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You’re British? General Franco bans you from buying property here!

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, January, 21. 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 © 2021. Plagiarism will be criminally prosecuted.

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Lawyer - abogado
21st of January 2020

As If we didn’t already have enough on our plates with the ongoing pandemic, its mutant strains, the snowstorm, the flash floods, the looming financial depression, historic levels of unemployment, our beloved loony communist leaders, foreign unhinged presidents inciting riots on established democracies, General Franco has now joined the merry lot! Another wonderful addition to our band wagon of problems.

As it turns out, now that the UK has broken away from the Union, a pre-democratic law (still in force!) from 1975 enacted by General Franco bans nationals of third countries to acquire property within the proximity of military bases for security reasons (cloak and dagger). You would’ve thought after all this time it would have crossed someone’s mind to revoke such a daft law; nope, not a chance.

In fact, a buyer needs to request special dispensation from top brass in the Spanish Army to allow them to buy property. Otherwise, notaries refuse to witness a sales deed! And get this, it takes on average 6 to 8 months to attain – under ‘normal’ conditions. But then - if anything - we are most certainly not living in normal times, which translates in practice into these timeframes being pushed back by a year, or more, because of red tape.

You think I’m joking? Nope, it’s a real problem now afflicting hundreds of expats in Valencia post-Brexit, for example, where over 80% of property is acquired by British nationals. But this problem is extensive in Spain to any property adjacent to military, or of national strategic interest. You know how many military bases are dotted throughout Spain? And this ban affects property within a proximity of 60 kilometres!

You really couldn’t make it up. I knew I should have bought a bunch of bitcoins back in 2011, dang it.

You can read the full story in El Pais daily.

Spain is different.

 

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” – Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin (1706 – 1790). Founding Father of the United States. Exceptionally gifted statesman, scientist, inventor, diplomat, writer, printer, postmaster, and political theorist. He campaigned from early on for colonial unity, initially as an author and spokesman in London for several colonies. Appointed as the first United States ambassador to France, he exemplified the prowess of an emerging American nation. He was even a politician in his spare time; nobody’s perfect.

 

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

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers is a law firm specialized in taxation, inheritance, conveyancing, 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.

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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 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.

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UK-issued EHIC cards may no longer be valid in Spain (or Europe)

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, January, 14. 2021

As one of the many post-Brexit consequences we will be covering in our blog posts going forward, European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) may have ceased to be valid in Spain (and Europe) as from the 1st of January 2021.

The UK Government and the Union Authorities agreed EHIC cards would continue to be valid until their expiry dates. If your card has already expired, it is no longer valid.

If you are planning on making travelling arrangements to Spain (or Europe) you should request its replacement, the new Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) which replaces the EHIC for the majority of UK citizens.

The EHIC entitles you to state-provided medical treatment if you fall ill or have an accident in any EU country, including Spain. The cards cover pre-existing medical conditions and routine maternity care, as well as emergency care.

Please take note that the GHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance. It is strongly advised you buy as well travel insurance. Neither EHIC nor GHIC cards cover private medical healthcare.

You may apply for the new GHIC card on following this link: GHIC application form

 

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 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

 

 Health-related articles

 

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.

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Green residency cards: UK travellers denied boarding on flights bound to Spain

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, January, 7. 2021

Marbella-based Larrain Nesbitt Abogados has over 18 year’s taxation & conveyancing experience at your service. 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.

Blog post copyrighted © 2021. Plagiarism will be criminally prosecuted.

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Lawyer – Abogado
7th of January 2021

As The Guardian reported early on this week, dozens of UK nationals were denied from boarding flights bound to Spain. Several other similar reports are emerging in other flights as well. Some were denied access on the back of showing NIE numbers and some were denied on showing the old green residency cards.

Due to the new mutant strain of Covid-19 originating in England, Spain - and most of Europe - has imposed restrictions on inbound UK travellers unless they are Spanish residents. In an attempt to board flights, some UK travellers have been showing several documents to justify their residency status; some of which are valid, and some are not.  

