Blog / News

Merry Christmas!

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, December, 21. 2023

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 Monday the 8th of January 2024.

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

El despacho permanecerá ahora cerrado por vacaciones y nos reincorporaremos el lunes 8 de enero 2024.

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Spanish Estate Agencies are now legally liable on offering properties without a Licence of First Occupation

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, December, 18. 2023

Marbella-based Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers has over 21 years' taxation & conveyancing experience at your service. We offer a wide range of over 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.

Copyrighted © 2023. Plagiarism will be criminally prosecuted.

18th of December 2023

In a new landmark provincial ruling from Alicante (Orihuela Costa) an estate agency, that mediated in a property sale without a Licence of First Occupation, has been found guilty and will have to pay the buyer a substantial amount in compensation.

This new ruling opens the door to litigate against real estate agencies for compensation when they intermediate on property sales that have not attained a Licence of First Occupation. The ruling goes on to expand that it is the duty of estate agencies to only sell properties which have attained a LFO.

A Licence of First Occupation is a critical administrative document that allows humans to live in new-build properties (off-plan) for the first time or in resales (after heavy property improvements & extensions).

 

At Larrain Nesbitt Abogados (LNA) we have over 21 years’ experience assisting clients buying, selling, or renting properties. We can also offer you a competitively priced accounting service to file your landlord taxes every tax quarter nationwide. We are also specialized in immigration & residency visas. You can contact us by e-mail at info@larrainnesbitt.com, by telephone on our UK line (+44) 07543 838 218, Spanish line (+34) 952 19 22 88, or by completing our contact form to book an appointment.

Larraín Nesbitt Abogados, small on fees, BIG on service.
2023 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All Rights Reserved.

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Non-Resident Imputed Income Tax end-of-year reminder (NRIIT) 2022

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, December, 1. 2023

The clock is ticking. If you are a non-resident, and you own property in Spain, this is your last chance to file your Non-Resident Imputed Income Tax for year 2022. 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 21 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 © 2023. Plagiarism will be criminally prosecuted.

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Lawyer – Abogado
1st of December 2023

 

The end of 2023 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 (2022).

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

We file your tax online within 24 hours.

Our last day to file this tax in 2023 is Monday the 18th 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, conveyance, immigration & 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 our UK line: (+44) 07543 838 218, or our Spanish line: (+34) 952 19 22 88, or by completing our contact form.

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

 

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.

2.023 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All Rights Reserved.

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FORBES magazine picks Malaga as one of the top three places in the world to retire

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, November, 21. 2023

Marbella-based Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers has over 21 years' taxation & conveyancing experience at your service. We offer a wide range of over 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.

Copyrighted © 2023. Plagiarism will be criminally prosecuted.

 

In a recent article published by Forbes (Kathleen Peddicord), Malaga was chosen as the best place in Spain to retire. Moreover, it was selected as one of the three best places in the world (along with Thailand and Panama)!

We have published over the years several articles covering why Malaga is such a great spot to invest and live in. Ultra-low taxation, deregulation, gorgeous weather all year round (over 300 days of sunshine a year!), modern medical facilities and state-of-the-art hospitals, amenities galore, a rich cultural life offering over a dozen museums, great food, a very safe city with almost no crime, and friendly natives to boot! You really can’t ask for more in life.

Oh, and it’s the home city of Picasso. Need I say more?

Malaga, Europe's Southern California - 11th June 2021

Malaga voted by expats as the world's second best city to live & work - 8th January 2022

Costa del Sol: your dream home in paradise – 8th April 2022

If readers followed my investment advice over the years, and invested in Malaga city, they’ve likely tripled their real estate investment by now. Not to mention double-digit rental income returns on holiday rental accommodation.

You’re welcome.

 

At Larrain Nesbitt Abogados (LNA) we have over 21 years’ experience assisting clients buying, selling, or renting properties. We can also offer you a competitively priced accounting service to file your landlord taxes every tax quarter nationwide. We are also specialized in immigration & residency visas. You can contact us by e-mail at info@larrainnesbitt.com, by telephone on our Spanish line (+34) 952 19 22 88, our UK line (+44) 07543 838 218, or by completing our contact form to book an appointment.

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

2023 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All Rights Reserved.

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Granada, the Last Kingdom

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, November, 10. 2023

Lawyer Raymundo Larraín looks at Granada’s attractions as a place to live, visit, and invest.

I continue today with my running series on top places to buy and live in Spain. You can find older entries on this series scrolling down below. These impromptu light-hearted guides are not meant to be exhaustive; they are just there as a lighthouse to shed light on an area’s main highlights and landmarks.

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Inset photo: the always majestic La Alhambra.

