Residency certificate: ‘Permanent’ question answered

BRITISH expats aiming to be ‘Brexit Ready’ ahead of March next year are increasingly asking about their status as ‘permanent’ residents.

The current road show being staged by the British consulate team aims to answer personal questions over the UK leaving the European Union, a move scheduled for March 29, 2019, – although an agreed deal is likely to involve a transition period. However, there are a number of questions about whether the word ‘permanente’ – or ‘permanent’ – is needed on either the large green paper certificate or the smaller version. The Embassy has now provided us with a clear answer.

It is understood that the wording has evolved since teh certification was first introduced for expats seeking resident status and documents differ. A spokesman for the British Embassy in Madrid this week confirmed: ‘As long as you have a green residency card or certificate, you are on teh central register of EU nationals; which most people refer to as residencia. “These cards or certificate do not expire. You must, nowever ensure it shows your current address and update it in the events of your circumstances changing”

How do I register as a resident in Spain?

How do I register as a resident in Spain?

As an EU citizen you must register as a resident if you plan on living in Spain for more than 3 months.

If you are here for a total of 183 days in a calendar year then you are classed as being a tax resident of Spain and should be registered as resident.

You should register in person at the Oficina de Extranjeros (immigration office) in the province where you live or at the designated police station.

You will be required to provide documents to support your application which currently is:

NIE – your foreigner’s tax number
The form S1 if you are a pensioner, SIPP card or proof of private health insurance
Confirmation of payment for the residencia in the bank
The completed residency application form
Proof of income

You must be able to demonstrate that your life in Spain is financially sustainable. You will be expected to show bank statements that cover the previous three months and that you have a monthly income of above €800 per person.

If you have come to Spain to work then your employer should provide you with un certificado de vida laboral – which is proof that you have work here.

If you are under pensionable age then you must have proof of health insurance if you are not on contract to work. The insurance must cover everything and you may also need to show proof of payment. There are local health schemes in many parts of Spain that might be an alternative.

The Spanish authorities will issue you with a credit-card-sized residence certificate with your:

NIE number (Número de Identificación Extranjero)
date of registration

There has been some confusion recently about the length of time a residencia applies. If you are a member of an EU country then your residencia does not need to be renewed. If you are not, then renewal is every five years.

Older residence certificates are larger (A4 size) but are still valid. You do not need to apply for a credit-card-sized certificate unless your circumstances change (for example your address) or unless you want to.

After you have been registered as a resident for five years, you can apply for a certificate of permanent residence in Spain. You will be issued with a similar credit card size Residence Certificate, but it will additionally state that you are a permanent resident (residente permanente).

For those that obtained their residency card before the 29th of March 2014 and have been living in Spain since then, it will be easy to obtain a permanent residency card if they do not have one yet. Please, check if your residency card is named as “residente comunitario” (EU citizen resident) or “residente comunitario permanente” (Permanent EU citizen resident).

Below, you will find examples of “residente comunitario permanente”, in the two current formats.

If you have “Residente comunitario permanente” on your residence card, this means that you already have permanent residence and no further action is required.


HMRC Tax Briefings for Expats – September 2018






HMRC representatives from the UK visited Moraira and Rojales yesterday to talk about tax issues. HMRC has introduced new legislation that requires individuals to make sure their foreign income and assets are in order before a 30 September 2018 deadline and the arrival of tougher penalties.

The main points to come from the meeting were as follows;

There are two scenarios where a penalty could be imposed; either because of deliberate non- compliance (people trying to get away without paying taxes by not informing HMRC of things on purpose) or because of an error resulting in non-compliance (incorrect information given to HMRC).

Penalties are currently 30-40% on top of tax amount due up to end of September. But from 1st October this is increased to 100-200%.

You can however avoid this penalty if you have a “reasonable excuse” , for example you went to an accountant and he calculated your tax liability incorrectly and as a result the wrong amount of tax was paid due to their error.