I find it necessary to clarify three concepts:

  • NIE number: this is a tax identification number for foreigners in Spain. It’s akin to our National insurance number and in no way does it allow its holder residency rights in Spain. It is only used to pay taxes in Spain, period.
  • Green residency card: these are old residency permits that grant residency rights in Spain. Despite being old, they are still accepted as valid and should prove the rights of the holder to reside in Spain. However, there are issues if they have been laminated. Currently, laminated cards are being refused. Photocopies are no accepted either, only originals.
  • TIE card: these are the new biometric residency permits that have superseded the above (old) green residency cards. They should grant the permit holder unfettered access to Spain.

 

Having clarified the above, any UK traveller that is in possession of either an old green residency card or a TIE card should be allowed unfettered access to Spain, despite the new EU-ban on UK flights. As explained above, a NIE number does not constitute a residency permit, and you will be rightfully denied bording any flight bound to Spain under the current Covid flight ban.

The confusion stems from the fact that old green residency permits, and the new TIE cards, both have NIE numbers etched in them. So some passengers are under the false impression they can enter Spain on showing only a 'NIE number', which is incorrect. Again, for the avoidance of doubt,  you only have resident status in Spain if you have attained either an old green residency card or the new TIE card.

Having clarified this, in all our articles on attaining a Spanish residency permit we strongly advocated UK nationals to change their old green residency cards over to the new TIE cards for a host of reasons:

  • TIE cards are sturdy and durable
  • TIE cards are used for identification purposes (they have photo ID, unlike green cards)
  • TIE cards are modern biometric cards that won’t have any issues on travelling abroad i.e. at customs & border controls

 

If I have a TIE card, do I need to apply for a green card?

No, your TIE card is the new green card, it supersedes it.

If I have an 'old' green card do I need to change it over for the new TIE card?

Legally no, you don't. However, in practice, we strongly recommend that you do for all the reasons highlighted above and in all our residency articles collated below.

 

 

At LNA offer a competitively-priced service to change your old green residency cards for the new TIE cards:

Spanish Residency permit for EU nationals (includes TIE card & NIE number)

 

LNA has a 100% track record attaining Spanish residency

 

I was the ugly duckling until I reached puberty.” – Tanya Roberts

Victoria Leigh Blum (1955 – 2021). Was an American actress, producer, and model. Famous for being a lead girl in a James Bond movie: A View to a Kill. Personally, I liked her more in the Beastmaster. Likely one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever laid eyes on.

At LNA we assist UK nationals to apply for Spanish residency for the first time, or renewals, for a 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

 

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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Merry Christmas

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, December, 24. 2020

2020 has been a terrible year for us all in which we have lost loved ones. Let us hope the new year brings good tidings.

From Larraín Nesbitt Abogados, we wish all our clients and friends a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

The law firm will now remain closed* for the holiday season and will reopen for business on Thursday the 7th of January 2021.

*A skeleton crew will remain active to deal only with ongoing Spanish residency permit applications up until, and including, Thursday 31st of December 2020. 

                                                                            ---

2020 ha sido un año terrible en el cual todos hemos perdido a seres queridos. Esperemos que el año entrante traiga buenas nuevas.

Desde Larraín Nesbitt Abogados, deseamos a todos nuestros clientes y amigos unas muy Felices Fiestas y un próspero Año Nuevo.

El despacho permanecerá cerrado por vacaciones y nos reincorporaremos el jueves 7 de enero 2021.

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Governor of the Bank of Spain: “Subpar education explains high levels of youth unemployment.”

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, December, 13. 2020

Marbella-based Larrain Nesbitt Abogados has over 17 year’s taxation & conveyancing experience at your service. Our team of native English-speaking lawyers and economists have a long track record of successfully assisting expats all over Spain. You can review here our client’s testimonials.

Blog post copyrighted © 2020. Plagiarism will be criminally prosecuted.

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Lawyer – Abogado
13th of December 2020

 

The Governor of the Bank of Spain, Mr. Pablo Hernández de Cos, made some firebrand declarations last November in which he asserted that Spain’s high levels of youth unemployment (the highest in Europe and out of every OECD country) can be pinned down to a subpar education. I have to say I feel vindicated by his brave assertions which have garnered much controversy. In Spain we need less yes men and more brave men like Mr. Hernández de Cos who has no qualms to speak out the truth, no matter whose feathers are ruffled. I'd care to add in that not only does a subpar education translate into high levels of (youth) unemployment, but also goes a long way to explain Spain's chronic low wages. For an in-depth take on the latter, interview with PhD in Economy Mr. Javier Díaz-Giménez.