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These are the keys to paradise. Abu Abdallah Muhammad XII (Bobdil), the last Emir of Granada. Painter: Francisco Pradilla y Ortiz.

The painting depicts the moment Boabdil relinquishes the keys to the Emirate of Granada, the last Moorish stronghold in Spain, to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. The fall of Granada mirrors in reverse the fall of Constantinople in 1453, which led to the fall of the Eastern Roman Empire.

Introduction

1492 marks the fall of Granada, the last Islamic Kingdom to rule Spain (Al-Andalus) after almost eight centuries of uninterrupted dominion at the heart of Western Europe. The reconquest of the city signified the long-awaited reunification of Spain, the birth of a new nation, under the vigilant stare of the Catholic Kings. This epic moment galvanized the country, sending shockwaves throughout the land, which rallied behind its kings, as one. This historic milestone marked the start of a golden age for Spain which would last well over 250 years. During that time, Spain would go on to forge a mighty overseas empire that sprawled the world, from West to East, becoming history’s first modern-era superpower.

That same year also witnessed the discovery of a New World by Christopher Columbus, also at the behest of the Catholic Kings. Grizzled war veterans, from all corners of the country, after having spent all their adult lives waging a relentless war in pursuit of freedom,  spurred on by the electrifying emotions of a reunified nation at long last, saw in the exploration of a new world a golden opportunity to carry over their skill set as Spanish Conquistadors – but that’s a tale for another day.

Centuries on, as a living testament to all the brave men and women who gave up their lives exploring and colonising unchartered lands, the Spanish language is now spoken by over half a billion people, in 22 countries, and is ranked as the world’s second-most important language.

Granada has gone on to symbolize the unity of Spain.

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Catholic King’s tomb in la Capilla Real, Granada. For those eagle-eyed readers, you’ll spot on the right side that Isabella’s head seems to sink into her pillow more than Fernando’s. This was a gentle nod from the Italian sculptor to denote she was (much) smarter than him, and so her head weighed more. Clearly, we can surmise who was really in charge!

Granada, culture capital

Unlike its glitzier neighbours up and down the coast, devoted to beach & sunshine tourism, Granada appeals more to a refined crowd with cultural cravings and prone to introspection. Granada, like Oxford, is one of those few cities where everything seems to revolve around its university and academic life in general. Granada is ranked as one of the top universities in Spain to read Law, amongst many other degrees. The city is swarmed with university students at all times, which has created a vibrant cultural (night) life which reflects upon every little detail.

Washington Irving, the man who started it all

In a crime against Humanity, the Alhambra Palace, Granada’s emblematic Moorish citadel (which illustrates this very article) had been wrongfully neglected for centuries by Spaniards, lost to time. It would take a foreigner, a romantic American writer from New York City (!), to visit it during the nineteenth century and fall in love with it to finally appreciate its well-deserved beauty and put it on the map for the remainder of the world to enjoy. Inspired by its captivating ambience, echoing bygone eras, Mr. Irving was enthralled by its magic and found a way to actually live at the palace for several months which inspired him to pen two of his most famous novellas, The Conquest of Granada and Tales of the Alhambra (the latter inspired by Scheherazade, the masterful storyteller from One Thousand and One Nights). Mr. Irving found La Alhambra Palace derelict, in a state of major disrepair, inhabited by societies’ dregs and social outcasts. Soon after his novels were published, and word of mouth spread like wildfire, the Spanish Government was forced to take an active interest in the site, fencing the area off and finally carrying out works towards its rehabilitation and preservation for future generations.

Spain, and concretely Granada, owe a great debt of gratitude to this man, who single-handedly made the whole world aware of Granada’s beauty, making it an instantly recognizable brand the world over. His story deserves its own movie.

Dale limosna, mujer, que no hay en la vida nada, como la pena de ser, ciego en Granada”. – Francisco de Icaza, Mexican poet.

Loosely translated (referring to a street beggar): ‘Give him a coin woman, for there is nothing sadder in life than to be blind in Granada.

 —

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Alhambra, seat of power

Majestically perched atop a hill, with commanding views over the surrounding countryside and the snowcapped mountain range of Sierra Nevada, the Alhambra (which means Red Castle in Arabic) was the seat of power of the Nasrid Dynasty and the Emirate of Granada from 1230 to 1492. The original fortress was built in the ninth century, over one thousand years ago. The palace served a dual role of projecting power (aggrandising its dynasty) and serving as their home. The castle’s rich crimson colour against the dramatic drop of a magnificent white mountain ridge behind it, which turns into dark purple at dusk, lends it an ethereal look, almost otherworldly.