These regulations only apply to Spanish tax residents if; they have income derived from a UK property (rent) , if they have income derived from a UK civil service pension or if they have sold a piece of art/jewellery or house in UK.

The 30th September deadline is to inform HMRC. People then have a 3 month window to actually make the correct changes if needed.

For financial help and invaluable advice on living here in Spain
Talk to one of the team:
📞+34 966 461 690

Quarterly Financial Update


Newsletter July 2018-07-31

General News

Welcome to our second quarterly newsletter provided by our fantastic financial associates. Having launched this quarterly update for the first time back in late April, we are pleased to say that we have had lots of positive feedback. As always, if there is any topic you would like them to cover in our next update, please do not hesitate in letting us know.

Over the past 3 months we have seen many events worldwide that will make their way into the history books, both political and non-political. On the political side, we have seen important meetings such as the North Korea-US Summit 2018 in which Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un met for the first time in person, in Singapore. Mr Trump then did a European tour during which he first visited her majesty the Queen at Windsor Castle, before flying to Helsinki to meet with Vladimir Putin. On a lighter note, we have also had been treated to a very well organised (and violence free) World Cup in Russia, much to our surprise. From an English perspective, it was great to see everyone come together and celebrate the success in reaching a semi-final, despite the continued divide in political views.

During the quarter, global markets once again showed their volatility, keeping up with the trend set at the start of the year. For many indices, this quarter has been a very positive one, with the FTSE 100 as an example, posting its best quarterly return in 15 years, for the three months leading up to June 30th. It has not all been good news though, and one of the main sectors affected negatively in this quarter was emerging markets; the MSCI Global Emerging Market equities declined by 4.2% in June alone. The reason behind this mini crash was due to emerging markets being vulnerable to a strong dollar and rising interest rates. The Federal Reserve hiked rates by 0.25% in June, which was widely expected by the market, following strong macroeconomic data. However, the Federal Reserve changed their forward guidance to include two additional rate rises in 2018 and then another three in 2019. If implemented, this would take rates up from the current 2.0% to 3.25% which would be the first time in a decade that US dollar cash would offer a positive real return.

In Europe, the ECB (European Central Bank) moved to a slightly more relaxed monetary stance, deferring the end of its quantitative easing programme to the end of 2018 and announcing there will be no change in interest rates until the summer of 2019 under forward guidance. It has been a tough year for the EU, not only due to BREXIT, but also because of the political unrest and increased threat to the long-term stability of the Eurozone. Italy is a prime example of this with their government split between Eurosceptic populists (winners of the March elections) and pro-EU establishment politicians.

Fortunately, on a wider scale, the global economy is in good health, with macroeconomic data pointing to a pick-up in growth after the soft patch experienced in the first quarter of 2018. Inflation remains relatively subdued, with the biggest threat to inflation coming from the US, where the economy has been performing strongly and is being supported by accommodative fiscal policy from tax cuts and additional government spending.

Whilst on the US, it is fair to say that we could write a whole newsletter on Donald Trump alone each quarter, as his unpredictable character and let’s say “unique personality” never lets him get too far away from our TV screens. With this said, arguably the most important news headline of this quarter was the potential trade war between the US and China. At the start of July, both Washington and Beijing launched import tariffs on 34$ billion of each other’s goods, and while economists say the consequences of the spat between the world’s two largest economies can be contained for now, there are fears that Donald Trump’s stance on trade could cause serious damage to the global economy. It is possible however, that Donald Trump is seeking political gain ahead of the mid-term elections in November and is using empty threats in order to extract concessions.

Looking ahead, the geopolitical issues mentioned above will have a key role in deciding market movements and it is our view that markets will remain relatively volatile for the foreseeable future. The biggest problem with a potential trade war, the threat to the long-term stability of the EU, and the developments (if any) of BREXIT, is that they are all longer term issues and will not get resolved over night. Whereas an interest rate change happens pretty much on a set day/time and can affect markets temporarily, the negotiations of BREXIT or a trade war will inevitably have an ongoing grip on the market.