I have been banging on this for several years in my articles, the last one being from September: 10 tips when money is tight in Spain – 8th September 2020. I am myself a product of both private and public education, having studied for many years in a public high school. I have witnessed first-hand the lack of resources teachers suffered from, chiefly financial, and how this severely impacts on education. Although this blog post will most likely be completely ignored by everyone, given the festive dates we are almost in, I feel strongly compelled to write it before this year’s end as my last post for this horrible year of 2020.

As I care to point out in my September article, Spain’s high levels of unemployment were a direct consequence of its overreliance on the Tourism industry which accounts directly for over 12% of our GDP, and indirectly by a further 6%. No modern economy should rely 18%, or more, of its GDP on tourism, this is simply crazy and irresponsible.

As a way out, I explained in my article’s conclusion that Spain’s youth were the key to this. Heavily investing in education is an absolute necessity that would help Spain to diversify its economy. No politician, no multi-billion euro stimulus package from the Union is going to ever achieve this goal. Only a concerted effort from all of the political spectrum will be able to clear the path allowing graduates to create their own companies and achieve the change over the course of several decades.

As I wrote in my September article, Spain ranks as the 13th most developed economy in the world, yet embarrassingly, has no university ranking amongst the first top 200. This is totally unacceptable no matter how you look at it and can be squarely blamed on our self-complacent political class. Spanish politicians should take cue from leading countries in the world, such as the United States of America and China, on how to invest in education, particularly higher education. A good education is what gives a country its competitive edge and pushes forward freedom and progress, bringing wealth on its wake. Education is the key to a country’s success.

In 2018 PISA report Spanish students scored the worst marks in Science than any other OECD country. Moreover, it was inferred that Chinese 12-year-olds had the equivalent academic level of a 16-year-old Spanish student. And this is precisely why China, in 50 years’ time, or even sooner, will become – once more – the world’s first super-power whilst Spain still sells sunbeds and holiday packages to tourists.

The gist of the problem is no other than Spain’s political class which are totally oblivious to the plight of our young generations. It is them that wield the power to make this change and make it happen. Instead, they choose to squander billions of euros every year on shady ideologically-friendly NGOs run by chums. If these billions of euros on good-for-nothing subsidies were instead allocated towards education, Spain would be a very different country indeed

Spain is in dire need of a complete overhaul of its academic syllabus, specifically higher education. Education laws, like the one recently enacted, the nefarious Ley Celaá, which allows students to pass with one, or more, failed subjects, which eliminates the Spanish language in several regions of Spain will only create generations of Spanish students which will be underwhelmingly prepared to compete in today’s harsh cut-throat world. This new education law eliminates the fruits and awards of hard labour on destroying academic excellence. It is only through hard work and sacrifice that we can achieve in life our goals and this law is a direct affront against this philosophy. It is vital to imbue in young generations the idea that sacrifice brings with it a high reward in life, besides achieving self-accomplishment. If you’re allowed to pass from one year to the next Scott free, what does this teach our kids about life?

I don’t want to prattle on unnecessarily any longer, so I will only repeat what I already published in previous articles:

“To lay the foundations of a great higher education over the next 50 years, it would be achieved by heavily investing in devoted teachers (read high wages), 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.”

 

You gotta study hard kid and become your own man.” – Norman Schaefer

Col. (U.S.A.F.), Dr. Norman E. Schaefer. (1924 - 2020). Born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, he graduated from high school just after the Japanese 'surprise' attack on Pearl Harbour. He earned his B.A. from Wagner College, S.l., and was assigned to an intelligence unit as a 2nd Lt. He completed his M.A. degree from Columbia University and his M.D. from Cornell University Medical College in 1957. In 1978 he was promoted to Colonel, and in 1983, ordered to McGuire AFB, N.J. to take command of the 33rd Aeromedical Patient Staging Squadron, 514th Airlift Wing. He took his unit to Europe for Reforger (Return of Forces from Germany) exercises on three annual tours, as well as CONUS exercises. That training became invaluable during the First Gulf War. After Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait in August 1990, Col. Schaefer closed his private practice, and flew numerous missions/short tours into Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for logistical planning of Operation Desert Shield. Prior to the onset of major hostilities, he and his unit were mobilized to active duty and he took command of the 316th Air Division Aeromedical Staging Facility with HQ at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. That 1,000 man unit, comprised of Air Force, Army and Navy personnel from the US, Canada and Germany, treated and transported 5,000 injured and sick troops from the theater of operations. He was the only WWII veteran to serve overseas in the First Gulf War.