The Islamic religion forbids the depiction of human figures, to that end talented Moorish artists were brought from faraway lands and commissioned to work feverishly, day in and day out, decorating its vast interiors and halls with stucco stalactites, intricate tilework, latticework bearing complex Moorish motifs, and symmetrical shapes. Each window at the Alhambra was thoughtfully selected to frame an image from the landscape that lies beyond in what resembles a living painting of unmatched beauty. The artwork found within its walls is an unparalleled example of Islamic art whose know-how is lost to the sands of time.

But truly, Alhambra comes into its own through its myriad scented gardens and water features. Adjacent to the Alhambra, we find the Generalife (UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984), which was the Nasrid Dynasty’s summer palace. The Generalife’s gardens and fountains are inspired by the Jannah, Islam’s paradise garden that awaits the righteous in the afterlife as their final place of abode. The round fountains, that dot the palace grounds, playfully reflect the sun’s rays, resembling freshly minted silver dirhams. For this culture, born and bred in the hardships of unforgiving dry deserts, water is a synonym of wealth and power. For this reason, water fountains were prominently displayed throughout the whole palace complex conveying onlookers a distinct message of power. But they also served a practical purpose, as any visitor during the hot months of July and August can attest to; vastly reducing the sweltering heat by dropping the temperature in what is a feat of Islamic engineering. Complex waterways permeate the palace grounds ensuring ambient temperature remains cool at all times. The soothing sound of water running gently through the multiple waterways and fountains, coupled with the sweetly scented gardens and birds peacefully chirping away in the green canopy overhead makes the whole place truly unique; a balm for the soul.

It should be noted that in the aftermath of the fall of the Western Roman Empire, most of medieval Europe languished in the darkness of ignorance and poverty, albeit the Muslim Emirates of Cordoba and Granada shone brightly for centuries as a beacon of human culture. These two sophisticated kingdoms attracted the most talented scholars, philosophers, poets, astronomers, mathematicians and physicians (read doctors) of the time, becoming cusps of culture.

It is often forgotten the wise Emirate overlords oversaw the peaceful coexistence – for centuries – of three major cultures which are often at odds with each other, always hanging in a precarious balance: Christian, Muslim, and Jewish.arab-2

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The Nasrid motto: ‘There’s no victor but God’

The Alhambra was aptly added in 1984 to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

In an October ’23 poll of the world’s most beautiful castles organized by the company ‘We Love Holidays’, the Alhambra was voted by readers as ranking first place in Spain, and third in the world. If you want to book tickets to visit it, you should do so at least six months ahead.

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Patio de los Leones, La Alhambra.

 

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Weep like a woman for a kingdom you could not defend like a man.” – Aisha al-Hurra

Aisha bint Muhammad ibn al-Ahmar or Aixa al-Hurra (the honoured), a living descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, was the feisty, always the political player with a character of steel, determined mother of Boabdil, the last Emir of Granada. She earned her place in history for having rebuked her son for the loss of Granada in 1492.

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Albayzin, where time stood still

Nestled at the foot of the royal palace, well beyond the protection of its sturdy walls, at the skirts of its mountain, lies the Albaicin; a small neighbourhood of well-preserved stone houses (dating back five centuries), amid cobbled streets, crisscrossed by narrow alleyways. The whole place is littered with souvenir shops which sell exotic wares from another time. The floors are covered by lush Oriental rugs bearing intricate symmetrical motifs, and vintage Moorish lamps, with embedded coloured crystals, hang from tall ceilings, illuminating each room, casting playful shadows on the walls which bring back to life figures from stories lost to time. The strong smell of tanned leather and sweet jasmine burning in large incense jars gently drifts through the air of its narrow streets taking visitors back in time.

The purpose of cramped streets is dual; they serve as defence (as easier to defend, think of the Strait of Thermopylae) but also help to create drafts which help to bring down the temperature during the hot summer months.

The Albayzin was home to the Jews, who were wrongfully expelled from Spain by the Catholic Kings in 1492, and all their properties confiscated in an ill-advised faux pas (saddled with debt, they did this to avoid repaying the large debts racked up on pursuing endless warfare). It is said the families descended from the original Sephardic Jews carefully treasured their original Granada housekeys, throughout the centuries, as family heirlooms passing them down from one generation to the next, waiting for the day they would be able to return safely to their rightful homes. These descendants, five centuries on, on visiting Granada, were shocked to find that when they inserted their keys on centuries-old locks, they worked! These keys symbolize the doorway to a sleeping Neshama.

