados
8th of September 2020

 

Introduction

As I’ve been hammering over the last four months, the advent of the Covid-19 outbreak has brought upon the country a financial hardship unseen in over 84 years, since the fratricidal Spanish Civil War. Spain’s economy is one of the worst hit in the world, and as I contend in this article, the underlying reason for this is it’s unhealthy overreliance on tourism.

A reflection of this devastating blow is Spain’s high unemployment rate, which ‘officially’ stands at 15.6%, but in practice could easily double this amount if you factor in the 4.7 mn unemployed who haven’t worked over the last 7 months as they are under ERTEs (‘temporary’ paid leave). In Spain, ‘temporary’ is code for permanent.

Politicians have cozily relied for decades on the tourism & hospitality industry - Spain’s golden goose - which pulls in over 200 billion euros every year. An industry ingeniously set up in the 60’s by General Franco in tandem with his brilliant Tourism Minister, Mr. Manuel Fraga Iribarne. Embarrassingly, six decades on, tourism is an anomaly that accounts directly for over 12% of Spain’s GDP, by far the number one contributor, and indirectly by at least a further six points, or more. No modern economy should have almost 1/5 of its GDP contingent on any one activity as this entails huge risks, such as the ones we are now witnessing. This overarching influence must be tempered. Moreover, out of all the countries that make the OECD, Spain is hands down the most reliant on tourism.

Successive generations of politicians have systematically failed to address the elephant in the room, with their attention all-consumed in petty domestic power struggles. Spanish politicians are obsessively engrossed by the country’s past and devote little energy to the nation’s future. They should have diversified the Spanish economy long ago to make it competitive, so we are not over-reliant on tourism. This is a gross dereliction of duty that needs to be addressed to bring balance to our economy. Covid-19 has been like the tide receding revealing the ugly weakness of the Spanish economy; the naked truth is that the Spanish economy has a crippling dependence on tourism. Before the virus took us by storm, Spain was the second largest tourist destination in the world, with 84 million tourists visiting us every year, trailing only behind France. If you take the U.S. as an example, which ranks number three in the world as a tourist destination, tourism only accounts for 2.7% of the U.S.’s economy. Compare this to Spain, which is almost seven times more! It’s ludicrous.

Social distancing has killed one of our major strengths and has thrown the economy into disarray, more so than in any other developed country in the world, precisely because of this overreliance which has now proved to be Spain’s Achilles’ heel. Although Spanish politicians are always quick to blame one another, it is what it is; they are all to blame. Our political class lost long ago the golden opportunity to devise a consensual grand long term strategy to modernize and diversify the Spanish economy, with education standing at its forefront, making it stronger and more resilient to any backlash, including global virus outbreaks. Because of their neglect, young generations and even our elders, will now suffer greatly from the laid back attitude of our irresponsible political class which now shamefully relies on European handouts.

I’m of the opinion that any financial help from the Union should be closely monitored to the last euro-cent, to ensure taxpayer’s money is wisely spent on whatever our socio-communist authorities actually claim it is being spent on.

With all this in mind, I have been publishing a series of articles, since May, to hopefully help ease the pain for the expat community based in Spain. This article rounds up the different strategies laid out in previous articles to mitigate the challenging financial ordeal we are now up against.

 

Ten tips for struggling families

 

