Do Brits lose their rights in Spain?


Q. When I was about to retire, my NHS Doctor told me that, if I wanted to live long enough to collect my pension, I should leave the UK for a warmer climate. I wrote to the Spanish Embassy in London to ask if my family would lose any rights. They replied that we would not. However, seeing that the Spanish Government ‘target’ Brits for illegal demands for new taxes and property demolitions, this seems untrue.

T.D. (Costa del Sol)

A. If you need to live in a better climate, you are ahead right there. Secondly, Spain does not ‘target’ Brits. The horrible situation of property demolitions is the worst effect of the property boom-andbust combined with a blind bureaucracy, but it hit unwary Spanish buyers as well as foreigners, and is at last being corrected with new laws. By ‘tax demands,’ you probably refer to Form 720, on which Spanish tax residents declare assets abroad worth over €50,000. This law is directed at Spaniards themselves with hidden assets abroad. So you are taxed at Spanish rates, similar to UK rates, and you get your healthcare from the Spanish system.


Send your questions for David Searl through lawyers Ubeda-Retana and Associates in Fuengirola at [email protected], or call 952 667 090.


  1. I do not abject to paying tax,s either in England, Spain or Germany when we lived there. What I do think is not quite right is that a civil service pension is added to all income plus industrial injury, war pension. Then they say take it away but here’s the rub tax on the whole of the total amount. Has no one woken up to this.


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