The Albayzin was added in 1994 to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

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Sacromonte, where flamenco’s spirit lives on

Due east from the Albayzin, on a small hilltop opposite the famed Alhambra, you’ll find the renowned Sacromonte district, home to the Roma community. Burrowed all alongside the mountain hillside you will find quaint house caves that do a marvellous job at keeping cool during the long summer season. During summertime, flamenco and guitar concerts abound. But this is not your vanilla run-of-the-mill tourist flamenco show, oh no, this is the real deal! Granada has a longstanding tradition of flamenco which loses its roots in time. The flamenco that burns here is raw, passionate, pulling at your very soul. Viewing a fiery flamenco show inside one of its reconditioned house caves is truly a sight to behold. Before you know it, night will turn into dawn. You can’t say you’ve lived if you haven’t experienced one of these flaming shows.

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Trailblazing girl in motion!

Sierra Nevada, where the action lies!

Albeit man cannot live of culture alone. Sierra Nevada is a sky station only an hour’s drive away from Granada’s city centre. For ski lovers and adrenaline junkies, this is the place to be. It’s home to the highest mountain in all of Spain, the ever-icy Mulhacen, standing tall at 3,482 metres. There is a great selection of hotels, that cater to all tastes and pockets. For those with a penchant for the finer things in life, you should pay a visit to The Lodge or the Maribel hotels, right at the heart of the frozen ski slopes. Waking up in the wee hours of the morning and having breakfast at the Maribel at the crack of dawn (or dusk), with its beautiful views over an unspoiled piste, is truly a site to behold! Then being spoiled (rotten) to try on your ski gear, which has been previously warmed up overnight at the hotel’s ski shop, and ski right into la piste, is simply otherworldly! Now, that’s truly luxury at its best!

And then there’s also the night! Sierra Nevada has a rich and diverse nightlife where party owls can unwind and enjoy some well-deserved rest in good company after braving black slopes all day long. Shrewd cookies may even consider investing in property given the (always) high demand for ski accommodation and the limited land available due to strict planning laws!

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Stunning viewpoint from the Mirador de San Nicolas, Granada. Breathtaking views are guaranteed at dawn and dusk. Rumour has it it’s a great place to propose, no lad has ever been turned down at this spot! Bruno Mars’s ‘Marry You’, whilst optional, is highly recommended.

Conclusion

Whether you lean more towards the arts, or else you’d rather fancy grabbing a snowboard and blaze the night away, Granada has you covered. Both crowds are guaranteed not to commingle.

Granada’s bewitching beauty, embodied by the Alhambra, has captured the imagination of writers and poets for eons. It’s witnessed the rise and fall of civilizations and dynasties, standing the test of time.

If you want your heart stolen, visit Granada.

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Portrait of a young Federico García Lorca, arguably Spain’s finest poet.

Verde que te quiero verde.
Verde viento. Verdes ramas.
El barco sobre la mar
y el caballo en la montaña.
Con la sombra en la cintura
ella sueña en su baranda,
verde carne, pelo verde,
con ojos de fría plata.
Verde que te quiero verde.
Bajo la luna gitana,
las cosas le están mirando
y ella no puede mirarlas.

Federico García Lorca. Romancero Gitano, Romance Sonámbulo.

Federico del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús García Lorca (1898 – 1936). Born in Fuente Vaqueros (Granada), he was a child prodigy, exquisite Spanish poet, writer, musician, playwright, and theatre director. Outstanding member of the Generation of 27. Assassinated at a young age by Nationalist forces shortly before the outbreak of the fratricidal Spanish Civil War for his Socialist views. His body was never found, his legend grows on. Likely the finest poet in Spanish language of all time.

Other entries in this running series:

 

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. Ní neart go cur le chéile. VOV.

2.023 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All Rights Reserved.

 

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Spain’s new Rental Law flops

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, November, 1. 2023

Marbella-based Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers has over 20 years' taxation & conveyancing experience at your service. We offer a wide range of over 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.

Copyrighted © 2023. Plagiarism will be criminally prosecuted.

 

Surprise, surprise. Who would have guessed?

I dislike writing articles such as this one in which – unfortunately – we are proved right over time. But don’t take my word, almost every specialist working in real estate for decades could have also told you on reviewing the draft law that it was doomed to fail, as it in fact has.

Mark Stucklin, director of SPI, has published a nice read on this topic: New Housing-Law has crashed the rental market in just six months - 29th October 2023. You also have a very interesting take from the financial press: Renting in Spain: Mission Impossible.

On the 26th of May 2023 Spain's new Housing Act was approved, which introduced a bacth of changes to rental laws that apply nationwide. The self-declared purpose of this law was to significantly reduce the price of lettings across the board, introducing a state intervention on prices (rental prices are capped in some areas). This was done with a lofty goal in mind, to assist  vulnerable collectives, such as youngsters, and elder persons, on low wages or on precarious pensions.