For many, this is turning into a long-winded, boring and tedious subject. The fact that the Government (now 2 years after the vote) is still arguing amongst themselves, says it all. The deadline for BREXIT is set as the 29th March 2019, at which time the transition period will start, running up to 31st December 2020. Some EU negotiators are doubtful that a full UK-EU deal will even be achieved at this point.

In early July, the Cabinet was torn apart by disagreement over Theresa May’s “third way” BREXIT strategy, unveiled at the Chequers country estate. Her plan was to aim for a divorce similar to the set up of Norway – part of the European Economic Area and trading bloc, but with some opt outs for justice, immigration and regulation. Essentially, this would mean the UK would have to simply obey many European rules without having any say in their creation. It return, the UK would have access to the Continental market tariff-free. Following this development, several senior ministers, including BREXIT secretary David Davis, resigned.

Brexiteers are upset because it’s not really a BREXIT at all. Europeans are upset because it appears that the UK is trying to pick and choose which rules it will and won’t follow. Remainers are upset because the UK is simply giving up a commanding seat at the EU table for a complicated patchwork that leaves things virtually as they were. All in all, everyone does agree that it is a shambles.

In light of the above, an increasing number of people have suggested the idea of a second referendum. This has been backed by a select number of ex-Cabinet members and also some famous celebrities such as Gary Lineker. There was also talk only two weeks ago about the possibility of a second referendum with three options; to leave the EU with no deal, to leave the EU with the PM’s final negotiated deal, or to remain in the EU. Whether or not a second referendum is a genuine option is yet to be seen, but Theresa May, up to this point, has repeatedly stated “under no circumstances”.

We are taking a very different view on BREXIT and how to inform clients. We have seen a lot of our competitors run seminars, or advertise on the radio or in magazines, claiming to inform clients of what will happen. Many of the adverts are also used as scaremongering tools, something which we do not agree with.

The truth is nobody knows what is going to happen with BREXIT. It is impossible for anyone to say whether or not a deal will be finalised, because we simply don’t know. If the Government don’t even know themselves, how can we be expected to know? What we do know however, is the position as of today, and thanks to our flexible financial solutions, we can make sure your finances are in order so that it doesn’t matter if it is a hard or soft BREXIT.

Spanish Budget 2018

The latest Spanish budget was originally planned for approval in September 2017, but due to political instability in Spain and the lack of sufficient support to pass the budget, it had to be postponed. Although no budget was planned for 2018, the 2017 budget has automatically rolled over until the middle of this year.

On the 23rd May, the Spanish Congress finally approved the 2018 budget after weeks of hard negotiations. It has also now been approved by the Senate and was published in the Spanish Official Gazette (Boletin Oficial del Estado – BOE) on 4th July 2018.

The most important point to take from the 2018 budget is that it did not include any major tax changes and will have minimal impact on UK nationals resident in Spain. Wealthier residents may be affected by the extension of wealth tax for at least one more year, though this was expected.

The main changes are as follows;

The income tax return threshold has been increased from 12,000€ to 14,000€ gross per annum. So, in simple terms, if your annual income in 2018 is less than 14,000€, you do not need to submit an income tax return.
Wealth tax has been extended for yet another year and is applicable for the tax year 2018.
The minimum widower and state pensions have been increased by between 1% and 3% depending on the case.
There is a new 30% deduction for taxpayers who invest in new companies, up to 60,000€ per annum.
The tax-free threshold for Spanish lottery winnings increases from 2,500€ to 10,000€ in 2018, 20,000€ in 2019 and then 40,000€ in 2020.
The VAT rate for cinema tickets drops from 21% to 10%.
Paternity leave increases from four to five weeks.

Investments & Protection

Investments & Protection are two key areas that IFA’s should address when carrying out a financial planning exercise for clients.

