British taxpayers in Spain: September 30 deadline to declare offshore earnings

British taxpayers in Spain: September 30 deadline to declare offshore earnings
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The UK has warned British taxpayers abroad that they have until September 30, 2018 to show proof of all assets and earnings they have overseas or face penalties.

HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC) deadline follows the passing of new tax rules on July 11 aimed primarily at British taxpayers abroad who aren’t declaring all the income they receive outside the UK. 

The “requirement to correct” legislation means Brits overseas have to report offshore tax liabilities relating to UK income tax, capital gains tax and/or inheritance tax.

The most common reasons for declaring offshore tax are linked to foreign property, investment income and moving money into the UK from abroad. 

According to HMRC, some UK taxpayers don’t realise they have a requirement to declare their financial interests overseas. 

“This new measure will place higher penalties on those who do not contact HMRC and ensure their offshore tax liabilities are correct,” UK Financial Secretary to the Treasury Mel Stride is quoted as saying by the British government. 

“I urge anyone affected to get in touch with HMRC now.”

Over 17,000 people have already contacted HMRC to notify the department about tax due from sources of foreign income, such as their holiday homes and overseas properties.

“Since 2010 we have secured over £2.8bn for our vital public services by tackling offshore tax evaders, and we will continue to relentlessly crack down on those not playing by the rules.

After the September 30 deadline, the UK will join forces with Spain and 98 other countries in the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) system, which allows all the nations involved to share financial data. 

British taxpayers in Spain looking to correct their tax liabilities can do so by using HMRC’s digital disclosure service or by contacting the HRMC directly. 

Spain is home to the biggest British population outside the UK, with the region of Valencia and more precisely Alicante housing the biggest number (75,000 in Comunidad Valenciana, 67,000 of whom reside in the province of Alicante).

According to Spain’s National Statistics Institute (INE), in the last five years the total number of British residents in Spain has dropped from 397,892 to 240,785.

This number doesn’t necessarily include all the Brits who live in Spain but aren’t registered or Brits who are taxpayers in Spain.