To cut a long story short, we repeatedly analyzed and explained - through multiple articles - why the new proposed measures introduced by this law were in practice a bad idea (polite understatement) and how it would prove counterproductive for the overall rental market, despite the goal being good.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

As examples:

Government to introduce rental control in 2021 - 28th October 2020

Spain’s new Housing Act - 5th November 2021

A brief look at Spain’s new Housing Act - 8th November 2021

Spain to approve new Housing Act - 12th February 2022

Lo and behold, six months later we can affirm that this new law is a (total) failure. I know, shocking.

If anything, this new law has made matters (much) worse for prospective tenants, specifically for struggling collectives (read financially challenged). And this is precisely what happens when mentally challenged muppets are put in charge of a ship, you get a titanic.

I really wish the government listened to experts at times, removing its ideological bias which blinds it, before rashly enacting such ideologically motivated laws that in practice fall flat on their face, making matters worse for us all; specifically for the vulnerable collectives it sought to protect.

So, now what?

Is anyone going to be held accountable for this failure?

Is anyone going to be held responsible for making rentals MUCH more expensive, as landlords have in effect greatly reduced the offer available increasing rental prices as a result (following the law of demand and supply)?

Of course not, this is Spain! No one ever resigns, for any reason.

They’ll just blame it on 'evil' foreign speculators and on ongoing wars to hide their own incompetence and shortcomings. It’s always someone else’s fault, right? In the public sector this is how they roll, no pasa nada. In the private sector, people would get fired over botching Spain’s rentals market.

Ah politicians, you gotta luv’em; they spice up our lives like the clowns they are.

Ah well, life goes on.

 

At Larrain Nesbitt Abogados (LNA) we have over 20 years’ experience assisting clients buying, selling, or renting properties. We can also offer you a competitively priced accounting service to file your landlord taxes every tax quarter nationwide. We are also specialized in immigration & residency visas. 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.

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

2023 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All Rights Reserved.

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Happy Halloween!

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, October, 27. 2023

Anál nathrach, orth' bháis's bethad, do chél dénmha

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According to a new study by Fundalab and Tax Foundation, Spain has the highest taxes in Europe

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, October, 21. 2023

At a time when all European countries have wisely reduced taxes in a bid to mitigate the post-pandemic burden and stave off soaring inflation, Spain is one of the few countries in the world to have dramatically increased its taxes, even creating new ones!

In today's blog post, I will try to analyze and explain why Spain is adopting such a counterintuitive approach to taxation in the aftermath of the Covid-19 global pandemic and at the doors of a new worldwide recession.

In effect, Spain has raised over the last 12 months 37 taxes, additionally creating 4 new taxes in 2022, such as the new solidarity tax for the rich. This fiscal voracity has translated into an extra €24 billion in tax revenue (an 8% increase) by rapport to the previous tax year. Not to mention how the government has actively suppressed a batch of longstanding tax allowanxes and tax breaks making it even more onerous for taxpayers.

This new study reflects how Spain’s IRPF (personal income tax), Patrimonio (Wealth Tax) and Impuesto de Sucesiones y Donaciones (Gift and Inheritance taxes) are the highest out of any European country.

Whilst most European countries have abolished Wealth tax (except in Switzerland and Norway) Spain has even created a new second national Wealth tax (Impuesto de Solidaridad a las Grandes Fortunas, or ISGF for short) which duplicates, and overlaps, the devolved competency regions already had attributed with their own wealth tax. So in effect, Spain has now two wealth taxes in place, at a regional and national level! Although the new wealth tax approved at a national level in 2022 is clearly unconstitutional, the newly appointed president at the Constitutional Court (chosen at the behest of Spain’s President) is now fighting tooth and nail to repeal all opposition so it remains in force.

Regarding Inheritance and Gift Tax, Spain has the highest tax rates in place in all of Europe, with the exception of a few regions which have suppressed it (i.e. Andalucia, Balearics, Galicia, Madrid, and Valencia).   

Despite what our government claims, in that it strives to help and support the middle class, the results of the nefarious tax policy it pursues has resulted in the destruction of Spain’s middle class at an alarming pace.

Not content wit this, the government announced this week it will raise yet again taxes across the board in 2024.

This massive rise in taxes is being done in the context of the EU gifting Spain €80bn to combat the adverse effects of Covid-19 (no one knows what this money is being spent on and no one is held accountable for it) and the fact the government has not indexated taxes with an unbridled inflation of 25%, has resulted in an extra windfall for the government of €140bn (as no indexation inflation tax relief was given to ailing taxpayers, unlike in other EU countries).

