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The Spanish Inquisition

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The Spanish Inquisition

Old 4th Mar 2013, 19:24
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The Spanish Inquisition

Spain tells British expats to declare overseas assets - Telegraph

This seems to be setting a precedent that for most of the residents is beyond invasive and intimidating



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Old 4th Mar 2013, 19:25
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"Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition"
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Old 4th Mar 2013, 19:34
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Jersey and the Isle of Man now inform HMRC about assets held by Brits.
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Old 4th Mar 2013, 19:43
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Same as wot happens here if you are a resident or citizen, and I believe that the UK has a similar scheme.

And since the UK and Spain has a "double tax agreement", if you pay UK tax on UK earnings/assets then the tax comes off your Spanish tax bill.

You could say that they are just bringing themselves into alignment with other countries, and if people have been evading taxes by knowingly not declaring assets/income, then that is their problem.

After all, people scream and shout about all them rich b******s dodging taxes, why shouldn't the same apply to those without the same level of affluence?

Last edited by hellsbrink; 4th Mar 2013 at 19:44. Reason: brain fade
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Old 4th Mar 2013, 19:53
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This is nothing new and almost standard across the EU and many other territories.

Broadly speaking, you are taxed on worldwide income in the country in which you are fiscally resident, in order to assess the likely income from capital assets, they need to know the value of the assets.

In addition, at least one communist country, bent upon the destruction of wealth and the persecution of the wealthy, imposes a wealth tax which kicks in when your assets reach a value of €1.3 million, which is not really a lot for someone who owns a property and has saved money. That would be France, under the yoke of Tsar Hollandovich.
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Old 4th Mar 2013, 20:03
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if you pay UK tax on UK earnings/assets then the tax comes off your Spanish tax bill.

Somewhat simplistic.

Suppose you are a Spanish resident....

And inherit a house in the UK below the level at which inheritence tax is applied. No tax to pay in the UK ? No, but Spanish will charge you up to 40% of what you have inherited in England.

Won a British Premium Bond (unlikely I know). No tax to pay in the UK, but the Spanish will tax you on your winnings.

Own an offshore trust and withdraw less than the tax-free limit in the UK ? No tax to pay there, but plenty to pay in Spain.

Just about surviving on a UK state pension and below the taxable limit in the UK ? Surprise surprise ! The Spanish will tax you since their threshold is lower.

There is a stampede of foreign residents in Spain heading for other countries right now, and the simple fact is it's not because they are trying to evade tax, but because the Spanish authorities are screwing every last penny out of foreign residents who for years have paid fair and equitable taxes but now see the government of Rajoy in a terminal panic. Oh and for 'Spain' you can substitute 'France', and for 'Rajoy' you can substitute 'Hollande'. And for "British" switching their tax residences back to "England" you can substitute "French" and "Belgium".
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Old 4th Mar 2013, 20:12
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Don't forget Cape - by the way, welcome back under your original imprimatur - that Switzerland also has a wealth tax, but don't remember if that is imposed at national or cantonal level. Do remember being surprised when I looked at it, that amongst other questions, they specifically asked how many head of cattle you owned

EDIT: There is quite a lot more activity im my area of the Alps where there are many foreign residents - both seasonal and permanent - to ensure as much revenue as possible is flowing. My local tax office recently sent me a warmly-worded invitation to join the national tax festivities with the enhanced charm of a large fine if a return was not filed within 21 days ( for the preceding three years ). Apparently my reply was sufficient to convince him that my (fiscal) allegiance still rightly belonged to the U.K. but it may have offended him as he hasn't written to me since.

Last edited by AlpineSkier; 4th Mar 2013 at 20:20.
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Old 4th Mar 2013, 20:14
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Limeygal beat me to it.
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Old 4th Mar 2013, 20:30
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if you pay UK tax on UK earnings/assets then the tax comes off your Spanish tax bill.

Somewhat simplistic.

Suppose you are a Spanish resident....

And inherit a house in the UK below the level at which inheritence tax is applied. No tax to pay in the UK ? No, but Spanish will charge you up to 40% of what you have inherited in England.

Won a British Premium Bond (unlikely I know). No tax to pay in the UK, but the Spanish will tax you on your winnings.

Own an offshore trust and withdraw less than the tax-free limit in the UK ? No tax to pay there, but plenty to pay in Spain.