  1. Fraction your payment of local taxes. Because of the Covid-19 outbreak, many families' finances are underwater. Regional tax offices now allow struggling owners to spread out payment over long periods of time, accepting to settle it in instalments. Contact us for more information on this tax service.
  2. Request your landlord a rental reduction. Particularly in commercial premises, tenants are asking more and more for payment facilities or reductions in monthly payments. Landlords often would rather come to an understanding with a good tenant than let them go and see the whole place boarded up for years.
  3. Swap your mortgage loan to interest-only (“carencia”). Lenders are open to renegotiate the mortgage terms to avoid you defaulting on a loan. Don’t be afraid to pick the phone and speak to them. This can be arranged whilst the property is put up for sale or just to weather off the storm meanwhile. Spanish lenders will gran it for a year or two at most.
  4. Extend mortgage repayments an additional number of years. The last thing Spanish lenders want now is for you to default on your mortgage loan. They are being very accommodating and open to renegotiating with borrowers the payment terms, extending them. The drawback is that on doing so the amount of interests you pay are rolled up. The drawback is that on the long run this means you will end up paying far more to gain some breathing room at present. It’s really an option only for those left with no other really. The Government is now allowing this change free of charge to struggling mortgage borrowers providing they are resident, and the property is their main home (permanent abode). Borrowers will not pay for Notary or Land Registry fees on following it.
  5. Lifetime loan. Is a special type of home equity loan available only to senior residents. It allows owners to release equity from their homes converting it into cash by way of placing a charge against their property (which acts as collateral). The loan does not have to be repaid during the homeowner’s lifetime. More on this in our article: Lifetime loans explained – 8th August 2020.
  6. Sell the property as a distressed asset (fire sale).If you have already run through the numbers, and you are convinced that you will no longer be able to service your mortgage, rather than defaulting and being repossessed, you should seriously consider selling the property as a distressed asset. The catch again is that the property should not be in negative equity. The more it is, the least likelihood there will be anyone interested in it as they in turn are regarding the purchase as an investment and the numbers need to stack up to make it worthwhile for them. More on this in our article: Buying distressed property in Spain – 8th August 2011
  7. Apply for debt-consolidation.There are scores of financial companies offering this service. Basically, what they do is group together all your existing debts with different lenders (ranging from credit card debt to personal loans) and concentrate them all in the hands of only one lender who then extends the loan repayments in time. The immediate consequence this has is that your monthly repayments are sharply reduced making them far more affordable. However, the drawback once again is that, on extending the financial commitments over time, you will be paying far more interest on the long run.
  8. Dissolution of joint property ownership. Falling on hard times may drive a wedge between couples, families and friends making cohabitation a challenging prospect. A DJPO allows joint owners to re-arrange their share on a property in a tax-efficient manner enabling the outgoing joint owner to transfer his share to an existing co-owner legally waiving the extreme Property Transfer Tax and paying in lieu only 1.5% Stamp Duty, or less. This procedure’s highlight is that it saves property buyers over 86% in property transfer tax. A DJPO is suitable in a divorce or separation, re-arranging inheritances, or re-arranging property holdings between family and friends. More details in our article: Dissolution of Joint Property Ownership in Spain – 8th of June 2020.
  9. Dación en pago (handing back the keys). This option should only be considered as last resort when all other options are exhausted. This is handing the back the keys to a lender and signing a deed at the Notary whereby the lender commits not to chase you for the outstanding debt. In exchange, a lender fully discharges your mortgage liability. You will not be pursued abroad in your home country on the shortfall. Two things are required, the property must not have slipped into negative equity and your lender must not have instigated a repossession procedure. Should the property be in negative equity (you owe more than what the property is worth) a lender will be reluctant to agree to a “dación en pago de deuda” because the collateral will have no equity left. Please read our article: Dacion en pago explained – handing back the keys – 8th July 2020.
  10. Filing for personal bankruptcy in Spain.This procedure is expensive albeit it allows those who can afford it to buy considerable time (years) with which to re-negotiate their financial commitments and even reduce the amount owed (up to 30%). A judicially-appointed administrator will be tasked to oversee and manage your day-to-day financial affairs in the interim. Meaning you lose control over all your assets needing to request permission to manage your affairs. I would only recommend this option in exceptional cases as it will turn you into a lifetime financial pariah. This is not an option for most people. More on this in our article: Personal Bankrutpcy in Spain: Second Opportunity Law – 8th September 2015.