In other words, the government received a windfall of an extra €220bn, and in spite of it all, it has still raised taxes dramatically (even creating 4 new ones).

Something is very, very wrong with Spain's finances.

But it doesn’t end there, on top of this, Spain has also dramatically increased the public debt by an extra €400bn over the last three years (an extra 30%), raising the total public debt of Spain to a staggering of €2 trillion, a ticking time bomb.

Why is all this being done? Where are these vast amounts of money being spent on?

Spain is spending €380bn every year on pensions and civil servant’s wages. There are over 4 million civil servants in Spain. Public wages in Spain are, on average, 32% higher than those in the private sector. Over 64% of civil servants make more than 21% of employees working in the private sector (this is crazy). Pensions and civil servants’ wages in 2005 accounted for less than 7% of GDP, now they are close to 15% GDP. Clearly, this is untenable on the long run.

In other words, if you want to live a good, relaxed life in Spain, and get paid (very) well, with huge holiday breaks all you need to do is work as a civil servant. Which goes on to explain why over 70% of young people in Spain, on finishing their university degree, want to study to become a civil servant. 74% of Spanish people believe civil servants lead a (much) better life than those in the private secort, who are underpaid and overworked by comparison.

It's only obvious, that if you offer a young person more money, less worked hours, higher holidays, and private healthcare (yes private, MUFACE, God forbid civil servants use public healthcare like the rest of us punters) why on earth would they pick working for the private sector? And this explains nicely why young Spanish people would rather be civil servants than working for the private sector.

The only tiny little insignificant crack in this master plan is who pays for all these public wages?

Now you understand what's behind the huge tax rises and the creation of new tax figures, it's all used to finance a growing house of cards. Not to mention, that civil servants are grateful voters to those that pay them. Unsurprisingly, 1 out 4 new jobs in Spain are created by the public sector, as civil servants, in a country with the highest unemployment rate of all Europe, out of all the OECD countries. I know, shocking, who could have possibly thought it?

If I were a cynic, I would be inclined to believe the government is misallocating the billions in EU funds to finance and create new jobs in the public sector, but surely that cannot be right, as those funds were earmarked by our EU Overlords to be used by ailing companies (SMEs) and millions of struggling families to help them cope with the adverse effects of Covid-19. Surely, I must be mistaken, silly me.

In Spanish we have coined a beautiful expression that sums up this reckless behaviour: “huida hacia adelante” which translates loosely as 'ploughing ahead with blinkers on'.

Despite all the nice words from our communist government, in that it will not raise taxes for the poor and middle classes, it is in fact doing quite the opposite, which is annihilating Spain’s middle class.

I apologize for self-quoting myself from another article: “... the strength of a democracy is correlated by the strength of its middle class. For it is the middle class of any country that undergirds the power of a healthy and balanced democracy, acting as its backbone. A dwindling middle class only spells political instability.”

This rash attitude of our autocratic communist government to raise more and more taxes, all the while creating new ones (!), and with unrestrained wanton piling more and more public debt on top - in a context of ultra-high interest rates - leads Spain to an unmitigated financial disaster.

If to a precarious financial situation, like the one described above, you also add on top a volatile political outlook, it leads Spain closer to Argentina, day by day.

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12th of October - Spain’s National Day

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, October, 12. 2023

 

Today, the 12th of October, is Spain’s national day. It commemorates the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus at the behest of the Catholic Kings.  

In today’s blog, I want to focus on the duty of care that is expected from all civil servants, and any others, who work for the state.

Spain is facing unprecedented political turmoil unseen since the advent of its young Democracy in 1978. The person responsible for this, in his relentless pursuit of power, is the incumbent president who has systematically undermined all democratic institutions which purpose is to keep checks and balances on the Executive. More and more, day by day, Spain is turning into an autocracy led by one man. This can only lead Spain down a dark road if left unchecked.

It is the sworn duty of all civil servants, and those in places of power, to ensure that democratic values and the rule of law is upheld, for the good of the nation and its people. This is what ensures peace and prosperity in Spain. It falls on them, as a sworn duty, to safeguard Spain's Democracy and its Constitution, from enemies abroad but also from enemies within.

More and more we are witnessing and reading in the daily press how the acting president is foisting on a silent majority an autocratic government in a bid to remain in power. In effect, despite overwhelmingly losing the general elections of last 23rd of July, he has not stepped aside and remains in power, latching onto it, as acting president. He aims to remain in power by casting a spiderweb of political alliances with communist, pseudo-terrorist groups, and separatists (some of them directly sponsored by rogue states like Russia, always eager to sow dissension amongst EU Member States, to undermine the EU and advance its autocratic agenda) all of which are sworn enemies of Spain. He aims to remain in office another 4 years against the democratic majority which decisevely voted to oust him from power on the 23rd of July 2023.