Just about surviving on a UK state pension and below the taxable limit in the UK ? Surprise surprise ! The Spanish will tax you since their threshold is lower.
Can you give me an example of what isn't so "simplistic" as every example has a scenario where you pay no UK tax and that means the "double tax agreement" doesn't count.

There is a stampede of foreign residents in Spain heading for other countries right now, and the simple fact is it's not because they are trying to evade tax, but because the Spanish authorities are screwing every last penny out of foreign residents who for years have paid fair and equitable taxes but now see the government of Rajoy in a terminal panic.
Rajoy may be in panic, but why should expats get some sort of "special" status for living in the same country as Spanish citizens? If Juan has to, and always has, declare overseas property/assets/income then why shouldn't John, or Jan, or Johan have to do the same? And if John, Jan or Johan, and even Juan, have knowingly been hiding any assets/income from the taxman why should they get to continue doing so whilst others do obey the rules and declare everything (the report does mention that bit)? After all, surely people ain't going to say that this new "order" applies only to furriners, that Spaniards are exempt, are they?

And what is this "fair and equitable" level of tax expats have paid for years? Is it something that is just a figure pulled out of a hat? Is it a lower rate "because we're not Spanish"? Is it a higher rate "because we're not Spanish"? Who decides this, because it sounds like it ain't something the Government has said, sounds more like people deliberately evading taxes they know they should be paying, but don't......
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Old 4th Mar 2013, 20:42
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Limeygal beat me to it.
, the comfy chair

Is it possible No 11, that the Inquisition mis-spoke , and instead of " Cardinal Fang, the comfy chair .." really said " Cardinal Fan, the comfy chair ................... " ?
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Old 4th Mar 2013, 22:23
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Pretty much the same for any US resident or non-resident citizen

If you spend more than 121 days per year in the USA, the IRS may be expecting a tax return and foreign assets report from you.

US citizens anywhere have to file both.

Looks like Spain is catching up to the practice in other tax jurisdictions.
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Old 4th Mar 2013, 22:58
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It will happen more and more as Govt desire to get money.
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Old 5th Mar 2013, 05:54
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After all, surely people ain't going to say that this new "order" applies only to furriners, that Spaniards are exempt, are they?

The law, no.

The way the law is being applied, yes.

It's rather like Hollande's "lets tax all the owners of holiday homes in France and hammer those wealthy British and Germans etc". Not realising that 68% of all holiday homes in France are owned by French nationals, and that the owners who can sell up and leave France, i.e. "those wealthy British and Germans" will do so.

If your country is in need of money, you make it more attractive to people with money, whether commercial or private. You do not drive away the people who would otherwise occupy your factories and houses.

Look at Spain's industrial and residential estates today ! I rest my case.

Last edited by OFSO; 5th Mar 2013 at 06:08.
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Old 5th Mar 2013, 07:25
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It's rather like Hollande's "lets tax all the owners of holiday homes in France and hammer those wealthy British and Germans etc". Not realising that 68% of all holiday homes in France are owned by French nationals, and that the owners who can sell up and leave France, i.e. "those wealthy British and Germans" will do so.
Correct, but Hollande is a moron and incapable of rational thought like you and I. He's also a 'socialist' ................. and most people think only capitalists are greedy! Then you get champagne socialists.

It has been proved time and time again that raising taxes above a certain level results eventually in a lower take for the fiscus.
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Old 5th Mar 2013, 08:25
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We are both retired and one of the main reasons we would never ever consider selling up and buying abroad is all that's listed here. We will certainly rent our place and rent abroad somewhere as of next year but buy and risk the inevitable hooping.......not a feckin chance.
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Old 5th Mar 2013, 09:27
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Years ago talking to an ex-pat resident in Cyprus, he told me in his opinion, sell your home in the UK, put the money in a high interest savings account, and rent a property in Cyprus was the way to go. But under the rules above, you would still have to declare the money as an 'asset' wouldn't you?
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Old 5th Mar 2013, 09:30
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Originally Posted by chevvron View Post
Years ago talking to an ex-pat resident in Cyprus, he told me in his opinion, sell your home in the UK, put the money in a high interest savings account ...
Now where are those high interest savings accounts?
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Old 5th Mar 2013, 09:32
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as posted in the comments section of the article in the OP..

