Sunday, 5 May 2013

Death, taxes and childbirth! - Did not see the second one coming

So here we are another month on from my last post and another month closer to the move.If I am being perfectly honest my feelings about this move change from absolute certainty to real fears of the unknown. Which I think on reflection is healthy.

The one thing that all mankind has in common is that we have all made our fair share of wrong decisions; anyone who has not made a bad decision has never had to make one or has spent their life avoiding them.  Every day most of us make decisions, from minor ones - should I have the large chocolate cake, to changing jobs or moving to another country.  Life is full of choice but it appears that the bigger they are and the more options we have the harder they get, choosing to jump out of the way of a speeding car is an easy decision to make almost, choosing to live in another country and then decide where, is much more difficult.

How we originally came to the decision I cannot remember. It seemed to be a long drawn out process over many years. It is said that you should, when making a decisions review the pros and cons. I am not in favour of the pros and cons rule after all how you can decide a pro or a con until you have lived it or experienced it. For those of you already in Spain some of the Pros you went for probably did not materialize  and may have become cons like for instance intense heat in the summer and cold in the winter, how many times have I been told - lucky you moving to Spain all that lovely weather, and yes the con is the weather will be fairly decent for a fair amount of the time, but there will be intense heat and freezing cold.

You could always spend time analysing the decision and choices that you have for example
·        What is the probable outcome of this choice?
·        What outcomes are highly unlikely?
·        What are the likely outcomes of not choosing this one?
·        What would be the outcome of doing the exact opposite?

Finally there are those who follow their gut instinct.

I have read somewhere that research shows that people who make decisions quickly, even when lacking information, tend to be more satisfied with their decisions than people who research and carefully weight their options.

Well to be honest although I have said we are following our gut instinct we have also spent time researching all the issues around moving to Spain. This leads me, to where we are now.  Having researched to death the move to Spain it was a HUGE shock to find out this week that if the house does not sell this side of 2014 and we move in 2015 the same year as the house sale we are liable to pay capital gains tax in Spain, unless we arrive after the tax residency rules of 183 days
Of all the things to miss this is one thing that could have caused us a major concern.
This is not really mentioned on any of the forums etc. and it is my belief that this is because people did not declare CGT when they sold up in the UK and moved to Spain, it is only now with the new overseas assets declaration that immigrants ( ex-pats) are starting to think about this.   I thought that this was a recent tax law but no it has been in place for many years. If you sell in the UK, move to Spain and do not invest ALL of the capital gain in a new property you are liable for CGT on the portion that is left UNLESS you were not TAX resident in that year. However if you know different please leave a comment and let me and others know.

 So for us if we sell before end of 2013 and move out in 2014 then we are fine. However if the house sale takes place in 2014 we have to ensure we do not take up permanent residency until July 2nd. This reminds me of a line in Gone from the wind

Death, taxes and childbirth! There's never any convenient time for any of them.

Why am I telling you this, because I think it proves that no amount of research can prepare you for the pitfalls that will occur once you have made your decision, you can analyse, write up the pros and cons but we are always at the mercy of governments, and legislators, whatever country you live in and at the end of the day as my old Nan and probably yours used to say, you have made your bed now lie in it.

We are still making our bed and it’s looking good. If not a little untidy from recent developments!


  1. Nice article, Tanya! It does't matter how much research you (one) do (does) - there will always be something that crops up and bites you on the backside - it's realising this that makes the difference (IMHO) - I think that many people who relocate blame the country that they move to as being the problem, when we all know, that even moving house in the UK is beset with pitfalls and problems. At some point you just have to take a leaf out of Richard Branson's book and say 'screw it, let's do it' and take the plunge! That's what we did and six years in we know that we made the right decision to move to Spain.
    I look forward to the next instalment of your adventure :-)

  2. Totally agree with Sue! What's the worst thing that can happen... You move back! Even that's not the end of the world. Go with the flow. Yes you will have good times and bad, this will not be a holiday, but it will be a blooming adventure :-) xx