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Viewing posts categorised under: Gift tax in Spain

Gift tax in Spain

By Chris Burke
This article is published on: 14th November 2021


I hope you are all well; so far so good in getting back to a ‘normal world’ but you never know how near we are to a ‘Black Swan’. This month’s TT covers the following Hot Topics:

  • UK to Spanish driving license – another update
  • Gift tax in Spain – assets received from a UK parent, what tax would you pay in Catalonia?
  • UK private pension age to be increased from 55 -57
  • UK budget – inflation forecast of 4%+

UK driving license update
Last month I mentioned that anyone with a UK driving license in Spain could use it until the end of October. The UK government has just announced this has been extended until the end of 2021, so watch this space and let us hope an agreement is reached to exchange them for Spanish driving licenses, eventually.


Gift tax from a parent in the UK?
Inheritance tax is constantly a hot topic in the UK and living abroad also, but for many people it’s not always clear as to what the rules are. In Spain for example, it’s regional on what you might pay for inheritance tax/gift tax and depends on many variables, including the amount to be received, the relationship to the donor and your country of residence.

Many people are accruing more and more assets from parents when they pass on from this life, and these assets are accruing more and more in value. However, inheritance tax is not changing that much, meaning in real terms people are paying or will be paying more money in tax. Therefore, many are choosing to try to pass their wealth on as gifts before this tax continues to escalate and plan to mitigate as much as possible.

However, for those in Catalonia inheriting/receiving a gift from a parent the tax is nowhere near as much as people might think. What is important is that you declare it, and do it on time so as not to receive any penalties.

As I stated earlier, it’s very difficult to give exact numbers as everyone’s situation is different. However, if I use a regular scenario I come across it will give you a very rough idea of what you might pay:

Potential Inheritance Tax
A British person, living in Catalonia, inheriting from a parent an amount of £250,000 would pay approximately €4,000 in tax.

Potential Gift Tax
A British person, living in Catalonia, being gifted from a parent an amount of £250,000 would pay approximately €16,500 in tax. (Note this gift amount is based on the receiver owning up to €500,000 in assets prior to the gift being received and reporting this gift to the notary.

As I say, these are approximate figures, but it will give you an idea of what you might pay.

We help clients declare this correctly and also plan what is the best thing to do with their money, including buying property, paying off mortgages, increasing its intrinsic value or protecting it against inflation.

Private/company pension access ages are to be increased
In 2015 The UK government changed pension rules so that anyone with a private pension could access the monies from age 55. This was greatly publicised, helped by an MP at the time who stated ‘If people do buy a Lamborghini but know that they’ll end up just living on the state pension, that becomes their choice’. Some people were worried people would spend all their pension money and then only have their state pension to live on. For the majority this did not happen (so far!).

Now the government has increased the age you can access your private pensions to keep in line with state pensions by 10 years, with UK state pensions claimable from age 67 for the most part. So from 6th April 2028 you must be 57 to access your private pensions.

This largely makes sense, although for many people who had started planning their retirement from age 55 it creates a problem. I have already starting helping many clients ‘plug the gap’ for this extra 2 year period which is more about changing what they are doing now to cover this eventuality in the future.

4% – inflation rising – the value of your savings decreases
In my last Top Tips I highlighted that inflation is starting to become something everyone needs to be aware of, after a decade or two of being very low. The impact it can have on your money is substantial.

The UK government in their latest budget have forecast this will go up to 4% in 2022 and maybe even higher. As I mentioned, for £100,000 you have in a bank account, in real terms this would be devaluing by £4,000 per year. CPI, the most common index that is used for measuring the ‘average basket of goods and services’ increasing or decreasing, went up by the MOST amount it ever has this last August (recorded by CPIH National Statistic 12-month inflation rate series) by almost 1% in a rolling 12-month measure.

This also brings real concerns for many people with private or corporate pension schemes, as nearly all have limits on what they will increase inflation by for your pension. This ranges from 2.5% up to 5%, therefore if inflation was to go above this your pension would not keep up with the increase in goods/services. We help clients plan and manage this potential eventuality.

What can I do with £100,000 that I might want access to in a year or two?
One of the hardest to plan for and the most common questions I receive is what to do with a set amount of money that clients might want to use in a year or two, but want it to gain an interest/keep up with inflation until then. In many cases, this ‘1 or 2 years’ very often turns into 5 or 6 years and that can be a very dangerous situation, especially taking into account inflation at 4% (that’s 20% decrease in value after 5 years).

There are a few things we highlight to clients, such as some ‘not so well known’ good interest savings accounts, using Premium Bonds and also talking through their situation to professionally plan their finances taking this into account. Over a long period of time this can make a big difference.

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If you would like any more information regarding any of the above, or to talk through your situation initially and receive expert, factual based advice, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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