 

In conclusion

Spanish young generations are the key to diversify our economy and avoid such repeat scenarios unfolding ever again. Our political class would do well to take cue from leading world super-powers, such as China and the US, and go out of their way to lay the foundations of a great higher education over the next 50 years. This would be achieved by heavily investing in devoted teachers, schools, academic institutions, and building modern facilities. By setting up lavish euro-billion endowments for top-performing universities in the image of reputed Ivy League institutions, enabling all types of tax incentives to attract capitalization, foster R&D, incentivize integrated business campus with budding small caps within universities (i.e. Malaga’s Technology Hub, which is a success story, having created thousands of highly qualified, well-paid jobs), by creating truly generous scholarships for bright students (not the paltry ones we have), so as to nurture a strong, modern, meritocratic secular education. This undertaking requires vision, commitment, and long term planning.

Real statesmen are selfless and do, at all times, what is best for their people regardless of the unpopularity or electoral cost. They commit themselves to a long-term vision and focus on what really matters for the country, with their hearts set in the nation's future prosperity. Career politicians, by contrast, make decisions on the hoof based on short-term opinion polls and are self-serving.

Politicians have no business in meddling and controlling companies, especially career politicians who have never worked in their life and have always lived (very) comfortably off the state. It is not politicians’ job to run companies and create jobs, the private sector does this, and does it very well. Career politicians should step back, limiting themselves to create the right tax & legal framework for private companies and entrepreneurs to step forward and thrive, through low taxation and the removal of red tape. They should ensure academic institutions are (very) well-funded, with devoted teachers being paid top dollar (not the meagre wages they have), with thousands of truly generous scholarships enabled for gifted or hard-working children from underprivileged backgrounds.

The young men and women who attain this top education, given half a chance, would earn their spurs creating companies, jobs, and a host of new industries that now seem but a distant dream to us. This in turn would attract investments and generate wealth on a large scale. There can be no strong economy without diversification, and the key to this is a well-educated youth. Every year Spanish politicians bubbly plough billions of euros of taxpayer’s money into shady ideologically-friendly NGOs lead by unqualified chums who wouldn’t be fit to run a hot dog stand. Spain spends an eye-watering 122bn euros every year on 'subsidies'. That's 25% of its annual budget.

Where does all this money go? Why is no one held accountable for this gross misuse of public funds?

There is no efficient allocation of resources. If this squandered money were instead be put to good practical use for society’s benefit, vastly improving our educational system over the long run, allowing children from humble disadvantaged social backgrounds to access well-funded, top-tier universities, things would look very differently indeed. As an example, the Complutense university in Madrid, which tutors 86,000 students is clearly underfunded with a pitiful budget of only 600 million euros a year! By contrast, Harvard university has an endowment of over 41 billion USD and hosts 22,000 privileged students. Yes, one is public, and the other private, but you get my drift. Spain woefully does not commit enough financial resources to higher education, only the bare minimum, and it shows. Embarrassingly, albeit unsurprisingly, Spain has no university ranking amongst the world’s top two hundred. This is unacceptable no matter how you look at it.

For a country that purportedly ranks as the 13th most important economy in the world, by rapport to its GDP, this is a serious imbalance that needs to be addressed at a political level - by all parties - to ensure equality and meritocracy. This academic imbalance spills over into Spain’s imbalanced economy which in turn translates into over 30% unemployment rate. Meanwhile, our career politicians self-approved this year a lavish increase of their public stipends. God forbid they endure financial hardship in these trying times.

Perhaps our self-complacent career politicians should talk less and do more, taking example from real statesmen and more advanced economies, for the good of the people.

If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.

 

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin (1706 – 1790). Founding Father of the United States of America. Exceptionally gifted statesman, scientist, inventor, accomplished diplomat, writer, humourist, printer, postmaster, and political theorist. Even politician in his spare time; nobody is perfect.

 

Larraín Nesbitt Abogados, small on fees, big on service

LNA is a law firm specialized in conveyancing, taxation, residency, inheritance, and litigation. We will be very pleased to discuss your matter with you. You can contact us by e-mail at info@larrainnesbitt.com, by telephone on (+34) 952 19 22 88 or by completing our contact form. 

Related articles

 

Article also published at Spanish Propert Insight: 10 money-saving tips if you have to tighten your belt in Spain

Please note the information provided in this article is of general interest only and is not to be construed or intended as substitute for professional legal advice. This article may be posted freely in websites or other social media so long as the author is duly credited. Plagiarizing, whether in whole or in part, this article without crediting the author may result in criminal prosecution. VOV.