The acting president has single-handedly been responsible for the erosion of democratic values, placing in all offices of power his own cronies, sycophants, and minions.

In effect, the acting president has under his own personal control Congress, Spain’s Intelligence Agency (CNI), the Constitutional Court, the State Prosecution Office, the State Television (RTVE) and Radio (and those which he does not control directly have been showered with hundreds of millions of euros in ‘subsidies’ to keep them in line, docile), all the major trade unions, the National Office for Statistics (which now cannot be trusted as is heavily politically biased), the Tax Office, the Polls Office (!), the State Postal Service that sends and collects all votes by post (he appointed a schoolfriend as director whose lost the company over €1bn through gross corporate mismanagement), he also fully controls the company that counts all votes electronically in Spain (INDRA), etc.

Only the Senate, Spain's Supreme Court, and the CGPJ (Judge's General Council) remain independent.

And finally, after fighting tooth and nail for several years, Sanchez is concluding his drawn-out assault on the Judiciary (CGPJ) in a bid to control the appointment of all judges in Spain, and, if nothing stops him, is on the verge of winning.

All the above-listed democratic institutions were carefully devised by our Founding Fathers to keep checks and balances on the Executive to ensure it does not overstep its mandate and become all too powerful. Under no circumstances should they be under the control of the Executive, much less under the direct control of one man.

When a so-called democratic nation has the Executive, Legislative, and Judiciary powers (and even the majority of the press, both public and private, the so-called fourth power) all in the hands of a single man, it can no longer be formally labelled as a democracy. It's not semantics, it's the truth. Therefore Spain, whilst officially still a democracy - on paper - has de facto become an autocracy led by Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón.

His aim is to subvert the constitutional order from 1978, overthrow the Spanish Monarchy, and install a III Republic with him as its first president.

I can only hope that the men and women who are sworn to protect and uphold Spain’s Constitution of 1978, the Rule of Law, and Justice carry out their duty and avoid Spain breaking up into several territories and being transformed into an autocracy, name it III Republic, or whatever you will. The balkanization of Spain into multiple nations must be avoided, as it will surely lead to a new civil war.

Spain’s Constitution of 1978 and its Monarchy have been guarantors of peace and prosperity in the land for almost 50 years. A land which historically is prone to political turmoil and ravaged by civil wars. Subverting or toppling them will lead to political instability, which will be followed by chaos, and possibly bloodshed.

This outcome must be averted at all costs, by those who can, by those who will.

 

The only thing necessary for evil to triumph in the world is that good men do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

 

Lee

Williamsport Crossing, depicting the crossing of the Potomac River by General Lee and his army on June 25, 1863. Art by John Paul Strain. Lee rode into many battles Traveller, a gray war horse notable for its stamina and courage, who would actually outlive him, and is featured in this portrait above.

 

“Duty is the sublimest word in the language; you can never do more than your duty; you shall never wish to do less.” – Robert E. Lee

 

Robert Edward Lee (19th January 1807 – 12th October 1870). Was a Confederate general during the fratricidal American Civil War. Born to an affluent family in the state of Virginia, he would go on to study at Westpoint. He graduated second in his class, never receiving a demerit, which was outstanding at the time. There he would carefully study for hours on end, in the original French, military treaties that described Napoleon’s brilliant military campaigns and genius tactics. These manuals had not been translated into English at the time. Lee would serve in the US Army over the next three decades.

Unfortunately, years later, it became clear the outbreak of civil war was imminent given the disputes over slavery. War would be triggered by the surprise bombing of Fort Sumter on the 12th of April 1861 by the Southern Militia. Robert was immediately called in as a commissioned officer and offered the supreme command of the Union Army, which he politely turned down as it would entail fighting against everything he held dear. He renounced his military commission and was allowed to return south.

The Confederate President, Jefferson Davis, seizing the opportunity, would immediately offer Lee the supreme command of the Confederate States Army, which he reluctantly accepted out of duty. It should be noted that back then, one held allegiance to his home state rather than to a newly-minted supranational entity that united all the states, which in time would be known to us as the United States of America.

Robert was all too aware the civil war was all but lost for the South and would last at least 4 years. His accurate foresight acted in sharp contrast to the irredentist optimistic assessment of both northern and southern politicians, who (foolishly) thought it would last at most a couple of months. Lee was fully aware the North held a (much) larger standing army, could rely on infinite material resources, especially manufactured ones, such as firearms and cannons, fully controlled the railway system, and even controlled the Navy which would threaten to choke and disrupt his supply chain and deter any foreign aid. In effect, the North vastly outnumbered the South, both numerically and materially. Anyway you analysed it objectively, the South was bound to lose a war of attrition, and Lee knew it. Consequently, Lee devised a shrewd plan in an attempt to avert a protracted war.