When Col. Schaefer retired from the Air Force in 1992, his military career spanned 49 years, the longest service record in the history of the U.S. Air Force. At that time, he was also the only one left in the Air Force with continuous service since World War II.

Dr. Schaefer also achieved notable success in his civilian medical career. He was among the first to be trained in microsurgery and introduced to New Jersey microsurgical procedures of the ear to correct hereditary deafness, receiving international acclaim. His efforts restored hearing and an improved quality of life to over 1,500 patients.

Col. (Dr.) Schaefer is married to the former Irene Scott. They have a daughter and two grandsons.

He also happens to be the man that introduced my parents, so if it weren't for him, I wouldn't be writing these lines today. He will be sorely missed by his family and friends. R.I.P.

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 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.

2.020 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All Rights Reserved.

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Non-Resident Imputed Income Tax end-of-year reminder (NRIIT) 2019

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, December, 1. 2020

The clock is ticking. If you are non-resident, and you own property in Spain, this is your last chance to file your Non-Resident Imputed Income Tax for year 2019. Even if you do not rent it out, you need to file this end-of-year tax. We file taxes online all over Spain.

Marbella-based Larrain Nesbitt Abogados has over 17 year’s taxation & conveyancing experience at your service. 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.

Blog post copyrighted © 2020. Plagiarism will be criminally prosecuted.

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Lawyer – Abogado
1st of December 2020

 

The end of 2020 fast approaches.

One of our last blog posts for this year, is a gentle tax reminder.

All non-residents, who own property in Spain, need to file by the end of this year a tax called Non-Resident Imputed Income Tax (NRIIT, for short), even if you do not rent out your Spanish property. You are taxed on the previous year (2019).

We offer the following taxation service for a flat fee of 100 euros plus VAT/year.

We file your tax online within 24 hours.

Our last day to file this tax in 2020 is Tuesday the 22nd of December.

 

We offer the most competitive fees in the market.

Non-Resident Imputed Income Tax (Fiscal Representation Service) €100/year

We are specialized in taxation

 

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.

Legal & tax services available from Larraín Nesbitt Abogados (LNA):

 

Holiday lettings taxation-related articles

 

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 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.

2.020 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All Rights Reserved.

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Spain, only country in Europe to raise taxes in 2021

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, November, 21. 2020

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Lawyer - abogado
21st of November 2020

 

Spain is the only country in Europe - and I’d add in the whole world - to raise taxes in 2021, in the midst of a financial depression triggered by a global pandemic. Fun fact, on a completely unrelated note, did you know that Spain also happens to be the only country in Europe run by a Communist government?

Although officially Spain is ruled by a hard-left wing coalition of moderate centre-left Socialists (PSOE) and Communists (PODEMOS), it is now apparent to all that the Communist element has taken over and is under complete control over its moderate partner to the point they are calling all the shots. The social-communist government has approved a batch of clearly unconstitutional laws that clash directly against fundamental rights enshrined by Spain's Constitution of 1978: assault on the judiciary, new Gag law to repress criticisms against the government's gross (mis)handling of the pandemic, creation of a new 'Ministry of Truth' to quash dissension in social media & written press, central planning of property rentals, tax office's new power to kick down doors without a judge's order, Ley de Memoria Histórica is a coarse attempt to subvert and rewrite Spanish history opening old wounds, it stokes dissension, polarizes society, and punishes all those that may think differently from what a hard-left wing government establishes is the 'right' way to think, Ley Celaá - Seguir leyendo: https://www.libertaddigital.com/espana/2020-03-03/aprobada-la-ley-celaa-suprime-las-revalidas-ataca-a-los-contenidos-memoristicos-y-desatiende-el-castellano-12766533 (a nefarious 'education' law which purpose is to pursue the ideologic indoctrination of young generations on eliminating Spanish as the official language in several regions of Spain as a political concession to separatist groups in exchange for their political support to approve the annual budget law. It also allows students to pass with one or more failed subjects (!), it also attempts to eliminate semi-private education (read religious), eliminate schools that have special tuition for pupils with special needs & care as they suffer from a physical and/or mental disability etc etc etc), etc.

