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Spain tells resident expats to declare all offshore assets

Source: Telegraph - Mon 4th Mar 2013
Spain tells resident expats to declare all offshore assets

The Spanish Tax Authorities are informing UK Expats that they must declare all offshore assets, in a measure to control tax evasion.

All Spanish Residents have until April 30th to declare all such assets over €50,000 (£44,000) and could face huge fines for not complying.

The Telegraph reports that such assets will include bank accounts, property and other movable assets such as shares, life insurance policies and annuity income.

The UK's Foreign Office estimates that 800,000 British nationals live some or all of the year in Spain, whilst number registered as being officially resident is guesstimated to be between 250'000 - 400'000.

Residents must declare the value of their assets as of December 31st 2012, and failure to do so could result in fines exceeding the value of the asset.

The minimum penalty for failing to declare an asset is €10,000, as well as income tax on undeclared income, late-payment interest and penalties as high as 150% of the total tax due on the asset.

For example, a Spanish resident with €300,000 (£260,000) in an undeclared overseas account would incur the minimum penalty of €10,000 (£8,640), and see the amount taxed at the top interest rate of 52%. But they would also be fined 150% of the tax owed and 4% annual interest going back 4 years, meaning they would owe the Spanish taxman €424,960 (£368,000), according to figures from Blevins Franks.

Unpaid tax as a result of undeclared overseas assets worth more than €120,000 (£104,000) could also be considered a criminal offence of tax fraud.

The authorities are looking for people who not only own the asset but are the beneficiary or authorised signatory. The law also requires the average balances of bank accounts in the last Quarter of the year, and the acquisition value of properties.

As from next year the deadline will be the end of March, but you will only need to report the assets again if their value has increased by more than €20,000 (£17,000).

A spokesman for the Spanish tax authority said the globalisation of financial activity and increasing problems with fraud made it necessary "to establish a specific obligation of information on assets located abroad".

He said residents who were unsure of how to submit their declaration, which has to be completed online, should visit their nearest tax office for further information.

Recommended Reading

The Telegraph : Spain tells British expats to declare Overseas assets

Comment on this Story

I take it that this new victimisation refers only to the 'Rich' expats - and not to Rajoy and his Acolites, as they are exempt from their - alleged, of course - rich pickings stashed away in offshore accounts ?
David - Mon, 4th Mar 2013

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