The only way to come out on top, and avoid a drawn-out war of attrition, given the crippling disadvantages of the South vs. the North, was to deliver a quick and decisive blow to Washington D.C. itself and brook for peace. Despite constantly facing larger armies, on a 2:1 ratio, General Lee inflicted grievous losses and defeated the Union Army, time and time again, which would crumble away at his relentless advance on Washington. The Union’s President, Abraham Lincoln, increasingly grew desperate as he was unable to find a suitable commander to face Lee’s military genius. After many sounding defeats for the North, he eventually found in Ulysses S. Grant, a man who would resolutely withstand Lee’s onslaught, neither retreating nor surrendering. General Grant, (finally) putting in motion the North’s vast material and human advantage, would purposely pursue a war of attrition knowing all too well the South would eventually cave in and be defeated. Lee faced his worst nightmare, a protracted war of attrition that would drag on for over four years. General Lee would finally be defeated in the decisive battle of Gettysburg, which saw the largest loss of human lives during the whole conflict.

As punishment, Lee’s mansion at the plantation at Arlington, would be surrounded by corpses rendering the property unfit to be lived or worked on. Arlington would become a U.S. military cemetery to this very day. Lee would gracefully surrender his sword at Appomattox and would commit all Southern forces to depose arms, seek peace, and assist to rebuild a shattered nation. General Grant held Lee in the highest esteem and went out of his way to stop any personal retaliation against him or the South after the war. Republican President Abraham Lincoln, likely the finest US President ever, would go into great lengths to ensure the festering wounds left open during the fratricidal Civil War were healed; generously reconciling both sides in equal terms, as one nation, indivisible, under God, laying the path for the country’s success and greatness over the next two centuries.

The fast type of warfare Lee developed in his brilliant campaigns (inspired by Napoloen’s enveloping tactics) through his masterful use of cavalry, led by his faithful second-in-command J.E.B. Stuart, was revolutionary at the time and would be carefully studied in military academies the world over, inspiring men such as Heinz Guderian, a proficient German WWII general, who carried over his valuable lessons translating them into modern tank warfare, developing the Blitzkrieg doctrine.

Despite facing overwhelming odds, Lee carried out his duty unwaveringly, defending his home state of Virginia, his family, friends, and all of the South he held dear in a succession of brilliant military campaigns that almost wrestled victory away from the Union, which doubtless would have spelled its demise. Had Lee succeeded, and he came very close, our world would indeed now be a very different place.

Robert is likely the finest general to ever be born in the United States of America, who (sadly) happened to wage war against his own country. It has to be understood that he did not desire the Union to be fractured into two factions, did not approve of slavery, and nor did he desire a futile fratricidal civil war. General Lee carried out his duty as is to be expected of any active serviceman in defence of his people, their values, and his beloved home state of Virginia.

There is no need to topple his statues.

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Reminder - Q3 2023 Non-Resident Income Tax filing (NRIT)

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, October, 2. 2023

Marbella-based Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers has over 20 years' taxation & conveyancing experience at your service. We offer a wide range of over 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.

Copyrighted © 2023. Plagiarism will be criminally prosecuted.

 

Just a gentle reminder to all non-residents, who own property in Spain and rent it out (whether long or short-term i.e. holiday home); you must file your Q3 2023 quarterly tax return now in July 2023. You are being taxed on your rental income for the previous three months: July, August, and September.

For 2023, the non-resident tax calendar is as follows:

  • Q1 January – March. Filed on the first 15 days of April
  • Q2 April – June. Filed on the first 15 days of July
  • Q3 July – September. Filed on the first 15 days of October
  • Q4 October – December. Filed on the first 15 days of January 2024

 

Our cut-off date to accept filing Q3 2023 non-resident tax returns is Friday the 13th of October 2023.

Please do not wait until the last moment to submit your quarterly tax return. We file this tax online all over Spain within 24 working hours.

We can offer you this tax service for a very competitive fee.

Our fee is 100% tax-deductible from the tax to pay.

The main highlight of our tax service is that we reduce your income tax by 70%, or more, on applying for lenient landlord tax relief on all your property-related expenses.

Contact us and pay less tax. If you overpay taxes in Spain, it's only because you want to.

 

Related tax service

Holiday Rental Accounting Service (HRAS)

Related taxation 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. Ní neart go cur le chéile. VOV.

2.023 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All rights reserved.

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