Protection, in the form of insurance, is one of the most undersold and undervalued areas in our opinion. All too often we hear news about a family member passing away and leaving their loved ones in a difficult financial situation. Some of these cases however, could be resolved with forward thinking, in the shape of Life Assurance. Life Assurance nowadays is pretty cost effective and plans can be paid for monthly, semi-annually or yearly. Aside from the idea of leaving your loved ones with a lump-sum, these types of plans can also be used to cover any expected IHT tax liability upon death.

The same could be said for funeral plans and Wills. The cost of a funeral has more than doubled from an average £1,920 in 2004 to almost £5,000 in 2018. If the cost continues to rise at this rate, in the next 4 years it looks set to cost around £7,000 (an increase of 160% since 2004!). Having a funeral plan in place and also a valid Will, will make the administration and cost on death much more manageable for beneficiaries during such a stressful period.

Investments on the other hand can come in all shapes and sizes, and can range from platforms/bonds, to direct investments. When analyzing to see if investments are suitable for clients, it is often important to look at where the investment is held, and where the client is tax resident. A good example of this would be when a British expat holding an ISA (Individual Savings Account) in the UK, moves over to Spain and becomes Spanish tax resident.

ISA’s are great investments as returns are not liable to income or capital gains tax, and tax-free withdrawals can be taken at any time. However, this only applies to UK tax residents, and once an individual changes to become Spanish tax resident, the investments loses all tax benefits. Any income taken from the investment would then be added to total income and taxed at their marginal rate.

Our associates are able to carry out a full review of your financial investments. They will then sit down with you and explain exactly what your money is invested in and also explain the tax position surrounding the investment itself.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch



The Budget 2018

The Goverment’s budget for 2018 has finally been approved. Below is a summary of changes I  thought might interest you.

Starting with a positive one, going to the cinema is going to be cheaper, as the IVA/ VAT on tickets will decrease from 21 to 10. Effective immediatly.

Another improvement Paternity leave from 4-5 weeks and for ‘fucionarios’ the option to take leave once the mothers leave has ended. Effective immediatly.

Pensions will increase with 1.6% for a medium pension to 3% for a minimum pension, 1,35% for Autonomos not in receipt of minimum pension. The increased pension payments will be released as of August , but the measure will be implemented retro-actively as of January 1st this year, so during July all pensioners will receive an extra payment with the increase over the months January-July.

IRPF Income Tax Changes– The threshold of 12,000 euros will go up to 14,000 euros. Higher allowances for those with income from work between 14,000-18,000. Extra allowances for those with a disabled spouse or for large families. Effective this tax year, so as of RENTA 2019.

Autonomo contributions increase with 3.87 euros /month for those that have chosen topay based on the minimum ‘base de cotizacion,’ the large majority of self-employed in Spain.

Renewing your Spanish DNI or Passport is more expensive now. 12 euros for DNI and 30 for a Spanish passport.

For foreigners living in Spain, the ‘tasas’ to pay for official documents like NIE certificate (EX 15) or Residency Certificate (EX 18) have gone up as well. Prices now 9,64 euros for NIE and 10,82 for the green residency certificate.

Sound Advice - fairytales

Sound Advice – Fairytales


Politically Correct Fairy Stories.

With Brexit in chaos, and nobody agreeing on anything, Russia becoming very scary and President Trumps visit to the UK looming, you would think the British had more to worry about than politically correct fairy stories.

Cinderella was a poor, over worked woman and therefore not to be celebrated in any way, even though the ball and the wonderful carriage kept me and others enthralled as children, for a long time and still does.  Do you realise that Sleeping Beauty was not asked permission for the Prince to kiss her!  How could this happen, because he kissed her back to life, much to the joy of the seven dwarfs and countless children.  And how about this one, all new mothers should ask permission to change their baby’s nappy. How is this possible? Get a life and smile.