Spain’s long-awaited new budget law was announced with much fanfare early on this month, and our beloved Communist leader even wore a suit for what seems like the first time to mark the occassion. The new budget law will be passed with the political support of nationalists (read separatists), communists, and pseudo terrorists (BILDU, political heirs of Basque separatist terrorist group ETA which murdered in cold blood over 800 people, including 20 children, is akin to our IRA. They are also communists btw).

Separatists, communists and pseudo terrorists, these are the political partners Mr. Pedro Sanchez has chosen. Lovely bunch y’all.

This tax increase has now been included in the new budget law for 2021. Spain’s Communists had long desired to practice a drastic tax rise that would afflict us all. They had included it in their political agenda for all to see. Early in May this year the Communists announced an unprecedented tax hike of 85 billion euros they intended to reap from taxpayers!

In view of this crazy proposal, I call a spade a spade, I wrote a harsh piece which I published in June 2020.  In this article, I criticized this measure as it would saddle the middle class and SMEs at a time in which the Covid-19 was starting to cause financial mayhem. I even ventured that we could end up like Argentina if we continued down the dark path set by our beloved communist leaders.

Fast-forward six months, and our beloved Communist government has done next to nothing to save millions of jobs and thousands of SMEs who are withstanding the brunt of the ongoing onslaught brought upon us by the vile virus. Over 100,000 companies have gone under in these six months, millions of jobless, and most importantly, over 70,000 lives have been lost (our Communist government officially only acknowledges 29,000 deaths).

Spain, as I wrote over six months ago, is facing the most challenging financial situation over the last 84 years, since the outbreak of the fratricidal Spanish Civil War in 1936. Unfortunately, albeit unsurprisingly, our politicians have failed to rise to the occasion (yet again) marred by petty power squabbles of their own while the whole country languishes in despair.

Fortunately for us punters, the Union, our good-hearted Brussel's Overlords, pulled the leash on our Communist leaders to ‘soften’, and even postpone, the blow of a much-vaunted tax hike. Officially the tax rise will now ‘only’ affect high-earners and large multi-billion corporations. Looks great on paper, but when more qualified minds than my own have run the numbers, they have concluded that this is in fact false. In truth, over 84% of the tax rise will be borne by Spain’s ailing middle class and SME’s, just as I feared back in June and as I wrote in my article at the time bringing us an inch closer to Argentina.

Amongst these qualified experts are no less than the Governor of the Bank of Spain, who came out, in a refreshing demonstration of independence to which we are unaccustomed, to say the new budget law and planned tax rise would greatly affect Spain’s middle class and SMEs proving counterproductive (understatement of the century). The IMF also publicly declared what a bad idea it was to raise taxes given the challenging financial context we were in. Several other high-profile experts have since followed suit voicing their discontent at these ill-thought measures that will greatly prolong the pain and push back financial recovery in Spain by several years. Moreover, I’ve read several experts half-jokingly writing that if a country wants to exit the depression, they should adopt the opposite measures the Spanish government is taking. Frankly, I don’t find it funny at all.

But the most dangerous and reckless thing our beloved communist government has done to date in my humble opinion has gone largely unnoticed; it is to eliminate caps on overindebting itself. In effect, Spain has eliminated all limits allowing itself to overborrow, which is foolish and constitutes a prime recipe for a future bankruptcy on not exercising the due discipline and control over its public expenditure. Spain's debt is increasing at a whopping exponential rate of over 630 million euros/day! Last tax quarter we were sitting at 99% of national debt by rapport to our GDP, on Q3 2020 we have jumped to 110% of our GDP! This trend, long term, is simply untenable and may lead us to default. If we continue with this merry trend unabated we are sitting on a time bomb. Spain lacks the financial clout of Japan or the US, we cannot possibly afford such high figures of debt least we default. Our national credit-rating as a result will suffer (read interests to borrow will soar mid to long term) in view of the political instability & uncertainty our beloved politicians are causing making borrowing money more onerous on the long run and edging us closer to the brink. By far, the most dangerous measure, bar none.