2.011, and 2.020 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All Rights Reserved.

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Lifetime loans explained

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, August, 3. 2020

Are you a senior citizen struggling with liquidity problems in Spain? Did you know there is a special legal procedure to free up equity from your home and easily obtain money from lenders? Solicitor Raymundo Larraín explains to us what a Lifetime Loan is and how you too can profit from its multiple benefits. Interested? Read on.

Marbella-based Larraín Nesbitt Abogados (LNA) has over 17 years’ taxation & conveyancing experience at your service. We offer a wide range of 50 legal and corporate services. Our team of native English-speaking lawyers and economists have a long track record successfully assisting expats all over Spain.

You can review here our client’s testimonials.

 

Article copyrighted © 2011, and 2020. Plagiarism will be criminally prosecuted.

Today’s article is dear to me, as it was the first one I published in Spanish Property Insight, under my own name, a decade ago. At the time, I was living and working in the United Kingdom.

Original article from the 21st February 2011

 

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Director of Larraín Nesbitt Abogados
8th of August 2020

Introduction

Back in 2006, I was one of the first lawyers in Spain to formally introduce Lifetime Loans (LTL, for short) from the hands of a New Zealander institutional lender. This is a very niche financial service that few lenders have on offer. Because it is a service aimed only at residents, unlike other lenders, they do not need to communicate or speak in English, much less in other languages. Which is where we come in.

In the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, families continue to struggle to make ends meet and face their mortgage payments.

LTL is one of our proposed solutions to release equity from your home in Spain. This option appeals to senior expats resident in Spain. It offers them the opportunity to release cash from their homes whilst still being able to live in them for the remainder of their lives.

At a time when finance is tight (understatement), a LTL allows asset-rich but cash-poor senior borrowers to unlock the store of wealth they sit on without any impact to their lives. Well, other than being paid a substantial amount of money that is!

A LTL is a niche financial service. Please contact our company directly if you’re interested, and want to know more.

Definition

A Lifetime Loan is a special type of home equity loan for senior residents. It allows owners to release equity from their homes converting it into cash by placing a charge against their property (which acts as collateral). The loan does not have to be repaid during the homeowner’s lifetime.

Specifics

The borrower retains full ownership of the home and can actually continue living in it until they, or their surviving partner, passes away. Once this takes place, the loan (plus accrued interests) must be settled by either selling the property or else by the appointed heirs who will repay it in full. The loan can be taken either as lump sum or periodically in instalments at the borrower’s choice. The older you are, the larger the amount of money you can qualify for as it follows a sliding scale.

At no time will the borrower owe more than what the collateral (the house) is worth even if the resulting debt is higher. Meaning that at the time of passing away, it suffices to either hand over the property to the lender or else to pay to settle the debt for good. The afore has huge legal significance as it implies that, unlike a standard Spanish mortgage loan, with a Lifetime Loan you cannot be pursued for negative equity. In other words, the valuation of the property for the purpose of requesting this loan facility is the capped threshold you can expect to owe a lender on signing on the dotted line. This brings much relief to borrowers.

Who qualifies for a Lifetime Loan?

  1. Be resident in Spain.
  2. Be 65 years old, or over.
  3. The property must be your main home (not a holiday home).

How’s the loan paid?

  1. In lump sum, all in one go.
  2. In monthly instalments.
  3. A combination of the two above.

Payout chart

The following is a chart to give you an idea on what you can reasonably expect to be paid out. It follows a sliding scale, so the older you are, and the more your property is worth, the higher the payout. In the below chart I only show the payout either as a lump sum or in monthly instalments, but you could also choose a combination of the two if this accommodates you more.