Read more

Unique House Policies


What interesting times we live in and I could add, quite scary times. I shudder when I think that the free world’s peace is controlled by a very volatile and frightening man. Is it acceptable to threaten another country’s leader via Twitter? What about the old fashioned way of diplomatic channels and ambassadors, in private? Still, I am an old fashioned gal who wouldn´t dream of going on Facebook to discuss my private life and to see the office of the US President using social media in this way, when there is a conflict, disagreement, or just lashing out, I find appalling.

I am now going to drop a bit of a bombshell. Do you realise that when you get your Residencia accepted by the Spanish authorities, it is a European document which states you live in Spain. However, to be a full legal resident in Spain, you must be a fiscal resident. This means you must be registered by the Spanish tax office and submit yearly tax returns in Spain. This does not mean you necessarily have to pay tax in Spain, but you must do a yearly tax return, which is a legal requirement. This costs very little and protects you from a fine. If you are autonomos or working on contract, you are a fiscal resident. I feel, with Brexit on the horizon, it would be very wise to get your paperwork in order, because obviously there are checks being carried out on behalf of the governments in both Spain and the UK already. IBI, Basura and road tax are a totally separate issue, as they are in the UK. Would you consider Council Tax, rubbish collection and car tax in Britain as your tax return? Of course not!

Staying on the subject of legality and as part of Expat Services, when talking to my chosen financial advisor, he reminded me of a very good piece of sound advice. Although the company you are dealing with may be authorised to sell financial investments, did you realise that the advisor offering advice also has to be fully registered and regulated? Unless they are, they are not allowed to work in the UK at any time or offer advice in any other country, so take care and select your advisor very carefully, because it could spell trouble with a capital T.

If you are in any doubt on either of these two issues or wish to do a tax return which is due in June, you can always organise an appointment with one of my associates (the first consultation is free), telephone 966 461 690 or visit

I am very excited about my new advertisements that are just starting to appear in the newspapers. I hope you agree with me that they are very ‘relaxing’. There are eight different advertisements informing you of the services that we offer, one of which is a unique house insurance for your largest asset.

It is a very good policy, especially designed for the Expats and as far as I am concerned, knowing my way around the market as I do, it is the best. It might however, not be the cheapest but the extent of the cover is exceptional. Liability, water loss and especially accidental damage on both the contents and the building, are unique. A big percentage of the claims that come through my office are the result of accidental damage. With regard to contents cover, my Sales Consultants will advise you to take out a realistic sum and you would be amazed when you think about how much you spend on furnishing your home, clothes, personal items and valuables. Be very careful when it comes to expensive jewellery, paintings, watches and collections. For example, it you have rings and watches, you will need a full risk policy, not just insurance cover when they are locked in a safe. Also, do not be persuaded to under insure, because when it comes to total loss, you will find yourself in trouble with the insurance company. Never forgetting out-buildings, solar panels and pools, garden furniture, the list is endless. When you take all of this into consideration, you should expect to pay a realistic premium to reflect the cover. If it seems too cheap, whilst at the same time being assured it covers everything, I suggest you look very closely before committing. Liberty Seguros has specially designed policies for second homes, and for those properties that are rented or uninhabited for a certain length of time.

When you are renting your property legally, long term, special landlord insurance is a necessity and includes cover for non payment of rent and Liberty also have policies for tenants to cover their own contents and liability. Protect yourself and your home in the best possible way.

For more information or a quotation, please contact one of my consultants or visit my website


Confused or concerned about your Investment/ QROPS or Pension?

We’ve found recently many new clients have come to us with some sort of investment wrapper-typically a Spanish Compliant Portfolio Bond or Qrops/ pension arrangement that most could not answer YES to these 3 questions:


Do you know exactly what you are invested in?

Do you understand all your investments?

Do you understand structured notes?


Over the recent months we have been helping these new clients understand EXACTLY what they have, enabling them to confidently answer YES to all of the above.

