International and Private Lawyers Málaga, Spain
Civil and Family Law, Maritime Law                       


The possible effects of Brexit on Costa del Sol residents and businesses

Sur 27 April 2017

Brexit and how it could affect British people living or owning a business on the Costa del Sol was the subject of a seminar hosted by Linea Directa and SUR in Torremolinos last Friday.

International Lawyers said that the negotiations now beginning between the United Kingdom and the European Union would be the most difficult recorded in history.

Fernández, a specialist in international tax law, claimed that a ‘soft Brexit’ was the best option for both the UK and the Costa del Sol, where there are numerous important British businesses and thousands of foreign residents.

Referring to people that believe there is still time to “stop the clock”, Fernández claimed that, although there were many things we do not know, one of the few things that can be said is that Brexit is definitely going to happen.

He insisted that the negotiations must honour the rights of the British living in Spain and the Spanish nationals living in the UK.

Outlining how Spain had always welcomed the British and their business ventures, he suggested that business relationships would probably not suffer as much as we are sometimes led to believe.

“The English approach to business is so practical and the English language is of great importance, and no matter what happens, I don’t see London losing its status and relevance in the world of business. London is the centre of finance and I think it is going to remain so regardless of what Frankfurt or Paris want,” Fernández said.

He stressed his belief that the EU should not punish the UK for its decision to leave Europe, claiming that negotiations should be entered into with a “sensible attitude since there is a lot at stake”.

The expert referred to recent tensions that flared when guidelines were published that proposed giving Spain a veto over any deal involving Gibraltar’s future.

Making reference to Theresa May’s comments, which claimed that the UK will not negotiate away Gibraltar’s sovereignty as part of Brexit talks, Fernández said: “I really don’t like to think that we are going to bargain with Brexit and Gibraltar. I don’t see the purpose; is that really going to help us here? Would it not be better to have a good deal with the UK and smooth out whatever is coming?”

Looking at the possible consequences of Brexit from the angle of the Spanish tax system, Fernández said the situation will only be clear once an exit agreement has been reached, but he added that coming out of EU could put the British who live in Spain in a worse position.

Exit taxes on gains would be imposed on foreigners who have decided to return to Britain, but perhaps more important would be the changes in inheritance tax, affecting especially those living in areas other than Andalucía.

Business challenge

One of the biggest dilemmas caused by all the uncertainty is affecting business and trade, and Fernández showed concerns for this: “For those of us helping people establish businesses or buying properties, it is going to be a very, very challenging time. Of course, this is not good news, because, uncertainty is the main fear of investment and trade.”

However, the general feel of the seminar was positive and Fernández gave British expats a little reassurance that things are not going to be that terrible. There will obviously be issues created by the UK’s exit, but in general, for the vast majority of British citizens who live in Spain, he believes life will not be that different.

The formal exit notification has no immediate impact on the legal arrangements between the United Kingdom and the European Union. Its effects will begin to come into force after two years, and this period might even be extended by mutual agreement if more time is required.

However, for the entire period over which the exit is being negotiated, the UK will continue to be an EU member and all rules of the union will continue to be applicable to British residents.

The seminar was one of several organised during the II International Home and Leisure fair held in Torremolinos last weekend.

British government to give expats 'votes for life' 

UK minister Chris Skidmore has announced that the government will remove the current 15-year time limit



 The British government on Friday published detailed plans on how it will deliver its commitment to allow all expats to vote in parliamentary elections.

The Minister for the Constitution, Chris Skidmore, announced the policy statement which sets out how the government will remove the current 15-year time limit on British citizens who live abroad registering as overseas electors.

The changes would give all eligible British citizens who have lived in the UK a lifelong right to vote in parliamentary elections. It would mean all eligible overseas electors are able to register to vote quickly and easily, while maintaining the integrity of the electoral register and guarding against fraud.

Skidmore said: “This statement shows how we will introduce ‘votes for life’, scrapping the 15-year rule. British citizens who move abroad remain a part of our democracy and it is important they have the ability to participate. Following the British people’s decision to leave the EU, we now need to strengthen ties with countries around the world and show the UK is an outward-facing nation. Our expat community has an important role to play in helping Britain expand international trade, especially given two-thirds of expats live outside the EU.

“Expats retain strong links with the United Kingdom: they may have family here, and indeed they may plan to return here in the future. Modern technology and cheaper air travel has transformed the ability of expats to keep in touch with their home country.”

This proposed policy is the latest in a series of measures to make it easier for overseas voters to take part in British democracy. During the last Parliament, the government introduced online voter registration, making it quick, easy and secure to register anywhere in the world. The government also took steps to extend the electoral timetable for postal ballots to be issued earlier to ensure that as many electors as possible can participate in their democracy.


Property sales to foreigners in Malaga rise by 30 per cent

Diario Sur in English Marzo 2015

Last year, 9,140 houses were sold to buyers from abroad, a number close to pre-crisis figures.

Foreign demand has continued to boost the Malaga province property market. Last year, it recorded a 28 per cent increase in real estate sales to non-Spaniards, according to figures released yesterday by the Ministry of Public Works.

Of the 23,929 properties that were sold in the province in 2014, 9,190 were bought by foreigners, representing 38 per cent.

The sale of houses to foreign buyers has almost doubled in the past two years: from 5,140 in 2012 to 9,000 last year.

The good news is that last year purchases by Spaniards also rose by 29 per cent. But what is in “bad shape”, according to the president of the Association of Constructors and Developers, José Prados, is the demand for first homes.

The list of foreign property buyers is led by British, Scandinavian, French, Benelux buyers, Germans and Russians, in that order. “Russian demand, which became almost as important as British, has gone down significantly due to the domestic problems of the country,” said Prados.

Of the foreigners who buy a property in Malaga province, the vast majority (8,010 of 9,190) are already residents in Spain. The number of non-resident buyers has not increased significantly, despite a government initiative to provide resident permits.


Last third of September of 2014, the second courtroom of EUROPEAN LAW COURT (TJUE) (case C-127/2012), found that Kingdom of Spain has failed to carry out the duties that affect it by virtue of what is said in the rule 63 of the Treaty of the EU (TFUE), the same as in the rule 40 about Agreement on the Economic European (EEE), about Non Resident Succession Tax in Spain, they have the possibility of returning the amount regarding to Succession and Donations Tax in Spain.





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