When “Brexit means Brexit”

29 March 2017 | Tags: , , ,

Theresa May’s historic letter to Donald Tusk makes a direct reference to those of us living and working in the European Union.  It is worth noting what was said to start the two year negotiation process for the UK to leave the EU:-

“We should always put our citizens first. There is obvious complexity in the discussions we are about to undertake, but we should remember that at the heart of our talks are the interests of all our citizens. There are, for example, many citizens of the remaining member states living in the United Kingdom, and UK citizens living elsewhere in the European Union, and we should aim to strike an early agreement about their rights.”

This means that as we, the ‘British in Spain’, may have some rights taken away and that, we, uniquely as property owners and / or residents of Spain, will be given some new rights or preserve our existing rights.   As we await the outcome of the agreement in our status as either property owners and / or residents of Spain, there may never be a better time to get our affairs in order.

A good example of this is Spanish succession or inheritance tax.  Two years ago the European Court of Justice ruled the Spanish succession tax system was incompatible with European Union principles.  The Spanish tax system had been treating Spanish Residents and Non-Spanish Residents differently.

Following that ruling, British owners of Spanish properties, were treated in the same way for Spanish Succession Tax purposes, irrespective of whether they are resident in Spain or not.

In the negotiations between the UK and EU (and whatever else can be negotiated between Spain and the UK) it is probable that when the UK is outside the EU, non-Spanish Resident British owners of Spanish properties will lose this special EU benefit.

This would mean that for British owners of Spanish property, who are not Spanish Residents and currently enjoy favourable succession tax allowances/ exemptions, may lose them.  Now is a good time to see how Brexit could affect you and your property in Spain, how you can reduce your inheritance tax liability and how to be ready whatever happens.  This month we are offering free half hour consultations, so if you would like to talk to a specialist lawyer, contact us on 951 203 094 or by email enquiries@mylawyerinspain.com

Click to read full letter to the President of the EU Council, Donald Tusk.

Alex Radford

Written by:
Alex Radford

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