We work with 2 fully qualified individuals who have over 40 years experience in both the UK and Spain advising clients on financial and tax planning matters. individuals. Qualified with the CII and are regulated and registered with the Gilbraltar Financial Services commision, the FCA in the UK and both the DGS and CNMV here in Spain

If you have any queries concerning your existing investment, whether they include Structured Notes or not, empower something logical and get in touch. We’ll help you understand exactly what it is you have and advise on all financial and tax planning matters to ensure you are getting the best.



Would you send your children to be taught in a school where teachers are not qualified?

Just 1 Question…

Would you send your children to be taught in a school where teachers are not qualified?


Is your financial adviser qualified?
There are a variety of qualifications within our industry, and as in many industries the level or, quality of qualifications, vary. From a qualification perspective, the UK is probably one of the most robust and rigorous environments.

You can easily check to see if your adviser is qualified to UK standards, by simply going to the Chartered Insurance Institute website, . If you click on membership and then member search, you can then type in your advisers’ name. If they don’t appear with at least the designation Dip PFS next to their name, they would not be able to give advice in the UK.

I am sure, like us, you will see many adverts in the press and on Social Media from firms and individuals offering to provide Financial Advice. Sadly, many of these are not regulated at all.
Being regulated ensures that you have important protection against unscrupulous advisers. If the firm is regulated, you will have protection and some recourse action should the advice be deemed to be inappropriate to your personal requirements. In addition, any regulated firm has to hold Professional Indemnity Insurance, which adds another level of protection for you.

Any firm who is regulated will always state on any advert, or on their website, exactly who they are regulated by. Any firm that is regulated will be happy to share their licences with you.

Would you happily get on a plane knowing the pilot isn’t qualified?

Our Consultants are regulated by the FSC in Gibraltar, Registration number FSC1118B, and also registered with the FCA (UK) and both the DGS and CNMV in Spain.
They are qualified to level 4 with the CII, and are members of the Personal Finance Society. Both hold the Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning.
In addition to being both regulated and qualified, clients will also have peace of mind, in that they are dealing with a Family business which is here for the long term.
So, if you are unsure of your advisers’ regulatory status, or qualifications, why not contact us now for a free consultation?

Is your Financial advisor regulated AND fully qualified?

It has come to our attention in recent months that there are a number of Financial Advice companies advertising on the mainland, and in the Canaries, claiming to be fully qualified and regulated. Unfortunately, some of these companies have very limited permissions, or none at all in some cases.

In the first instance, you need to ensure that the company you are dealing with is regulated. This is extremely important and provides you with a level of protection. Equally important, however, is that the individual sitting in front of you, and providing the advice, is fully qualified.

To check to see if a company is regulated is fairly straightforward. On any advert or marketing material, an advice firm will always state their registration number as well information on where and who they are regulated by. Typically, the regulation will come from either the FSC in Gibraltar, the FCA in UK and either the DGS or the CNMV in Spain. Any advert without this information is likely to be from and unregulated entity.

You are also able to see if an adviser is qualified to UK standard, which many claim to be. To do this, you can go to the official CII (Chartered Insurance Institute) website, and click on member search. When searching for an individual, they should have the designation DipPFS next to their name, which means they have reached Diploma status. If they do not have this next to their name, they are not qualified to UK standard.

We are proud to work with two fully qualified advisers who both have both completed the Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning. We pride ourselves on delivering easily understood, tax efficient solutions for expats living in Spain. You are safe in the knowledge that the advice you are receiving is from fully qualified individuals and a fully regulated business.

We work with our advsisors who are a trading style of Tourbillon Limited, regulated by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (Registered Number FSC1118B). Under our network, we are also registered with the FCA in UK and both the DGS and CNMV in Spain.

 Don’t be caught out, ensure your advisor is qualified and fully regulated. You will be very suprised how many aren’t. After all you wouldn’t send your children to school to be taught by an unqualified teacher, neither would you board a plane with a pilot without the right training. Don’t put your financial affairs at risk.
Contact us for trusted, safe, secure and fully regulated advice