Spain tells British expats to declare overseas assets

Spain tells British expats to declare overseas assets

'Prohibitive' penalties await those who fail to declare overseas assets to the Spanish tax authorities.

British people living in Spain must declare all their assets held outside the country to the Spanish authorities under new rules designed to target tax evasion.

Residents have until April 30 to declare all relevant overseas assets worth more than €50,000 (£44,000) and could face huge fines for not complying.

Assets include bank accounts, property and other movable assets such as shares, life insurance policies and annuity income.

David Truman, a partner at accountancy firm Menzies, said: “My understanding is that clients are considering or are leaving Spain as a result of the introduction of the new rules.

“It does appear to be concerning people, and it does appear to be driving people out of the country.”

British <u>expatriates</u> are considered residents in Spain if they spend more than 183 days a year in the country, or if their spouse and dependent minor children live there.

The Foreign Office estimates that 800,000 British nationals live all or part of the year in Spain. Residency is difficult to measure, but estimates vary from 250,000 to 400,000.

Residents must declare the value of their assets on December 31 last year and failure to do so could result in fines exceeding the value of the asset.

Mr Truman said: “They are asking people to declare their assets, which will give them the ability to cross-check that information with what you have put on your tax return.