By Nicola Cowell
A COUNTRY with perpetual sun, lower taxes and cheaper property, you would think Spain would be top of the list of places to retire.
Well, not according to new research taken by the Homebuyer and Property Investor Show.
In fact, Spain did not even make the top five in the poll, which looked at eight factors to decide where retirees got the best deal.
Cyprus came top, scoring highly on income tax, inheritance and property tax, property prices and ease of buying a home, health, climate and culture.
Also in the top five were Belize, France, Panama and Italy.
According to researchers, people think they will pay less tax when they move to Spain but are not aware that they will have to pay wealth tax as well.
Retirees are also liable to pay inheritance tax on assets passed from husband to wife and vice versa, and the rate can be as much as 30 per cent.
And while the poll gave Spain a culture score of eight out of ten, this is only if you are prepared to learn Spanish.
Without learning the lingo, however, the culture score drops to a disappointing three points.
Ms Cowell has missed out the main reason why retirees are abandoning Spain – the fact that Spain is so badly run and so inherently corrupt. Spain’s abuses of human rights in its planning/housing sector drive many retirees away.
wealth tax was abolished a few years ago and inheritance tax is paid according to your nationality – so rubbish reporting ms Cowell ………………
There is also a lot of misinformation about inheritance tax – often cynically promoted by certain companies who make a lot of money out of exploiting people´s fears. It depends what region you live in – in quite a few areas there´s no inheritance tax at all, in many others you will generally pay very little. The rate also depends on whether or not you´re a resident (irrespective of your nationality)
So yes, a bit more research would be a good idea. In fact an article that sets out the facts re inheritance tax would be a great idea.
According to press reports this week, the EU have ordered Spain to rationalise its Inheritance Tax rules at a national level and to stop discriminating against non-residents who have assets in Spain.
They have 2 months to comply.
The statemant indicated that this would mean the end of inheritance tax for foreigners who leave their property to their children.