A warning to those who think they can scuttle back to the UK to avoid the Spanish knock on the door.
If the Spanish authorities think you have withheld tax information and issue an EAW (European Arrest Warrant) you will have no protection from the UK authorities, you will have no appeal against being deported back to Spain.
You are completely f*****d.
That is where we are with the EU instruments of control
why taxation is theft http://www.libertarian.co.uk/lapubs/polin/polin044.pdf

The Ethics of Liberty, Murray Rothbard..

THE MORAL STATUS OF RELATIONS TO THE STATE

IF THE STATE, THEN, is a vast engine of institutionalized crime and aggression, the “organization of the political means” to wealth, then this means that the State is a criminal organization, and that therefore its moral status is radically different from any of the just property-owners that we have been discussing in this volume. And this means that the moral status of contracts with the State, promises to it and by it, differs radically as well. It means, for example, that no one is morally required to obey the State (except insofar as the State simply affirms the right of just private property against aggression). For, as a criminal organization with all of its income and assets derived from the crime of taxation, the State cannot possess any just property. This means that it cannot be unjust or immoral to fail to pay taxes to the State, to appropriate the property of the State (which is in the hands of aggressors), to refuse to obey State orders, or to break contracts with the State (since it cannot be unjust to break contracts with criminals). Morally, from the point of view of proper political philosophy, “stealing” from the State, for example, is removing property from criminal hands, is, in a sense, “homesteading” property, except that instead of homesteading unused land, the person is removing property from the criminal sector of society—a positive good.


Here a partial exception can be made where the State has clearly stolen the property of a specific person. Suppose, for example, that the State confiscates jewels belonging to Brown. If Green then steals the jewels from the State, he is not committing a criminal offense from the point of view of libertarian theory. However, the jewels are still not his, and Brown would be justified in using force to repossess the jewels from Green. In most cases, of course, the State’s confiscations, taking place in the form of taxation, are mixed into a common pot, and it is impossible to point to specific owners of its specific property. Who, for example, properly owns a TVA dam or a post-office building? In these majority cases, then, Green’s theft or “homesteading” from the State would be legitimate as well as noncriminal, and would confer a just homesteading property title upon Green.

Lying to the State, then, also becomes a fortiori morally legitimate. Just as no one is morally required to answer a robber truthfully when he asks if there are any valuables in one’s house, so no one can be morally required to answer truthfully similar questions asked by the State, e.g., when filling out income tax returns.

All this does not mean, of course, that we must counsel or require civil disobedience, nonpayment of taxes, or lying to or theft from the State, for these may well be prudentially unwise, considering the force majeure possessed by the State apparatus. But what we are saying is that these actions are just and morally licit. Relations with the State, then, become purely prudential and pragmatic considerations for the particular individuals involved, who must treat the State as an enemy with currently prevailing power.

Many libertarians fall into confusion on specific relations with the State, even when they concede the general immorality or criminality of State actions or interventions. Thus, there is the question of default, or more widely, repudiation of government debt. Many libertarians assert that the government is morally bound to pay its debts, and that therefore default or repudiation must be avoided. The problem here is that these libertarians are analogizing from the perfectly proper thesis that private persons or institutions should keep their contracts and pay their debts. But government has no money of its own, and payment of its debt means that the taxpayers are further coerced into paying bondholders. Such coercion can never be licit from the libertarian point of view. For not only does increased taxation mean increased coercion and aggression against private property, but the seemingly innocent bondholder appears in a very different light when we consider that the purchase of a government bond is simply making an investment in the future loot from the robbery of taxation. As an eager investor in future robbery, then, the bondholder appears in a very different moral light from what is usually assumed.
hmmmmmm...

Last edited by stuckgear; 5th Mar 2013 at 09:38.
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Old 5th Mar 2013, 09:35
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Originally Posted by Limeygal View Post
"Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition"
Apparently people were given 30 days notice. So they did expect it.

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Old 5th Mar 2013, 09:37
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To all those innocents who think we are all equal before the law.....

Scene, Spanish tax office. Officials are perusing the list of people who might hold overseas accounts or property:

....Gonzales
....Gomes
.....Pujol
.....Neumeister
.....Smith

Who do you think they are going to select for auditing ?

(NB I could of course have picked any other country where foreign names 'stand out')

Last edited by OFSO; 5th Mar 2013 at 09:37.
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