Words fail me. I just cannot begin to describe how very stupid it is to raise taxes in the midst of a financial depression; make no mistake, this is no ordinary recession. You only need to walk around any high street in Spain to see half of the businesses have shut down or are boarded up. Whilst other countries in Europe are literally bending over backwards to assist, or even rescue, companies and self-employed in a bid to preserve jobs, Spain has done next to nothing in all this time when it comes to tax breaks, government subsidies or any kind of grants to those in need. Our government seems totally detached from reality and devoid of any sense of urgency on acting swiftly and decisively before we lose even more jobs and companies (mostly SMEs). In my article of last June I wrote that what would be logical, given the grim financial context induced by the virus, would be to lower taxes or even give grants to companies and individuals allowing them some breathing room until things got back to normal. All other EU countries have adopted similar measures in this direction over the last six months, except Spain. Spain hasn't even been able to reduce the VAT on face masks from 21% to 4% as other EU countries did months ago despite it becoming a prime necessity for society and those collectives in need. Only recently, as in last week, has it done so buckling under the huge pressure piled against it by society. Even so, they have lowered VAT only on surgical face masks, which 90% of the population does not use. It is beyond belief that our president, who happens to hold a PhD in Economics no less, would agree to such a daft measure as raising taxes in the middle of a financial depression. You couldn't make it up.

But I don’t want to end this blog post on a negative note, God forbid.

As a silver lining, while the whole country struggles to cope on by, Spanish politicians have nonchalantly self-approved yet another generous pay rise of 2% (yay); this will be the fourth, or fifth, since they are in office (sorry, I lose count). This is great, they can now spend the surplus propping up our ailing economy. Stupid me, I would have reduced, or at the very least, frozen my public wage as a politician would I be in power in solidarity with all that is going on in a country primed to be rescued with EU funds in the near future. But hey, that’s just me. Clearly, I don’t have what it takes to be a career politician. God bless’em all.

 

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.” – 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 statesman ever to grace 10 Downing Street.

 

Related articles and blog posts

Spanish Government to Raise Taxes – 8th June 2020

 

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 daft politicians were harmed on writing this article. VOV.

2.020 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All Rights Reserved.

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Self-developer in Spain? You need to read this

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, November, 10. 2020

If you are planning to build your own house in Spain, you should read this blog post.

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
Lawyer - abogado
10th of November 2020

 

I think one of the smartest moves one can make is to build your own house in Spain. It saves considerable money that middlemen usually syphon away. However, that said, you should really engage in hiring professional companies to assist you in this undertaking, such as: architect, project manager, builder, lawyer, accountant etc.

These professionals will assist you to wade through the admin minefield to successfully build your own house saving you hundreds of thousands of euros in the process. Unfortunately, at times some people who arrive in Spain, and become self-developers building their own homes, think they know better and ignore this advice. A high price is paid for this neglect, particularly on selling the property on in the future.

Such is the case we’ve witnessed over the last month. The client literally built their own house a decade ago and sold it recently. As a result of not hiring professionals, they did not keep a carefully record of any VAT invoices, which are essential to mitigate one's capital gains tax on selling. Because of this they have been slammed with a huge CGT bill, which could have been easily avoided had they only sought tax & legal counsel from us beforehand.

In our experience, a vast majority of tax-related issues can easily be avoided if clients seek tax & legal advice BEFORE they act. It is very important to plan ahead carefully, specifically financially, before making any rash decision that carries a significant tax impact.

 

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” – Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin (1706 – 1790). Founding Father of the United States. Exceptionally gifted statesman, scientist, inventor, diplomat, writer, printer, postmaster, and political theorist. He campaigned from early on for colonial unity, initially as an author and spokesman in London for several colonies. Appointed as the first United States ambassador to France, he exemplified the prowess of an emerging American nation. He was even a politician in his spare time; nobody’s perfect.

 

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

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers is a law firm specialized in taxation, inheritance, conveyancing, 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 articles

 

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 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.

2.020 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All Rights Reserved.

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Government to introduce rental control in 2021

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, November, 3. 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 Lawyers
28th of October 2020

Spain’s social-communist government announced yesterday with great formality Spain’s budget for 2021. Marking the solemnity of the occasion, we even saw our Beloved Leader, communist Vice President Mr. Iglesias, wearing a suit for the first time. Spain’s annual budget law is by far the most important law to be passed every year and one needs to pay close attention to it to see where the ruling government’s agenda is heading for next year.

