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Financial seminar for expats in Catalonia

By Chris Burke
This article is published on: 25th February 2015

The Spectrum IFA Group’s Chris Burke spoke at a recent financial seminar alongside Spanish Lawyer, Nuria Clavera Plana, in Llafranc. The event was attended by 30 people and was followed by a Q&A session and a chance to meet the speakers over coffee.

Chris’s presentation covered:

  • Currency forecast, thoughts and ideas to implement for 2015.
  • UK Government Pensioner Bonds – 2.8%-4% per annum for anyone holding a UK bank account and debit card.
  • UK Pension & QROPS changes – Is your pension being managed effectively and is it in the right place?
  • Spanish Life Assurance Bonds/Investment – potentially Tax efficient, historically good returns (Prudential) and potentially succession planning friendly.

Chris ran through the concept of ‘the magic bank account’ for over 65’s in the UK, and many people were surprised to find out that you do not have to live in the UK to benefit from these – you just need a UK bank account and debit card and can achieve between 2.8% to 4% per annum with the savings also government backed. He discussed predictions and thoughts on currency, which highlighted last year’s most successful currency forecaster, stating that the Euro/Dollar will be at parity at 1-1 by the end of 2015. Still just as unnerving for those living in Spain, was the prediction that the Euro would reach 1.42 by the end of 2015 against the pound, particularly if the EU have to keep printing money to solve the crisis.

The new rules on UK pensions and QROPS were also highlighted. QROPS is a UK pension that has been moved overseas to benefit from EU rules (please note your pension should be evaluated by a qualified pension evaluator before you consider doing this) and although the new UK rules give much more flexibility, everyone acknowledged that hefty tax could have to be paid to access these. Qrops still has benefits over and above leaving your pension in the UK depending upon your situation, and from April 2015 should have nearly all of the benefits a UK pension will be entitled to, and potentially more.

Tax efficiency was perhaps the most popular subject Chris presented on, with most people interested in saving money on taxes both on their savings and with succession planning. In fact, passing on their money tax efficiently was the main interest over coffee after the presentations.

Presentation From Nuria Clavera Plana (Lawyer):

  • New income tax for Catalonia 2015 and what are the exemptions.
  • New Capital gains Tax for 2015 in Catalonia.
  • What assets need reporting.
  • Pension income from sources outside of Spain Amnesty.

Nuria as ever gave a very interesting presentation on what you now have to pay in taxes throughout Catalonia, the reasons why and how this works. By far the most popular conversation was the changes to Inheritance tax rules now in Catalonia, which in essence are the same now for Spanish Nationals and Foreigners residing here. This incorporates a big reduction in tax compared to before. It was also surprisingly good news for those leaving behind assets up to €1,000,000 with potentially limited tax to pay.

There were many questions surrounding what does and doesn’t need reporting for the Modelo 720 overseas asset declaration, ranging from classic cars to items not reported before. This topic always throws up major questions as always!

This year in Spain it is now a requirement to report any overseas pension income you are receiving up until the 30th June 2015. This generally would not have been taxed in most cases in the respective overseas countries due to the amount in question. However this should be reported in Spain and could therefore be subject to Spanish tax laws. It was discussed that this new law has been brought in mainly to find those Spanish Nationals who have been receiving pensions from working abroad previously and have not been declaring them or paying the relevant tax.

Nuria as ever gave everyone detailed analysis on these changes, so everyone left the event with a better knowledge of their own personal situation.

If you would like more information on this or any other questions you may have regarding Tax advice, please do not hesitate to contact Nuria on or Telephone 972305454.

Chris and Nuria would like to thank all the attendees for asking such pertinent questions and joining in, making the event such a success.

Chris will also be presenting at future seminars in the coming months. Please feel free to contact him on or telephone him on 936652828 if you would like to know more about these, or wish to discuss any of the above details.

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Article by Chris Burke

If you are based in the Barcelona/Costa Brava area and would like to have an initial, complimentary face to face video call or arrange a time to visit Chris in his office in central Barcelona, contact Chris on or whatsapp +34 689915730.

Contact Chris Burke direct about: "Financial seminar for expats in Catalonia"

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