Property value (€)

Age

               Payout (€)

    Lump sum          Monthly

200,000

65

           50,000                   200

200,000

80

           78,000                   600

 

 

 

500,000

65

         120,000                   500

500,000

80

          195,000                1,500

 

 

 

1,000,000

 65

          240,000                1,000

1,000,000

 80

          390,000                3,000

Pros

  • You get to decide how and when you want the loan paid out. You are in control.
  • The loan does not need to be repaid during your lifetime, only after you pass away. You have peace of mind.
  • You may continue to live in your home for the remainder of your lifetime unmolested. You are independent.
  • Attaining this loan does not impact your lifestyle in any way other than improving it. You deserve it.
  • You get to decide how and when to spend the loan, no strings attached. You have freedom.

 

Are there any restrictions on what can be done with the loan?

None. You are free to use the loan as you see fit. For example, some borrowers use it to pay for improvements on their homes, others to travel around the world, and others to finance expensive medical treatments.

In conclusion

One of the main drawbacks of living in a democracy is that retirement nowadays is akin to playing a rigged soccer match with the Government, in which it keeps moving the goalposts! It is foreseeable governments will jump at the chance to use the Covid-19 pandemic as a plausible excuse to push back retirement age by several years – again. Some people would rather play it safe and not take chances with their life savings on applying for a LTL. A LFTL gives you peace of mind and financial stability because no matter how choppy the waters are up ahead, you always get paid on time. It nicely supplements any pension cover you may already have affording you in your twilight years quality of life and choice.

A Lifetime Loan is a great option that can help you, and your partner, attain a tidy amount of extra income to help you push (very) comfortably past the finish line every month. Attaining a LTL does not change your lifestyle in any way, well, other than greatly improving it!

At LNA, we help clients to secure a LTL anywhere in Spain, discharge an existing mortgage liability, and sign it on your behalf at a notary for a very competitive fee. This is a very niche financial service that very few lenders have on offer, and we know them all. We have over 14 years’ experience signing them. Give us a buzz and find what the fuss is all about.

Larraín Nesbitt Abogados, small on fees, big on service.

Democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”Winston Churchill

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill (1874 – 1965). Born into a privileged aristocratic family,  he was an eminent British career officer, artist, historian, delicious eccentric, and laureate writer – awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953 “for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values.” With dogged single-minded determination, he defied alone and managed to stave off, the tyrannical Nazi wave in WWII, unwaveringly assisted by our American cousins, which threatened to swallow whole the United Kingdom as it had already overrun most of Europe. He resolutely led the country out of its darkest hour, restored Europe’s freedom, and laid the groundwork for peace and prosperity which all future generations have come to enjoy since and taken for granted, or so it would seem. As a keen-eyed historian, in line with fellow Founding Fathers Schuman and Monnet, he was quick to grasp and understand the importance of a united Europe to avoid repeat past mistakes which had resulted in two world wars that ravaged the continent. Consequently, he became a staunch defender of the idea of creating a single supranational political and economic entity which reconciled old foes and would act as a guarantor of peace & prosperity in the continent (in his own words, a “United States of Europe”); in time, this European fellowship would be known to us as the European Union. Churchill was instrumental, and the key driving force, behind the creation of the Council of Europe, a forerunner of what is now the European Union. He is credited as one of eleven Founding Fathers of the Union. Churchill incarnated like no other the best of British values. A child of the House of Commons, he was a proud servant of the State, never its master. A true statesman that would always put ahead of any consideration the best interests of our people, by tearing down divisive walls and fostering at every opportunity union.

Simply put, he’s likely the finest British politician ever to grace 10 Downing Street.

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers is a law firm specialized in inheritance, conveyancing, taxation and litigation. We will be very pleased to discuss your matter with you. You can contact us by e-mail at info@larrainnesbitt.com, by telephone on (+34) 952 19 22 88 or by completing our contact form.

Legal service Larraín Nesbitt Abogados offers you

 

LTL related articles

 

Article originally published at Spanish Property Insight: Lifetime Loans Explained

Please note the information provided in this article is of general interest only and is not to be construed or intended as substitute for professional legal advice. This article may be posted freely in websites or other social media so long as the author is duly credited. Plagiarizing, whether in whole or in part, this article without crediting the author may result in criminal prosecution. VOV.

2.011, and 2.020 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All Rights Reserved.

 

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