I could write over a dozen articles on the pernicious effects of what was agreed and why, but I only want to focus in today’s short post on the announced rental control law. On the back of the one already approved in Catalonia by the Generalitat earlier on this year, Unidas Podemos (Spain’s Communist party) has pushed its agenda to extend the shadow of this control to all of Spain. Its staunch political ally, PSOE, finally yielded and will be passing a Housing Act in 2021 on this. The final law still needs to be pencilled out, but it is now a certainty, a matter of months at most before it is enacted.

In previous articles I had already foreshadowed this happening, as Spain’s communist party are hell-bent on regulating holiday rentals because they absolutely despise them (and tourism, or so it would seem). I am not going to bang on again how this is a frontal attack to the right of property ownership enshrined by our constitution of 1978 (read unconstitutional) and how these measures to control rental prices have already been tried and tested time and time again in other large cities (Berlin, Paris) and have failed. In short, although I understand where they are coming from and what their declared goal is (reduce rental prices), it’s a very bad measure in my humble opinion and will create several nasty issues with few to no discernible real benefits.

The Agencia Negociadora del Alquiler (private entity) collated seven adverse effects this planned intervention will have on the Spanish rental market:

  • Increase of landlords and tenants signing rental agreements off the books (not declaring them).
  • Sharp increase of rental prices and introduction of market anomalies (because landlords would pull out en masse from renting, drastically reducing the available offer). This is ironic because the whole point of passing this new law in 2021 would be to drive rental prices down, not to increase them!
  • Trashing of properties
  • End of buy-to-let
  • Introduction of legal insecurity (which deters investors)
  • Suppression of tax-friendly SOCIMIs
  • Artificial creation of ‘guettos’ in large cities with long waiting lists

 

At a time when rentals are on freefall, because of the ongoing Covid-19 financial onslaught and all the associated quarantines, as highlighted in previous articles the introduction of this new measure is really like flogging a dead horse. Central planning of the rental market is bound to create serious market distortions like the paradox of setting a fixed price at today’s value when in fact the rental price may well drop further in real terms in the future. So paradoxically, the government could in effect fix higher prices today than what a property may fetch in the real market in say three months’ time.

I care to throw in a few more adverse effects of my own:

  • Because of Brexit, and the removal of landlord tax relief for UK-based landlords, several companies specialized in home rental care will now fold.
  • Struggling real estate agents, in a stagnated sales market, are heavily relying on rentals to make ends meet because there are almost no property sales. If you mess with rentals, they are *really* going to struggle (read widespread closures).
  • Increase of unemployment in a sector that was buoyant
  • Sharp decrease in offer as landlords, on learning our beloved government is going to dictate at what price they can rent, will cease renting altogether
  • Introduce huge price distortions with new and old rental prices, creating ‘privileged’ rentals
  • What happens to existing signed rentals?
  • What happens to signed contracts under this new law if it is found unconstitutional and is repealed?

 

I really dislike being forced to write up articles such as this one, but I strongly believe people should be forewarned and that this future ill-thought law should be stopped right on its tracks for the good of us all who work in the property industry. Millions of jobs are at stake.

 

Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” – Ronald Reagan

Ronald Wilson Reagan (1911 – 2004). American 40th US President (1981 – 1989). He steadfastly contributed to the Cold War victory which led to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the communist U.S.S.R. Through cunning and resolute political plays, assisted unwaveringly by staunch political allies, such as Margaret Thatcher, he ensured western democratic values prevailed and flourished, likely averting World War III. Along with the U.S.S.R.’s greatest president, Mr. Mikhail Gorbachev, he signed the START treaty which would kickstart the denuclearization of the two world’s greatest superpowers avoiding a nuclear Armageddon. A mediocre actor of cheesy westerns turned into a great statesman. Through his steadfast ideals, which almost claimed his life in 1981, his undying legacy would be to ensure us all with freedom, for which we are eternally grateful.

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

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers is a law firm specialized in taxation, inheritance, conveyancing, 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.

Rental-related articles

 

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 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.

2.020 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All Rights Reserved.

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Happy Halloween!

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, October, 31. 2020

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